Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a car accident, you may be dealing with aggressive insurance companies, growing medical bills, and a complicated legal system.
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law office of Meirowitz & Wasserberg can help. Our skilled legal team can work with you to ensure you get the compensation you need for recovery.
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How is fault determined in Pennsylvania auto collisions?
Determination of fault is tricky in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania law uses a modified comparative fault standard. This means that you can only claim damages if you are no more than 50% responsible for the accident. And any damages you receive will be adjusted based on how much responsibility you have for the accident.
Furthermore, your potential compensation is limited by the type of insurance. You can receive full compensation for all expenses, non-economic damages, and pain and suffering if you have full tort insurance.
If you have limited tort insurance, you will be more limited in what compensation you can receive unless you suffered a serious injury in the collision.
If a car accident case goes to court, fault determinations made by the jury are limited by these laws. Similarly, insurance adjusters use these standards when making their determinations and offering compensation.
What is considered a serious injury in Philadelphia?
Pennsylvania law defines a “serious injury” as one that results in a fatality, permanent serious disfigurement, or impairment of bodily function. The latter definition is pretty vague, but it has been clarified by legislation and court decisions. The most common examples of impairment of bodily function are:
- Second- or third-degree burns that cover significant portions of the body
- Broken bones
- Severe wounds with exposed tissue or bones
- Excessive blood loss
- Crush damage
Even if you have a limited tort insurance policy, your personal injury lawyer can petition on your behalf for additional compensation if you have suffered any of these injuries.
How long after an accident can you sue in Pennsylvania?
The statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Pennsylvania is two years. This is why it is so important that you receive a medical evaluation as soon as possible after an accident. The clock starts ticking the second the accident happens, and some tests can take weeks or even months to schedule.
Even if you don’t show any initial signs of a major injury, those signs could materialize over the next two years. Spinal cord injuries from whiplash and traumatic brain injuries, in particular, often don’t fully reveal themselves immediately after a car crash.
Your personal injury attorney at Meirowitz & Wasserberg will connect you with medical professionals who specialize in car accident injuries and can find any “invisible” injuries. We will also keep track of the statute of limitations and ensure you get additional checkups as the deadline gets close.
Types of Compensation
After an automobile accident injury, you are eligible for compensation from the insurance companies of all responsible parties. You are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, regardless of your type of insurance.
If the other driver is mostly or completely at fault, you may also be eligible to sue for punitive damages. Punitive damages award you compensation for reckless, negligent, or malicious behavior that resulted in an injury or wrongful death.
Furthermore, if the accident resulted in permanent disability, you may be able to sue for long-term relief. Your Meirowitz & Wasserberg attorney will guide you through the process of receiving disability compensation if you have suffered a permanent disability.
Finally, if the responsible party is uninsured, you will probably have to get recovery from your insurance company through your uninsured driver policy. You often still need to go to court and get a judgment in your favor, but your insurance company will cover the difference if the driver can’t afford to pay.
Do’s and Don’ts After an Auto Accident
The moments after an accident are hectic and confusing. You are confused and probably in pain. It is easy to make mistakes, both through action and inaction. The following tips will ensure you don’t make a mistake you can’t recover from.
Don’t Leave the Scene of the Auto Accident
Pennsylvania law makes it illegal to leave the scene of a car crash in almost all circumstances. You can move your vehicle (if operable) and yourself to a nearby safe location, especially if remaining would put you at risk for additional injuries. But leaving the scene can result in having your license revoked for hit and run charges.
The only justifiable reason to leave the scene of an accident is if a person is so badly injured that they can’t wait for an ambulance. In this case, you should quickly tell the other party what hospital you are traveling to and contact the police as soon as you get there.
Do Trade Personal Information with Other Drivers in the Accident
Once you and all other car accident victims are safely out of danger, you must trade personal information with other drivers. You should trade:
- Phone numbers
- Driver license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance policy numbers
The best way to get this information is to take photos of the driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and license plates of the other motorists involved in the accident. This ensures that you don’t accidentally record the wrong information.
Don’t Discuss the Accident with Other Motorists
You will probably be tempted to discuss the accident with other drivers involved or with witnesses. Don’t do this before speaking with a personal injury lawyer.
Anything you say can potentially be used to assign fault to you. If a witness offers to provide evidence that the other party is at fault, take their contact information and let your lawyer speak with them in the future.
Additionally, if the police arrive, they will need to create a police report. You should answer all of their questions honestly. However, you have the right to refuse to answer questions until you have spoken with your attorney, if you are worried that your answers might incriminate you.
Do Get Medical Treatment
Once it is safe to do so, call 911 and report the accident. If you have any injuries, let an EMT examine you and follow their advice. Even if you think you are uninjured, you may have injuries you don’t realize.
Declining medical treatment or assessment at the accident scene can make it more difficult to receive maximum compensation if unknown injuries show up later.
Do Contact a Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
The best way to avoid making mistakes is to speak with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced Philadelphia attorney will ensure that you are treated fairly by the insurance companies during your car accident claim.
At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, we provide free consultations and fast case evaluations for all car accident injury cases. We will determine the responsible parties and communicate with the insurance companies in a way that won’t harm your personal injury claim.
The longer you wait to contact our law firm, the greater your risk of not receiving fair and proper compensation.
Why choose Meirowitz & Wasserberg?
Insurance companies make money by paying out as little money as possible. When you make an insurance claim, the insurance company will try to deny you money or make a lowball offer. To ensure you get paid what you deserve, you need a reputable personal injury law firm.
At the law firm of Meirowitz & Wasserberg, we are Philadelphia auto accident lawyers with an excellent record of successfully recovering money for our clients. We have recovered millions on their behalf and will always pursue all legal options when we take a case.
Due to our years of experience dealing with insurance companies in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, we can negotiate for the maximum compensation in traffic accident claims. When insurance companies refuse to provide fair compensation, we are ready to go to court.
But we also know that legal qualifications aren’t the only important thing. Our lawyers are friendly and compassionate. We ensure that our clients understand every step of the legal process while we do everything possible to reduce their stress.
But don’t take our word for it. Just read the testimonials of our past clients.
Fight Back Against the Insurance Companies with an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
Driving in a big city like Philadelphia can be scary. The road is filled with distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and negligent drivers every day. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident, you need legal advice from a personal injury law firm that you can trust.
The attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg are ready to fight the insurance companies to get you every dollar you are owed. Call us today or contact us online for your free consultation and case evaluation.
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