Should I Speak With The Police?
Yes. It’s important to treat the police as an ally in this situation. They will speak with each driver to get both sides of the story, and combine these statements with evidence to determine the at-fault driver. Make sure to request a copy of the police report.
Why Should I Get A Police Report?
Victims may be biased or have difficulty remembering details from the crash. A police report provides an account of the facts. Insurance companies and car accident lawyers will evaluate the police report when handling financial compensation or lawsuits.
How Do I Know Who’s At-Fault?
In many cases, the police report will be sufficient for proving fault after an accident. However, many car accidents are complex and may have been caused by a variety of factors. Because of these complexities, it’s usually wise to consult a car accident attorney in order to fully uncover the details of the crash.
What Should I Know About PA Insurance?
Pennsylvania is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that in most accidents, an injured person’s own insurance will cover the cost of medical bills, damages, and lost income - regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, there are exceptions to this rule if there have been serious injuries from the accident.
If serious injuries are involved, then the victim may be permitted to sue the at-fault driver for any subsequent expenses. In PA law, a personal injury is defined as one which causes death, serious impairment of a bodily function, or permanent serious disfigurement. Contributing factors may include:
- A doctor’s diagnosis that an injury is chronic or permanent
- An injury requiring surgery
- Limited range of motion
- Length of treatment
- Whether the injury requires prescription medication or regular medical care
- Whether the injury has disrupted daily activities, including work and sleep
If you’ve been involved in an accident and one or more of these criteria apply to you, you may be permitted to sue the other driver.
Besides Driver Negligence, What Are Some Reasons to Sue?
While there are numerous driver-related causes of car accidents, there are other reasons to pursue legal action. Depending on the specifics of your particular accident, there may be several responsible parties besides the driver:
- If the driver was borrowing the car, the car’s owner could be held liable
- A mechanic who caused a defect while working on the car, which lead to an accident
- The car manufacturer may be responsible for a defect which caused the accident
- The city or municipality may be responsible if the accident was caused by flaws in road maintenance or design
- A bar or restaurant serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person may be partly responsible for an accident caused by drunk driving
Many car accidents are the result of a combination of factors. It’s important to determine all possible causes of the crash, so that each responsible party may be held liable.
How Frequent Are Car Accidents in PA?
Pennsylvania is around average in state-by-state car accident ratings. In 2015, there were over 127,000 traffic accidents reported in PA. In these accidents, over 80,000 people were injured and 1,200 tragically lost their lives in the crash.
What Are Some Common Types of Accidents?
Most accidents can be classified into one of a few categories, which vary in severity:
Head-on collisions are the most dangerous and fatal types of accident. Although these collisions only account for 2% of accidents, they are responsible for about 10% of fatalities. These are some of the toughest crashes to recover from and inflict the most damage on both the victims and the vehicles involved.
Most sideswipe accidents involve a driver drifting too close to another vehicle or obstruction, such as a highway median. In many cases, the driver will over adjust to avoid the sideswipe and cause a larger accident. Distracted driving is a primary catalyst in many of these accidents since drifting often occurs while the driver’s eyes are away from the road.
These are the most common type of car accident in America - accounting for about 40% of the 6 million accidents that occur each year. Rear-end collisions are some of the lowest impact accidents and less dangerous than head-on collisions and sideswipes, but can still cause serious physical ailments. Many victims of these collisions suffer from injuries to their back, neck, knees, face, and brain.
How Can A Lawyer Help?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident resulting from the mistakes of another driver, our legal team is here to help. We are prepared to take all necessary measures to ensure that you receive appropriate compensation for your suffering. There are several important documents which would be helpful to collect for your case. However, if you have any trouble collecting them our lawyers will gladly assist you. These documents include:
- Copies of medical records
- Copies of police reports
- Photos of the scene, car damage, and personal injuries
- Contact information for any witnesses
- Insurance information for all parties involved
Our attorneys will utilize all of this information in order to present a well-researched case and prove that the other driver was at-fault, and thus financially responsible for any subsequent expenses which have resulted from your accident.
Related Car Accident Links