Motor vehicle accidents can occur for many reasons. In rare cases, a car accident is just that — an accident. However, most crashes are caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of another party.
For example, I-95, I-476, I-276 and other Philadelphia roads are busy, fast, and dangerous under normal conditions. When careless or reckless drivers then enter these roadways, innocent lives are put at risk.
If you suffer car accident injuries due to a negligent driver, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. However, the at-fault driver’s car insurance company will likely try to deny or minimize your claim.
A Philadelphia car accident lawyer from Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., can take charge of your case and seek the settlement you deserve. We have experience standing up for victims of car accident injuries and a reputation for success. For instance, our attorneys obtained a verdict of $10.5 million in a car accident case involving wrongful death.
Contact us now to discover how we can help during a free claim review and consultation.
Compensation You Can Demand in a Car Accident Claim
When you are the victim of a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to various kinds of compensation for your injuries and other losses. Most car accident claims center around compensation or money damages for personal injuries.
Personal injury damages cover both economic and non-economic payments. Economic damages are specific financial losses that can be determined from records like bills, invoices, and paystubs. They include losses like medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning potential.
Non-economic damages cover more subjective losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium, which is compensation to an injured person’s family for loss of companionship.
In addition to compensation for personal injuries, you may also be able to claim compensation for property damage you suffer in a car accident. This could include repairs to your vehicle – or its replacement value if totaled – and damage to property in your vehicle at the time of the accident.
If a loved one was tragically killed in a car accident, surviving family members may be able to pursue wrongful death damages. A wrongful death claim can provide compensation for your deceased loved one’s losses, including medical expenses incurred prior to their death, funeral and burial expenses, estate administration expenses, and compensation for the conscious pain and suffering experienced before death. Your family can also receive compensation for your losses, including the loss of income and benefits your loved one would have been expected to contribute to the family, along with the loss of your loved one’s companionship, society, guidance, and household services.
In rare car crash cases, you may be entitled to claim punitive damages. Punitive damages do not provide compensation for any losses, but instead are meant to punish a responsible party for especially egregious conduct that “shocks the conscience.”
Let the experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., review your case and explain the kinds of compensation that you and your family may be entitled to.
Statute of Limitations on Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawsuits
State law imposes a time limit on filing a lawsuit for damages and injuries that you suffer in a car accident. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Under Pennsylvania law, the statute of limitations for claims for personal injuries and property damage arising from a car accident is two years from the date of the accident. If you do not file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court will almost certainly permanently dismiss your case.
There are certain narrow circumstances under which courts may extend or “toll” the statute of limitations. For example, if a minor is injured in a car accident, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until their 18th birthday. That means a minor has until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit for injuries suffered in a car accident.
The discovery rule is another reason for tolling the statute of limitations. The rule holds that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until a plaintiff knows, or should know through reasonable diligence, the facts and circumstances about the claim. For example, the statute of limitations might be tolled if you have been the victim of a hit-and-run car accident by an initially unknown offender.
Be advised that there is no guarantee that a court will accept any attempt to extend the statute of limitations, so it is important to seek legal counsel promptly after an accident.
Our accomplished Philadelphia car accident attorneys can help you understand the deadline for filing a lawsuit for your car accident to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner without risking your right to pursue compensation.
How Our Car Crash Lawyers Can Help
If you have been involved in a car accident and someone else was at fault, our Philadelphia car accident lawyers can assist you in pursuing a claim for compensation. We can begin by investigating the facts and circumstances of the accident to determine what really happened and who was really at fault. We can collect evidence including the police accident report, photographs from the accident scene, and witness statements. Our team may also work with accident reconstruction experts to determine precisely how it happened and who was at fault.
Once our lawyers have identified the party or parties at fault for your accident, we can begin aggressively negotiating with the insurance companies to try to reach a settlement of your claim that provides you with full and fair compensation.
We will take the burden of dealing with insurance companies and defense lawyers off your plate so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. We know the tactics that insurers use to pay you less than full compensation, and we will not rest until you are offered a settlement that completely covers your losses.
If a full and fair settlement is not possible, our firm will fully prepare your case for trial. We will ensure that your case is timely filed with all appropriate court documents and in compliance with all necessary procedures. If your claim goes to trial, we will vigorously advocate on your behalf to seek a verdict and judgment in your favor that provides you with the compensation you need and deserve.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Philadelphia
A car accident is a traumatic and chaotic experience. Your first priority should be getting immediate medical attention.
If possible, taking the following additional steps after a car accident can significantly help your chances of successfully pursuing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit:
- Call the police to get an official report. Speak to the officer and give your side of the story, and always be honest.
- Gather all necessary information from the other drivers, including name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Gather information about the other cars, including make, model, license plate, and VIN.
- Identify witnesses and gather contact information from them.
- Take pictures or video of all of the cars and the accident scene, including the conditions of the road (such as ice or broken pavement) and the weather and lighting conditions at the time of the accident.
- Seek medical attention. Even if your injuries are minor, or you feel fine at first, a visit to the emergency room or your own doctor soon after the accident is important. Some car accident injuries may not be obvious right away, and you need medical proof that the crash was the cause.
Knowing what not to do after a car accident can be just as important as knowing what to do. For example:
- DO NOT make any statements to an insurance company representative without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer. Let us deal with the insurance company and handle all the legal details on your behalf.
- DO NOT leave the scene (unless an ambulance is taking you to the hospital for emergency treatment) until everyone involved in the accident has received or declined medical attention, inoperable vehicles have been removed from the scene, and investigating police officers have allowed you to leave.
- DO NOT admit fault. For many, it is natural to apologize, even if the other driver was clearly at fault. However, the insurance company will use these words against you. Also, a simple statement like “I’m fine” could be used to dispute an injury claim.
Causes of Car Accidents in Philadelphia
The negligence that causes most motor vehicle accidents can take many forms. Sometimes drivers willfully disobey the law, putting those around them at risk. At other times, drivers may grow unintentionally complacent or distracted. However, these drivers are still responsible for any car accident injuries or deaths they cause.
Some of the leading causes of car accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Drowsy driving
- Speeding or ignoring traffic lights and signs
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Unsafe turning or lane changes, including failure to signal
- Driver inexperience
- Vehicle defects, including tire and airbag failure
- Road defects, including potholes or defective guardrails
- Bad weather such a heavy rain, fog, or ice and snow, especially if a driver neglects safety precautions for inclement weather
Some car accidents, such as those caused by a road defect or a defective auto part, are not the fault of either driver. In these cases, the automotive company, part manufacturer, seller, or even the city responsible for road maintenance could be liable for the car accident injuries and other damages.
In handling car accident cases, our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys carefully investigate the circumstances leading to the crash. We work with experts like car designers and reconstructionists to find out how the accident happened to identify the responsible parties.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
A car accident can cause many different kinds of injuries for the occupants of the vehicles involved. When an accident is particularly severe, it can lead to catastrophic injuries for the occupants of the vehicles involved.
Some of the common catastrophic car accident injuries that our firm encounters include:
- Head injuries, which can occur when the head violently strikes an object during an accident and can include eye injuries and skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries, which result when the head is subject to rapid, violent forces, leading to conditions ranging from concussion to brain bleeds and coma
- Bone fractures, which can occur when parts of the body forcefully strike parts of a vehicle interior, or if enough force is put on the body by the collision
- Internal organ damage, which may result if organs suffer from blunt force trauma, or if a victim’s body is penetrated by a sharp object
- Internal bleeding, which can occur from internal organ damage or general blunt force trauma to the body
- Spinal cord injuries, including temporary injuries caused by strains or irritation from injuries to nearby tissue, or permanent injuries caused by severed nerves, which can result in numbness, weakness, bladder and bowel control issues, sexual dysfunction, and in severe cases, paralysis
- Amputations, which may be required if a victim’s extremity is too severely damaged to repair, or may be caused when enough force is imparted to sever an extremity
If you have suffered catastrophic injuries in a Philadelphia car accident, let our knowledgeable car crash lawyers help you to get the compensation you need to recover from your ordeal.
Talk to a Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyer Now
If you have been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another driver, we are here to help. Please call us to arrange a consultation with a trustworthy car accident lawyer. You can also contact our law firm online.
We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not have to pay us unless and until we get results for you.