Common Causes of Car Accidents in Pennsylvania & New Jersey
Car accidents happen every day across the country and right here in Philadelphia. Mistakes are an unfortunate reality of life, but negligence is inexcusable.
Car accidents in Pennsylvania & New Jersey are often caused by:
- Negligent driving, such as eating or adjusting the radio while driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Faulty vehicles or vehicle components
- Dangerous road conditions
If someone else’s mistake or inaction was to blame for your recent car accident, you should not have to pay the price. By filing a personal injuryclaim with help from our car accident lawyers, you may be able to recover the compensation you need and deserve to pay for the effects of the responsible party’s negligence.
What Do You Do in a Car Accident?
In Pennsylvania & New Jersey, after suffering an injury in a car accident, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself, your rights, and your ability to file a personal injury claim.
At Kwartler Manus, LLC, our attorneys recommend that you:
- Seek medical attention ASAP: After a car crash, our bodies react with a surge of adrenaline to keep us going. This may mask any pain or awareness of an injury. That’s why it’s important to visit a doctor regardless of how you feel. A medical professional can determine whether you sustained any injuries with long-term effects such as whiplash or internal organ damage.
- Call the police: Pennsylvania law requires drivers to report any car collision that involves injury, death, or vehicle damage that prevents any party from being able to drive away from the scene. While not required, it is still good to get the police involved for minor car crashes as well to ensure that there is a record of your car collision and that the police include your version of the events in their report. The police will record their assessment of the situation and any opinions they may have of who is at fault.
- Collect information from the scene: Be sure to take pictures of the scene if possible and write down the names, numbers, and license plates of other vehicles involved in the car crash. The more evidence you gather, the better.
- Do not admit wrongdoing: It may feel strange but expressing you are “sorry” can be used against you as proof that you admitted the car accident was your fault, even if that is not what you were intending to communicate.
- Call your insurance company: Many insurance policies require you to report a car crash within a few days or up to a week of your car collision to be eligible for coverage. It is important you do not delay and inform your insurance company that you were involved in a crash. Stick to the facts, do not admit fault, and do not sign any releases or forms until you have consulted with an Philadelphia auto accident attorney.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations states that an individual has two years from the date of their car accident to file a claim. If you fail to take legal action within that time frame, it’s very likely that the state will refuse to hear your accident case in court, thus causing you to lose your right to compensation for your injuries and damages.
After the car accident, it’s imperative that you gather the necessary documents that will be valuable to your accident case. At Kwartler Manus, LLC will work tirelessly to ensure that our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys build the best possible case on your behalf.
Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Laws
In car accident cases, Pennsylvania uses a “no-fault” system, which means that after most car accidents, coverage for medical expenses, property damage, and lost income will be provided by the injured person’s own insurance provider.
There’s a chance, however, that you will be able to pursue legal action outside of the no-fault system if your accident case meets the threshold for what is considered a serious injury. Our Philadelphia car accident attorneys at Kwartler Manus, LLC can assess your situation and determine how you should proceed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
A: If your collision was minor and did not result in any injuries, your insurance may be enough to cover the resulting damages. Retaining legal representation is generally recommended if you have suffered any sort of injury, as it can be an uphill battle to receive compensation for medical treatments, lost wages, and other losses on your own. Statistically, people who hire a Philadelphia lawyer after a car accident
tend to recover far higher compensation than those who choose to represent themselves. As such, while you may not absolutely need
a personal injury lawyer, having one by your side can ensure you receive everything you are owed after a car collision.
Q: How much does a car accident lawyer cost?
A: Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will be charged nothing until your attorney is successful in your case. In a contingency fee arrangement, your attorney will work on your case for free upfront and instead receive a standard portion of your final settlement or verdict. This way, everyone has access to quality legal representation and will not be barred from seeking justice due to cost. You have nothing to lose by speaking to a personal injury attorney after a car crash
Q: What types of damages can I be reimbursed for after a crash?
A: A car accident attorney can help you pursue compensation for a wide range of damages, including medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, lost wages from missed work, physical therapy costs, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and more. You may also be able to recover compensation for wrongful death if a loved one was killed in a car collision.
Q: Who decides where my vehicle is repaired?
A: Your insurance company will ultimately dictate where your vehicle will be repaired. While some insurance policies allow you to choose, others may require you to have your vehicle fixed by one of their preferred shops.
Q: I am partially at fault for the crash. Do I still have a case?
A: Possibly. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state, meaning that drivers may still recover compensation for damages as long as they are less than 50% or less at fault for the accident. Insurance companies know this and may attempt to place a greater share of blame on your for the crash to avoid liability. An attorney can protect you against mistreatment and help you seek the full compensation you deserve.
Q: The driver who hit me did not have insurance. What do I do?
A: If you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you or your Philadelphia lawyer will need to turn to your own insurance company for compensation under your UM coverage, if you have it. This same coverage will help to pay for damages in the event that you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Q: The insurance company has already made me a settlement offer. Can I still hire an attorney?
A: Yes. As long as you have not accepted the offer verbally or by signing settlement release papers, you may still hire an attorney for your car accident case. It is usually best to consult with an attorney immediately after a crash, before a settlement offer is made.
Q: Can I File A Car Accident Claim After Insurance Pays?
Since most insurance settlements state specifically that the amount stated in the agreement will be the only compensation paid to you, once you agree to a settlement it can be very difficult to recover any further compensation. This is why it is important to speak to an attorney about your case before signing anything with an insurance company. If you have already signed an agreement, call our firm today to learn what options you have.
Q: My totaled car was financed. Who pays the bank loan?
A: If your vehicle is a total loss, the insurance company will pay fair market value for your vehicle to the finance company. If there is still an outstanding balance after this sum is paid, your gap insurance will cover the difference.
Q: The insurance company wants me to give a recorded statement. What should I do?
A: Never give a recorded statement to an insurance company without first consulting with an attorney. Anything you say to an insurance adjuster can be used against you, so it is best to let your attorney handle all correspondence with the involved insurance companies.
Q: How long will it take to settle my car accident claim?
A: There is no way to know how long it will take to settle your claim without consulting with an attorney. More complicated claims involving severe injuries or disputes tend to take longer, while minor injury claims may be quicker to settle. The settlement process cannot begin until your medical treatment is completed and all costs associated with your injuries are calculated.
Consult with Kwartler Manus, LLC Today
Our Philadelphia firm provides experienced and highly knowledgeable representation for each of our clients. Our goal is to handle your injuries case in a time-efficient manner because our attorneys understand how exhausting this process can be for the victims.
Our attorneys consistently work hard to obtain positive results for our clients. Our team has successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims of car accidents in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.