Getting into a car accident can be a life-changing experience. Besides handling the trauma of the incident and dealing with the property damage, recovering from an injury can take a lot of time and a lot of money. When the insurance company rejects your claim or offers you a settlement less than what your claim is worth, what is already a stressful process can easily become a nightmare.
Don’t you wish someone will fight for your rights?
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, our Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton car accident lawyers understand the stress and frustration you are going through. We know that all you want is to pay your bills, get healthy, and put this terrible situation behind you. That’s why we work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. With years of experience in car accident litigation, our car accident injury attorneys will determine who is liable for the accident, negotiate with the insurance company, and, if necessary, take the responsible parties to court.
THE MAJOR CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS IN PENNSYLVANIA
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest numbers, car accidents continue to fluctuate in the United States. A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2019 shows that an estimated 8,110 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2018, the state saw the third-lowest number of traffic fatalities on record – 1,190. Further, there were 128,420 reportable traffic crashes in Pennsylvania. These crashes injured another 78,219 people, in addition to the fatalities. To add some perspective, the 2018 total of reportable traffic crashes is the fourteenth lowest total since 1950 when 113,748 crashes were reported.
Though incidents are on the decline, they are still occurring, with 1 out of every 44 people being involved in a reportable traffic crash.
What causes these accidents to occur? It all comes down to these major factors:
- Human Error – Whether it’s driving while texting, driving under the influence of alcohol, or speeding, the majority of automobile crashes are the result of driver error.
- Road Conditions – The condition of the roadway can play a major part in your car accident. An improperly maintained road can cause havoc on your car.
- Weather – In Pennsylvania, wintertime means icy, snowy weather accumulating on our roadways. This causes slippery driving conditions.
- Mechanical Error — Not all accidents are caused by improper maintenance of your vehicle. Sometimes it can be a defect in your vehicle.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
You just got into a car accident. You’re shaken up and you’re injured. Do you know what you do?
There are certain steps you should follow afterward to make sure you not only follow state law, but you don’t endanger any possible future lawsuit.
- Make sure you and any passengers in your vehicle are okay. Take a moment to take in the situation and do not panic.
- Be aware of your surroundings — if the scene is unsafe, move the car to a safe area. If you are uninjured, try to exit the car if you can.
- Call 911. Let them know if medical assistance is necessary.
- Exchange information with the drivers, passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident. Also, try to get the information of any witnesses of the accident.
- Document the scene as best as you can. If you have a smartphone, take photos of the scene and the damage to your vehicle.
- If you are taken to the hospital for injuries, make sure you document what injuries you have and what procedures are done. Keep a record of all doctor appointments or physical therapy sessions.
- Contact your insurance company to submit a claim. Make sure you get the police report and any medical records needed for the claim.
THE COMPLEXITY OF FULL AND LIMITED TORT
Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state. Unlike a no-fault state — where the insurance company is liable to cover the insured’s physical injuries no matter who is at fault – Pennsylvanians have the option of selections full tort or limited tort insurance.
Not many understand the difference between the two options. Chances are you’ll select limited tort since it’s the cheaper option. However, by selecting limited tort, this prevents you from suing for pain and suffering. This is why you should choose the full tort option, you will have the ability to sue for all damages. Although it is more expensive, it will save you in the long term.
It’s important to note that both full and limited tort coverage only applies in situations where the driver and/or passengers have been injured in a car accident that was not the driver’s fault.
But what if you are seriously injured and have limited tort coverage? Is there anything you can do? Yes, there is! If your injuries are serious enough, as outlined by your insurance policy, then you may be able to sue for pain and suffering. However, getting your claim approved can still be an uphill battle.
As you can see, tort law in Pennsylvania is extremely complex. It takes an experienced car accident lawyer to examine your policy, explain what the situation is, and present legal options that will work best for your situation.
WHY CHOOSE OUR PHILLY CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS?
The Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton car accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have spent their careers fighting for those injured in any type of auto accident. We understand that not all car accidents are the same – even the simplest claim has an extensive amount of paperwork involved. From our investigators to our expert witnesses, we have access to the most efficient team in making your claim. Not only do we have the experience, but we have the track record.
You have a choice in auto accident attorneys – don’t choose incorrectly. If you or someone you loved has been involved in a car accident in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, or anywhere in the Keystone State, don’t delay. The Scranton car accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli fight for the injured. Contact us today for a free consultation.