Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents occur across the Philadelphia area every day, and they should be dealt with as swiftly as possible. A motor vehicle accident can occur due to a negligent driver, a motorcyclist, construction crew, or several other reasons. These accidents can be broken down into various different categories. If a victim was injured in a car accident, they should reach out to a Philadelphia car accident lawyer at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. today.
A car accident victim should seek medical attention right away after an accident and file a personal injury claim to obtain maximum compensation. Many of these accidents were caused by reckless drivers who disregard road rules. Drivers and passengers should take immediate action when they are forced to recover from injuries that they did not cause.
Additionally, a lawyer knows that car accidents can injure passengers, cause disabilities, and even kill those involved. After reviewing a case, a car accident lawyer will understand what can be done to help their client and fight aggressively for their rights. Those who have been hurt deserve to receive compensation for their injuries.
What Causes Car Accidents?
Most motor vehicle accidents are the result of negligence or recklessness by one of the drivers involved. The more severe the crash, the more likely that the driver and passengers will suffer injuries or face other troubling consequences. Car accidents are often caused by the following:
Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving might include cutting across lanes, tapping the brakes, or even screaming at other drivers. Honking the horn and using rude gestures can escalate an intense situation. Aggressive driving can be tied to or result in road rage; seven percent of road rage incidents result in physical confrontations.
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving includes texting, talking, or taking phone calls while driving. Drivers often believe that they have the requisite skill to remain safe but looking at a phone takes the driver’s eyes off the road. Distracted driving may lead to road rage, or the driver might swerve and cause a host of other accidents.
Drowsy Driving: Drowsy driving is a major issue in the trucking industry when drivers are operating outside of standard federal regulations. There are rules governing how long truck drivers can drive before they take breaks. When a driver does not take breaks, they can fall asleep at the wheel and cause a truck accident. A truck driver’s employer might have even forced the drivers to work when they could not safely do so. Drowsy driving is also an issue for car drivers who are on the road early in the morning, late at night, or after a long day at work.
Drunk Driving: Drunk driving has long been a problem in America that has been addressed by public service campaigns. Drunk drivers do not have the reflexes necessary to drive safely, but other substances can cause similar impairments. Drivers who are under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs may also be pulled over and charged.
Failure to Use Signals: Failure to use signals may seem harmless because drivers can move around the road without crashing. Signaling, however, prevents other drivers from crashing into cars that are changing lanes or turning. Turn signals are needed when a driver is making a left turn, and signals are also helpful when the driver is at a busy intersection.
Poor Weather Conditions: Poor weather conditions can cause accidents as cars or trucks slide on the roads. Heavy winds can knock over big vehicles, and snow or rain can cause drivers to lose control. Even if a driver
believes they can proceed safely, they might have little to no visibility because of inclement weather in the area.
Reckless Driving: Reckless or careless driving often occurs when drivers are distracted or simply do not show courtesy to other motorists. Reckless driving might rise to a level that would allow the petition for criminal charges to be filed, and a lawyer can request punitive damages.
Speeding: Speeding is a factor in almost 25 percent of all accidents. Since speeding occurs every day, drivers think that it is acceptable. Sadly, speeding reduces reaction time, which can cause rear-end crashes. Speeding in large vehicles is even more destructive because large trucks, boat haulers, cargo trucks, or box trucks are extremely heavy.
Auto Defects: Auto defects can also cause crashes when drivers lose control or the vehicle malfunctions at the wrong time. A lawyer can look into how the vehicle was defective, if it should have been recalled, and which companies are responsible for the defect. Defects can be traced back to the auto parts or automotive manufacturer. If a car accident occurs, a determined car accident lawyer will take a look at what can be done in the case, collect all the evidence, and determine who should be held liable for the crash.
What are Common Types of Car Accidents?
Serious injuries can result from various types of car accidents, such as hit-and-run accidents, rear-end collisions, and multi-vehicle crashes, so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The most common crashes include the following:
Hit-and-Run Car Accidents: A hit-and-run accident is an accident where the guilty party leaves the accident scene. Guilty drivers often do not exchange personal information with the victims, and they might drive away while the accident is happening. While this might be difficult to do, it helps to remember as much of their license plate as possible. A car accident lawyer can try to find this driver and hold them accountable for their actions.
Rear-End Car Accidents: Rear-end accidents occur due to lack of attention. If a driver is changing lanes and does not realize they need to stop, they could crash into the car in front of them. When a driver cuts off another vehicle, that driver might crash into them. These accidents are easy to prevent when drivers are alert. If necessary, a driver can pull into another lane or onto the shoulder to avoid a crash.
Multi-Vehicle Accidents: A multi-vehicle accident occurs when a driver sets off a chain reaction. Large trucks might jackknife and strike several vehicles. Drivers might rear-end each other as the crash occurs, and a lawyer can help untangle liability in these cases. For example, someone who is rear-ended can file an insurance claim. However, that driver might have hit the car in front of them due to a chain reaction. This means that the driver can file a claim but will also have a claim filed against them.
Sideswipe Accidents: Sideswipes occur when drivers change lanes without checking their blind spot. These accidents occur most often on highways and when merging in and out of traffic.
T-Bone Accidents: A T-bone accident often occurs at an intersection when drivers are not paying attention or do not follow local traffic signals and signs. Drivers must stay alert to avoid making critical mistakes.
No matter the cause, a car accident lawyer can explain to their client how insurance claims or lawsuits should be filed.
Why Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Crash?
It is important to understand that injuries may not manifest immediately after an accident, so what appears minor in the aftermath of the accident may become worse and leave drivers or passengers with unexpected medical complications. In some car accident cases, one of the drivers is liable, while in others, it may be caused by roadwork or defective car parts. Regardless of the nature of the crash, a car accident lawyer can help a client receive the treatment and compensation that they need for their injuries.
How can I Avoid a Car Accident?
Drivers should try to do the following to avoid a potential car accident:
Keep focused on the road: A driver who is talking to passengers needs to remain focused on the road. It only makes sense that the driver would naturally turn to look at their passengers or talk with their hands. Remain focused on the road and allow someone else in the car to lead conversations. If a driver needs to reply to a text, make a phone call, or send an email, they need to pull over, wait, or hand the phone over to someone else. Drivers can also use Bluetooth systems that allow them to dictate texts or emails when necessary.
Establish a designated driver: Before going out at night, it is important to find a designated driver. Someone at the party should not drink so they can drive everyone home at the end of the night. If the group has been drinking all night, they can use a rideshare service to get home. It is never worth it to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Keep both hands on the wheel: Drivers often use just one hand while driving and doing so could make it difficult to respond to emergencies. Drivers need two hands to maneuver their vehicles safely. This is especially true of large truck drivers who can cause a lot of harm when their vehicles crash.
Pull over when visibility is poor: Drivers should always pull over when they cannot see. The weather might be terrible, and there may be fog in the area. Some drivers cannot see because it is too dark, or they might feel as though the dark environment is making them even more tired. Sleeping in the car is safer than driving those extra few miles.
Look before changing lanes: All drivers should look twice before changing lanes or merging. When drivers look just once, they could be surprised by vehicles that are speeding toward them as they merge or change lanes.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
An accident scene can be traumatic, but it is important for a car accident victim to make wise decisions when they are at an accident scene. These following steps should be taken after a car accident occurs:
Get out of danger: If possible, drivers and passengers should get out of the roadway quickly. If the vehicle can be moved out of the road, that might help keep everyone safe.
Call 911: No matter how severe the crash is, it helps to be checked by a medical professional. An EMT will tell drivers and passengers if they need to go to the hospital and receive further medical attention. If accident victims are released by EMTs at the scene, they should go to the doctor the next day for a check-up.
Exchange information: A lawyer needs to know who insures the other driver so that their client can file a claim. If another driver does not have insurance, the victim should bring that up with the police officer who is writing the accident report.
Take pictures of the scene: Drivers or passengers need to take photos and videos of the accident scene. This information is needed to understand how the accident occurred. A police officer is only required to determine fault and write up a cursory report, pictures will not be included in a police report, so photographs can be helpful.
Find eyewitnesses: It can be difficult to start an investigation at the accident scene, but a lawyer needs to know as much about the accident as possible. When a victim has found eyewitnesses, a lawyer can learn a lot about the accident from someone who had a different perspective.
Report the accident to the insurance carrier: An insurance carrier requires that all accidents be reported; however, insurance companies will try to misinterpret what is said or require a full statement. An experienced lawyer can help with the claim.
Hire a lawyer: When someone is in a car accident, they might be in shock and overwhelmed by the severity of the crash. The driver or passengers may be injured. While it is understandable that accident victims may not function at their best after this type of trauma, it is extremely important to document the accident as accurately as possible. With enough evidence, a lawyer will be able to recover the optimal amount of compensation to cover injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Retain any medical bills received, as well as car repair receipts for the attorney.
What are Other Types of Accidents?
Car accidents can be caused by a wide range of people on the road, Drivers must be alert while driving, and a successful lawyer will understand that certain people will cause accidents due to their carelessness. Other types of accidents include the following:
Rideshare Accidents: Rideshare accidents, such as Uber/Lyft car accidents, can be complicated. The ridesharing company might not have insurance to protect passengers, and that means that the passenger must file a claim against the driver, even if the driver is not at-fault. It is also recommended to file a claim against the guilty driver if they crashed into a rideshare vehicle.
Bicycle Accidents: Bicycle accidents can occur when bicyclists are riding where they should not be. Drivers should be alert because bicyclists might try to share the road in uncomfortable spots. For example, drivers might want to go around bicyclists, but the driver must look more than once before passing. An accident could occur if another driver is coming the other way. Bicyclists must also dart across intersections or cut through traffic, leaving car drivers no room to correct.
Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrians might step into the road where there is no sidewalk, jog across an intersection because they think no one is coming, or stand too close to the road as a driver tries to turn. Car drivers should be always be mindful of pedestrians.
Truck and Bus Accidents: Truck and bus accidents can occur because these drivers may be intoxicated, drowsy, distracted, or lose control of their vehicles. A lawyer can show that the driver was negligent, the owner of the vehicle did not maintain it correctly, or it was loaded improperly. Trailer and carrier accidents could shine a light on leasing companies that have not maintained the vehicles they rent. A loading company could be held liable if they improperly loaded a truck that tipped over. Additionally, drivers may be held liable if they are speeding or driving recklessly or aggressively.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accident injuries range from mild to severe and should be addressed immediately. It is also recommended that victims not be moved at the accident scene if they seem to be badly hurt. Common car accident injuries include:
Broken Bones: Broken bones are common in severe car crashes. While victims might feel as though they will recover, some severe bruising may cover broken bones. This is why it is recommended that victims seek immediate medical care.
Cuts and Scrapes: Cuts and scrapes need to be treated in case they become infected. EMTs on the scene can treat these wounds, and a victim will receive bills for medical care. A car accident lawyer can use these medical bills when filing a lawsuit for damages against the guilty driver.
Head Injuries: Head injuries are often more troubling and hidden than other injuries. A driver might have experienced a head injury that they did not notice right away, or they might have experienced whiplash. When drivers suffer from head injuries, they might experience headaches and extreme mood swings.
Whiplash: Pain from whiplash can move from the neck into the shoulders. These victims might have trouble sleeping and focusing during the day. A medical facility would want to run tests to ascertain the extent of the victim’s injuries. It is important to know precisely what happened so that damages can be calculated.
Internal Bleeding: Internal bleeding is often hidden behind aches and pains that victims feel after a crash. When a victim goes to the hospital, they can have imaging done that will show any internal bleeding, which should be addressed quickly because as an accident victim could suffer fatally. Additionally, internal bleeding could be a sign of organ damage that must be repaired immediately.
Leg Injuries: Leg trauma is common in car accidents because vehicles crumple during crashes. Drivers and passengers should get checked out to make sure that they do not have torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles. While the bones might not be broken, leg trauma can cause a lifetime of discomfort similar to the pain an athlete feels after years of stress on their legs.
Herniated Discs: Herniated discs can occur at the same time as whiplash. The driver or passenger will feel intense back pain that will not simply go away. This is why imaging must be done by a hospital to determine the extent of the damage to the disc.
Car accidents can result in serious injuries, such as those listed above. Additionally, these injuries could cause victims to miss work, acquire medical debt, and even result in disability. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations in which to file an accident claim is two years, so do not delay contacting a lawyer for assistance.
How are Damages Recovered?
A car accident lawyer will file for damages on behalf of their client and request several levels of compensation. A lawyer understands that someone’s life could be turned upside-down by an accident and will carefully calculate damages to ensure that the court understands why they are necessary for recovery. When a lawyer attempts to recover damages, they evaluate the following:
Medical Bills: Anyone who is injured in a car accident should have their medical bills paid by the guilty party. The injured driver or passenger should not be made to file a claim through their health insurance, and their car insurance carrier should not pay for those damages. A lawyer will petition for all medical expenses to be paid but will also calculate the cost of future medical care.
Continued Medical Care: A lawyer will work with medical experts or doctors to determine how much it will cost to recover from serious injuries. Some victims need months or even years of physical therapy, surgeries, or medication. An attorney will present this information to the court to show that the amount of fair compensation. When the case is over, a victim may spend years recovering, and they need money that will pay for their recovery.
Lost Wages: A lawyer can calculate all the money that was lost when their client could not go to work. If a victim cannot work any longer, lost earning potential can be calculated. A lawyer can simply determine the trajectory of their client’s career and how much they would have made up to a reasonable retirement age. If a victim is not allowed to reach their full potential, they deserve to be compensated.
Pain and Suffering: A lawyer will file a claim for pain and suffering because the psychological and emotional turmoil caused by the accident might have changed their client’s life. These types of non-economic damages draw on a loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is experienced after the accident.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages in the state of Pennsylvania are capped at $250,000 per occurrence. At attorney can build a case that reaches the maximum amount allowed by law, but those damages will be awarded at the discretion of the judge or jury. Punitive damages are not guaranteed.
When someone has been killed in a car accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. The suit must be filed within two years from the date of death, and it can be filed by a spouse, children, parents, or grandparents of the deceased. Also, extended family members who may have depended on the deceased, and heirs or administrators of the deceased’s estate can also file. It is vital that those seeking to file a wrongful death suit talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer needs to work within the confines of the statute of limitations and show that someone else’s negligence caused the victim’s death. Wrongful death suits provide compensation for funeral expenses, burial costs, medical expenses, and even the loss of earning potential that the family once depended on.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Help Car Accident Victims Obtain Compensation
Unfortunately, car accidents are not rare occurrences. If you or a family member experienced an injury in a car accident, a Philadelphia car accident lawyer at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. can help. We help our clients obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us at 215-569-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.