The boutique law firm of Cooper Schall & Levy has been successfully defending the rights of any victims of Philadelphia car accidents for decades. If you have been seriously injured in a collision caused by someone else’s negligence, you need the powerful legal representation we can provide. Because we recognize that you are going through one of the most challenging periods of your life, we work on a contingency basis in car accident cases. This means that we will never charge you attorneys’ fees until we recover damages for you.
Our attorneys are highly skilled and have in-depth knowledge of personal injury law in Pennsylvania and its adjacent states. The sooner you contact us, the sooner our sharp, compassionate legal team can begin strategizing how to win.
Alarming Philadelphia Car Accidents Statistics About Road Travel
It is discomforting, if not terrifying, to know that, according to National Safety Council statistics, traffic deaths on American roads rose 8 percent during 2020, even though driving was sharply curtailed during the pandemic. This increase was mirrored by an increase in car accident injuries, some of them catastrophic.
Top Reasons for Car Accidents in Philadelphia
There are many reasons for car accidents in Philadelphia and throughout the country. In spite of the many increased safety features on our vehicles — safety belts, airbags, warning signals to alert drivers to blindspots, lane drifting, and pedestrians– many drivers continue to engage in dangerous behavior on the road, including:
Though in some circumstances, poor driving is a one-time thoughtless mistake, for too many drivers it is habitual or intentional. At Cooper Schall & Levy, we are dedicated to the idea that anyone whose negligence causes serious harm to another must be held accountable. We will work hard to see to it that the driver who hurt you will pay for all the financial damage, physical pain, and emotional misery you have endured.
Some Car Accidents Are Much Worse than Others
Most of us have been in a fender bender or two, but a serious car accident is something else altogether. The number and severity of injuries suffered in a car accident vary due to a number of factors: direction of the vehicles involved, the speed at which they were traveling, weather conditions, road surface, and angle of impact.
While any of the following types of car accidents can cause serious injuries and fatalities, the first is the most dangerous because the force of impact is doubled:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end crashes
- Side-impact collision (T-bones)
Of course, even low-speed collisions can result in fatalities if the victim is seated directly at the point of impact.
Types of Injuries Suffered in Philadelphia Car Accidents
No matter what type of injury you have suffered in a car accident caused by another party, you are entitled to compensation. Our car accident attorneys will fight hard to obtain the damages you need to pay your medical and other accident-related expenses and to finance the long-term consequences of your injury. Injuries our car accident clients have endured include:
Bone Fractures that require immobilization, typically through casting, and may, if they involve extreme dislocation or compound fracture, also require surgery. Bones take a long time to heal, longer as you age, and may leave you with a permanent limp or other dysfunction.
Cuts, Lacerations, and Deep Bruising, like fractures, may occur due to being hit by a flying object, being thrown out of the vehicle, or banging into another occupant or a sharp or hard part of the car itself (e.g. window shards, steering wheel, dashboard). These injuries may cause excessive external or internal bleeding which can result in death.
Burns typically occur in car accidents when hot water or steam escapes from a ruptured radiator or when a fire or explosion results from spilled gasoline. If you have experienced burns that are third-degree or higher, you know that they are among the most painful injuries one can suffer. Moreover, they often result in permanent scarring or other disfigurements.
Soft Tissue Damage may include internal bleeding and damage to organs, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and can be deadly.
Crush Injuries, in which the victim is pressed between two hard surfaces, depending on the strength and duration of the compression, may cause bones to be crushed beyond repair, hemorrhage, and/or severe damage to muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.
Amputations of a limb or appendage may occur during the crash or may be medically necessary as a result of a severe infection and gangrene that develop afterward.
Whiplash, a common result of an accident in which the car is rear-ended, occurs when the victim’s head and neck snap backward and then forward, straining or spraining head and neck muscles and sometimes fracturing cervical vertebrae. Severe whiplash may be the cause of long-term chronic pain and greatly restricted range of motion.
Spinal Cord Injuries, even with rapid intervention, can result in paralysis. Much depends on the location of the nerve damage, which may cause the patient to lose all feeling and mobility below the waist or from the neck down. Even partial paralysis is incapacitating and may require lifetime nursing care.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can affect any individual who has gone through the trauma of a serious car collision. The symptoms of PTSD can, unfortunately, interfere with the patient’s quality of life in a variety of areas. The following mental disturbances are commonly associated with PTSD: anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, exaggerated startle response, sensitivity to light and loud noises, and even suicidal thoughts.
PTSD can be an ongoing condition, frequently helped, though not entirely cured, by medications and psychotherapy.
Wrongful Death as a Result of a Car Accident
Tragically, the car accident lawyers at Cooper Schall & Levy also regularly deal with car accident fatalities. Though we are well aware that we can’t remove or even lessen the pain of losing a loved one, we will fight aggressively to work towards a verdict or settlement that will give you and your family a reassuring, comfortable future.
Car Accidents Laws in Philadelphia
One of the things that make car accident laws complicated is that they differ from state to state. We believe it is important for you to understand the particulars of Pennsylvania laws relating to traffic collisions. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, in which each driver’s insurance pays for that driver’s own medical bills after an accident, regardless of which driver was at fault. To pay for these expenses, drivers in Pennsylvania are typically required to carry $5,000 in medical benefits coverage.
- However, Pennsylvania is one of only three no-fault states that allows drivers to opt-out of the no-fault system (choice no-fault) which basically means that there are no limitations to filing a lawsuit against the other driver after a collision. Drivers here can choose between a full tort or limited tort policy. Though full tort policies are more expensive, they permit you to file a lawsuit claiming pain and suffering against an at-fault driver, whereas, drivers who opted for a limited tort policy are only permitted to pursue claims for pain and suffering if they have suffered long-term impairment of body function, permanent disfigurement, or death.
- States that work under the principle of comparative negligence fall under one of two categories: modified or pure comparative negligence. In pure comparative negligence states, a plaintiff can sue for damages even if he bears most of the fault for the accident — even 99 percent.
- In modified comparative negligence states like Pennsylvania, however, a limit is imposed on how much plaintiffs can recover. Those who bear partial responsibility for the collision can still collect damages for injury, but only if they bear 50 percent or less of the fault.
The plaintiff’s awarded damages in modified comparative negligence will be decreased by his or her percentage of blame as determined by the court. More simply put, if the plaintiff is deemed to be 30 percent at fault for an accident in which she has been awarded $100,000 by the court, she will actually receive $70,000.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists (UM or UIM)
Having a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist can make recovering damages for your injury more difficult. This is why it is always best to invest in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage even though Pennsylvania does not require taking this action.
- When Third Parties Are Responsible for Car Accidents
Although the majority of car accidents are the result of negligent or reckless driving, some Philadelphia car accidents are caused by third parties, such as car manufacturers who let defective automotive parts slip through to injure consumers or state or county agencies who do properly instruct road crews about when and how to clear the roads and perform necessary repairs to pavement. In such situations, our legal team will file a lawsuit targeting the appropriate third party.
How Our Attorneys Will Help
As anyone who has been seriously injured in a car accident will tell you, the trauma of the event is life-altering. It affects not only the victim but the whole family. In addition to the physical pain of the victim, and the emotional turmoil of everyone concerned, there is an overwhelming number of details that require attention:
- Insurance questions and forms
- Negotiations with opposing attorneys and insurance companies
- Medical, surgical, rehabilitation, and nursing arrangements
- Incoming bills to be paid while income is diminished
- Necessary repairs of an old vehicle or the purchase of a new one
- Innovations to make the home more accessible
- Replacement services to cover all the tasks the injured party can no longer do
(e.g. childcare, house cleaning, dog walking, lawn mowing)
We will be at your side to support you every step of the way, making sure you are receiving the best possible medical care and the most pertinent legal advice. We know that your car accident has upended your life and will be there to help you restabilize. While you concentrate on healing, we will be working tirelessly to strategize and prepare winning arguments.
We will shield you from disturbing or confusing phone calls and undecipherable documents, standing firmly between you and those who would interfere with your peace of mind and endanger your calm recovery.
Damages We Will Fight to Win for You and Your Loved Ones
Cooper Schall & Levy knows that in the midst of physical pain and emotional trauma, financial woes are a continuing stressor, especially as you contemplate the future. This is why having our car accident attorneys to protect your rights is invaluable.
If you have suffered the anguish of losing a family member to wrongful death, we will do everything we can to obtain damages to provide you with money for final medical costs, funeral costs, loss of financial and emotional support. If the party who caused the accident was engaging in egregious misconduct (e.g.driving while impaired or distracted) whether or not it resulted in a fatality, we may be able to persuade the court to award you punitive damages as well.
Contact Our Experienced Philadelphia Car Accidents Attorneys Today
Put yourself in our capable hands and let us handle all legal and logistical parts of your case. We have a proven history of success and want nothing more than to help you and your family obtain the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys to help.