Car accidents are a frightening experience. A sudden automobile collision can leave you emotionally jarred, or worse, seriously injured. If you have been injured in a car accident in Philadelphia, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver, depending on the type of automobile insurance you have. The best decision you can make to protect your rights and your health is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
Cooper Schall and Levy, Philadelphia’s premier personal injury law firm, routinely represents car accident victims throughout the Philadelphia area, including Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties, as well as New Jersey. Well-versed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s complicated automobile insurance laws, we have a proven history of providing car accident victims with powerful representation. Whether you are pursuing a claim against your own insurer or the at-fault party, we have the knowledge and skills to help you obtain meaningful compensation. When you become our client, you can rest assured we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights.
Common Causes of Philadelphia Car Accidents
Car accidents don’t just happen, they are typically the result of driver errors, not the least of which is distracted driving. Whether drivers are distracted by their cell phones, other passengers, eating or drinking, all drivers in Pennsylvania have a duty of care to be aware of their surroundings and avoid causing injuries to others. In a car accident, a distracted driver may be found negligent, and legally responsible for causing injuries to others.
Other common driver errors include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- Driver fatigue
- Failing to obey traffic signals (e.g red lights, stop signs)
- Improper turning
- Unsafe lane changes
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Reckless driving
Additionally, car accidents can be caused by road defects, faulty traffic signals, and inoperable streetlights in which case it may be possible to pursue a personal injury claim against the government agency responsible for road and highway maintenance. Moreover, if the car accident was the result of a mechanical defect, it may be possible to file a product liability lawsuit against the automaker.
Limited Tort vs. Full Tort
In Pennsylvania, a driver has two options when purchasing auto insurance, limited tort, and full tort. If you select full tort insurance, you have the right to make a claim for not only the cost of your medical bills and lost wages but also any pain and suffering associated with your injuries. Alternatively, if you select limited tort insurance, you will be compensated for outstanding medical bills and lost wages but will lose your right to make a claim for your pain and suffering, unless one of several exceptions apply. One of the most common exceptions occurs where a victim sustains a significant injury that creates a serious impairment of bodily function. In limited tort cases with significant injuries, Cooper Schall and Levy has experienced great success in litigation, despite a client’s “limited tort” status.
As you can see, there are strict limitations under the limited tort option, which is why Cooper Schall and Levy always recommends that clients select the full tort option when selecting auto insurance. In either situation, it takes a skilled Philadelphia car accident attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Philadelphia
If you have been involved in a car accident, you should call 911 or the local police. Don’t let the other driver talk you out of doing so. You should also not apologize or say anything to the police that may adversely impact your claim. The police report will be important evidence in your car accident claim. It is also important to seek medical treatment, regardless of whether you feel as if you’ve been injured. In some cases, injury symptoms may not surface until days or even weeks after the accident. At the same time, delaying treatment can cause your injuries to worsen, and may also work against you in your injury claim or lawsuit.
It is also important to collect the name and contact information of the other driver, as well as any witnesses. If possible, it will be helpful to take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries. If you are treated for your injuries, follow your doctor’s orders for any ongoing medical care, prescription medications, and rehabilitative care. The medical records will also play an important role in your claim.
Finally, shortly after the accident, you may be contacted by a claims adjuster from the insurance company. Don’t speak to anyone from the insurer or sign any papers before you call the car accident attorneys at Cooper Schall and Levy. We will take the time to understand the circumstances that led to your accident and work closely with you to make sure you receive just compensation.
Contact Our Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
After a car accident, you will likely have many concerns. How did this happen to me? Will my auto insurance cover my medical bills? Can I file a lawsuit against the other driver? Instead of worrying, call the car accident attorneys at Cooper Schall and Levy. We understand that being injured in a car accident is an overwhelming experience, and we will offer you knowledge, compassion, and superior personal service.
Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, we will either represent you in all dealings with your insurance company or file a lawsuit against the other driver. If your policy falls under Pennsylvania’s no-fault insurance system, we will make sure the insurance company pays the full value of your claim. If you have chosen the full tort insurance option, we will work to show how the other driver was negligent and help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and stand by you every step of the way. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.