- Why Should I Hire A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer?
- How Do You Prove Fault In A Car Accident Case?
- Proving Negligence In A Car Accident Lawsuit
- Common Examples of Negligence In A Car Accident
- Understanding the Pennsylvania Rules of Contributory Negligence
- Insurance Companies Play A Large Role In Philadelphia Car Accidents
- Social Media And Your Car Accident Case
- Types Of Incidents Our Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Manage
- What Should I Do After A Car Accident In Philadelphia?
- What Kinds Of Compensation Am I Entitled To?
- Speak With A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer About Your Rights – FOR FREE
You did everything right. You left the house early, so you could avoid the traffic. You put your seatbelt on before you even started the car. You obeyed traffic laws, and you were following the speed limit.
Yet in just a split second, your entire life was changed by the actions of another driver.
The car accident took just seconds, but the aftermath is long lasting.
You’ve been injured, you cannot work, bills are gathering, and now your life is in chaos. The car accident injuries have interrupted every area of your life.
To make matters worse, the insurance company began harassing you about your injuries while you were still in the emergency room. It’s been non-stop frustration from the minute that the car accident happened, and it seems as if you will never get any relief.
There is hope.
When you’ve been involved in a car accident, you can find some relief by hiring a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to manage your case. Your attorney will handle all of the legal aspects of your car accident claim and work as your personal representative with the insurance company.
Call now for a FREE CASE EVALUATION. Rosengard Law Group can give you much-needed relief from some of the chaos that this car accident has caused. Call 833-323-4448
Why Should I Hire A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer?
There are several benefits that come with hiring an attorney to manage your car accident claim.
In addition to Peace of Mind, you will also gain:
Access to Car Accident Experts To Build Your Case
It is not unusual for insurance companies to dispute everything about your case from how the accident happened, to the severity of your injuries, or the final prognosis.
The insurers dispute these facts, because it can help them deny the claim or greatly reduce the benefits and compensation package offered.
Rosengard Law Group has access to experts in the industry that can help support the claims in your car accident case. Access to accident reconstruction services and medical experts will help show that your claims are valid and that you are entitled to receive compensation for your losses.
During your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION, we’ll discuss the possibility of bringing in expert witnesses and testimony to help build your car accident case.
Working Knowledge of PA Car Accident Insurance Laws and Policies
Insurance companies push hard for victims to give a quick statement and accept a low settlement, because they know the average person is not well-versed in insurance laws.
They take advantage of the fact that most people have not even read their own insurance policy prior to the accident, and they do not know what they’re entitled to for compensation under Pennsylvania state laws.
When you have a Philadelphia car accident lawyer managing your case, you will gain the benefits of their expansive knowledge of insurance laws and policy terms. This knowledge will ensure that you receive all of the benefits for which you are entitled.
We Are Experienced Negotiators
It is not a secret that the insurance company is going to make you a a low-ball offer to close your case. In most cases, it will not cover the true amount of your losses.
Once we’ve gathered all of the necessary information to show what your actual losses are from this accident, we’ll put together a compensation package that is complete and fair, and we will present it to the insurance company.
Then the negotiations will begin.
The experience that Rosengard Law Group has in negotiating with insurance companies will help secure you the compensation package that is complete.
Ability To Go To Trial
If the insurance company will not agree to a fair settlement, having an attorney represent your case means that it can be taken to trial. In most cases, knowing that your attorney is willing to go to trial will force the insurance company to settle.
How Do You Prove Fault In A Car Accident Case?
When a victim of a car accident files a claim for compensation, the first thing that their attorney must do is establish fault for the accident. Establishing fault determines who is responsible for the accident and how much compensation the injury victim will receive.
Pennsylvania law requires that fault is established before any form of compensation is determined. This is because Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence law state. This means that if the victim is partially responsible for the accident, their compensation must be reduced by the same percentage that they were at fault.
Fault is Usually the Result of Negligence
When a car accident happens, it is generally because of a negligent action. The responsible party acted in some way that was negligent and that action caused the event and the damages.
Your attorney must be able to show that the action(s) taken by the responsible party meet each of the following four requirements:
- The party had a Duty of Care to the injury victim. This means that the responsible party was expected to act in a certain manner when interacting with the injury victim
- The party broke that Duty of Care by not acting in this manner. This is usually called Breach of Duty and it means that the actions taken by the responsible party were not the accepted response to a situation.
- The Breach of Duty caused the accident to happen.
- The victim was injured and suffered losses as a result of that accident. Losses refer to physical, mental and financial injuries caused by the accident.
Duty of Care is very easy to establish. When a person accepts driver’s license, they accept the responsibility (Duty of Care) to all other vehicles and pedestrians on the road to operate their vehicle safely.
Proving Negligence In A Car Accident Lawsuit
Proving negligence in a car accident case requires more than accepting a statement from the injury victim that the other person caused the event. Your attorney must be able to show the insurance company covering the accident, and possibly the court, that there is solid evidence showing that the person is at fault for the event.
For instance, the victim may have seen the driver texting while driving right before the accident occurred. But the insurance company is not going to just accept this statement, they will want proof. Your lawyer can prove this bt gathering evidence such as phone records to show that a text was sent/received at the same time the accident occurred.
Your attorney will gather all the evidence possible to prove your case. This will include:
- Reviewing phots from the scene of the accident, graphs showing skid marks or other road features, and reviewing red light camera footage of the event.
- Speaking with witnesses to the event to gather information about what they saw before and during the accident.
- Review security footage from nearby businesses that have views of the accident area.
- Work with accident reconstruction experts to determine the cause of the accident.
- Review cell phone records
- Review driving records of all parties involved.
Your attorney will also review other potential causes of the accident. For instance, if the road was under construction, the roadway may have been made unsafe by the construction crew. Road conditions can also play a significant role in the cause of the accident.
A thorough investigation may show that there were several responsible parties for the accident. This is beneficial for the injury victim because this provides more sources for compensation.
Common Examples of Negligence In A Car Accident
Pennsylvania law has established “Rules of the Road” that every driver must agree to follow when they accept a driver’s license. Most of these rules are very common knowledge – do not speed, stop at red lights, slow down in construction areas – and breaking these rules is a form of negligence.
The most common forms of negligence while operating a vehicle include:
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving (A form of distracted driving)
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Tailgating or following at an unsafe distance
- Turning from the wrong lane
- Failure to give right-of-way
- Driving without a license
- Driving at excessive speeds
- Driving drowsy
Understanding the Pennsylvania Rules of Contributory Negligence
Under Pennsylvania law, the fault for an accident must be established by percentages. Sometimes this is very easy to do and one party is 100 percent responsible for the accident.
However, there are times when more than one party is responsible for the accident. This also includes actions taken by the injury victim. If the injury victim is also responsible for the accident, a percentage of fault must be attached to the victim to use when compensation is determined.
When more than one party of an accident is responsible for the accident, the court system requires under the Rules of Contributory Negligence that a percentage of fault is assigned to each party. Then, based off of these percentages compensation is determined.
Under this same rule, the injury victim cannot be more responsible than any other party in the lawsuit to claim compensation. So, if it is a two party accident, the injury victim cannot be 51 percent or more responsible for the accident to claim for compensation. If there are three parties involved, the injury victim cannot be more than 34 percent responsible for the accident and so forth.
It is also very important to understand that if the injury victim is found to be responsible for any percentage of the accident, any compensation that they receive will be reduced by this same amount. This means that if a victim is found 10 percent at fault while receiving $100,000 settlement, the compensation would only be $90,000 after their percentage is removed.
Insurance Companies Play A Large Role In Philadelphia Car Accidents
When you operate a vehicle on Pennsylvania roads you are required to carry an insurance policy on your vehicle. When an accident occurs, the insurance companies covering all of the drivers will be who ultimately decides what type of compensation is given to the injured party.
Because insurance companies can be difficult to work with, especially when you are trying to manage an injury, it will be beneficial to have a Pennsylvania car accident lawyer manage your case. Your attorney will make sure that the insurance company honors all the terms of their policy and that a fair settlement is negotiated on your behalf.
Insurance Company Basics
Insurance companies are in business to do one thing- make money. They are in the business of selling policies and making sure that those policies are renewed as often as possible. Insurance is available for many different things including car, home, medical, and life policies.
Insurance companies sell these policies as a way of offering protections for their clients in the event of a problem. For car policy holders, the policies protect the holder in the event of an accident.
Insurance companies, however, hate paying out on claims. They will do whatever possible to reduce the amount that they have to pay out for any claim, especially if it is a claim from a party that they do not directly cover.
In fact, insurance companies put their adjustors through special training to know how to significantly reduce the value of claims or deny claims altogether. Adjustors are praised for their abilities to reduce claims and save the insurance company money.
Common Tactics By Insurance Adjusters
There are some very common tactics that insurance adjusters will use to try to reduce or deny a claim for compensation. This includes:
– Offering a Lowball Settlement. It is not uncommon for an insurance adjustor to start making settlement offers directly to the injury victim as soon as the next day after a car accident happens. They hope that by making an offer quickly that the injury victim will accept and absolve the insurance company of responsibility. This is the worst thing that you can do in a compensation claim. It is impossible to know the extent of your injuries or losses so soon after the accident has occurred.
– Discredit your injuries. It is not uncommon for the adjustor to start questioning the validity of your injuries, the extent of the pain or the types of medical care necessary to make a recovery. It is very important for injury victims to have legal representation during this period because you are entitled to receive all of the care you need to make a recovery. You must remember these adjusters are just that – adjusters. They are not medical professionals and cannot make these judgements about your injuries, treatments or recovery.
– Blame the injury victim for 100 percent of the fault of the accident. The adjuster will try many different ways to get the injury victim to admit responsibility for the accident because as soon as they do, the percentage of fault declines against their client. You should never admit any type of fault in an accident. Allow the lawyers to use reconstruction specialists to determine the fault of the accident.
Never Give A Recorded Statement
The insurance company is going to push for you to give a statement as soon as possible after the accident. They will also quickly tell you that the statement is being recorded. It is your right to decline this statement until you have spoken with an attorney.
All you are required to tell the insurance company at first is that an accident occurred and the place and time of the accident. You must provide your personal information, contact information, and name of your insurance carrier. You do not have to provide anything else in this initial statement. The adjuster will push for more. Politely decline.
You have the right to seek legal counsel before giving any statement. This is something that you should take very seriously because they will use this statement against you when you make a claim for compensation.
Insurance Companies Acting In Bad Faith
When insurance companies do not honor the terms of their policies, do not follow state laws concerning coverage, or try to low-ball offers it is considered acting in bad faith. When an insurance company acts in bad faith, your attorney can take actions against the insurer to make them act according to the law.
Other acts of bad faith include denying coverage, delaying coverage, or harassing the injury victim or their relatives about the accident or injuries.
Social Media And Your Car Accident Case
Social media has become one of the most common ways for people to stay connected. People turn to social media to update their friends and family about everything, including accidents and injuries. You must limit the amount of accident/injury information that you post on social media.
Do not admit to any fault for the accident or say anything about how you were driving. Do not share details about your injury, your treatment plan, or prognosis.
Why? Because the insurance company is going to monitor your social media site, and they will look for anything that they can use to dismiss your case.
Even saying something positive like “I’m having a good day today”, or posting pictures of you laughing or doing activities, can be used against you. They’ll say there are no lasting effects of your injury.
Do not accept friend requests while you have an active case unless you know the person. You should also your friends to refrain from discussing your accident or injuries online. It is not unheard of for the insurance companies to seek “friend requests” from your friends, so they can to dig up information to be used to limit your settlement.
Also, do not vent on social media about the car accident, the other driver, the insurance company, your medical care, or any other aspect of your case. Yes, all of these things can be frustrating, but venting your frustrations can make you look like a “hostile” claimant, and that is bad for your case.
Types Of Incidents Our Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Manage
Rosengard Law Group manages all types of car accidents. We classify car accidents into different groups, so we can assign attorneys who are focused on those specific types. This gives our clients the benefit of having a car accident attorney who has extensive knowledge of their specific accident and the laws associated with it.
Our classifications are as follows:
Multiple Car Accidents
Car accidents involving two or more vehicles are the most common type. In Pennsylvania, about 300 car accidents occur each day involving two or more vehicles.
Single Car Accidents
Single car accidents can occur for three reasons:
- Hit and Run
- Swerving by another driver forces you off the road
- Vehicle Failure
We can represent your case to the insurance company for all three types. If the car accident was caused by mechanical failure, we might also consider a defective product lawsuit.
Truck accidents can be very complicated and require the assistance of an attorney that has a special skill set, because the trucking industry is regulated both at the federal and state levels, meaning that your attorney must be well versed in all the laws that regulate this type of business.
Truck accidents can also be complicated to handle from a legal perspective, because there can be several parties that are responsible for the accident: the driver, the company that owns the truck, the company that maintained the truck, the loading company, the company receiving the goods, and the manufacturer can all be held responsible for the accident based on the facts.
Because of this, many insurance companies will be involved in the compensation process.
Trucking accidents often cause catastrophic injuries to the passengers in the car or truck that was hit. This also means that there will be extensive bills for their medical coverage as well as a potential for a large settlement because of the need for future medical care.
All of these situations must be addressed by your Philadelphia truck accident lawyer. It is very important that when you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck that you get immediate legal representation from an attorney knowledgeable about these types of accidents.
Motorcycle accidents often lead to life-changing injuries for the motorcycle driver, because they don’t have the same physical protections as passenger vehicles, and motorcyclists are often thrown from their bike on impact. Motorcycle accident injuries often require extensive medical care and long-term treatment.
Pedestrian accidents include anyone not in a vehicle. These accidents are often very serious, because the pedestrian has no real physical protection when they are struck by the vehicle. Many of these injuries will require long-term care.
Any pedestrian that has been injured in an accident is encouraged to speak with a Philadelphia car accident attorney about their rights to claim compensation.
What Should I Do After A Car Accident In Philadelphia?
The steps you take after a car accident can have a significant impact on your claim for compensation.
Knowing what to do and what not to do will make a difference.
Thankfully, even if you are unaware of some of these facts at the time your accident occurred, having legal representation for your case can solve some issues that may arise.
Contact Emergency Services And File A Report
It’s important to notify the authorities. Having a police report is essential in making a claim against the insurance company.
These reports will include very important information, including any potential witnesses that your attorney may interview. Most insurance companies will not examine a claim without a police report.
Get Medical Attention
Get a medical exam on the day of the accident.
Even if you believe that you are okay, you should be evaluated for the potential of a concussion, internal injuries, or whiplash.
These injuries may just feel like a headache, stomachache, or stress, however, leaving these injuries untreated, even for a short period of time, can be dangerous to your health.
Insurance companies are required to give you up to seven days to seek medical treatment for your car accident injuries, however, they may begin to deny claims after 24 hours by claiming the injury was from something other than the car accident, so get to the hospital asap.
Write Down What You Remember About The Car Accident
When your injuries have been stabilized, try to write down everything you can remember about the car accident.
All the little details do matter, including the driving conditions, weather, and even the position of the sun. Writing these things down will give you something you can reference at a later time when questioned about the car accident.
Contact A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer. Call Us Today 833-323-4448
Before giving any type of formal statement to the insurance company, you are encouraged to speak with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer about your case. Call us! 833-32FIGHT (833-323-4448)
Rosengard Law Group will be your representative to the insurance company. Of course, the insurance company will discourage this when you first report the car accident, but remember, the insurer is looking out for their best interest and not yours.
Follow Through With Medical Treatments
Follow through with all of your medical care and therapies. Missing any appointments, even if you reschedule, can signal the insurance company that you are no longer in need of medical care.
The insurance company will continue to search for ways to discredit your claim, and not following through with medical care is something they will use against you.
What Kinds Of Compensation Am I Entitled To?
When you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you have the right to be compensated for your losses. There are several types of compensation that are available to injury victims. Not every type of compensation is available for every car accident.
Medical Costs Related To The Car Accident
All claims for compensation will cover the costs of the medical care that you needed for your injuries. This part of your compensation package will also cover any future medical expenses that you may have relating to your injuries.
Lost Wages and Benefits
If you have been forced to miss work because of your injuries, or due to medical appointments from your injuries, you are entitled to make a claim for your lost wages. Your attorney may also seek lost benefits. If you normally receive benefits from your employer, but they were cut short because you were out of work from your injuries, you can seek compensation.
Future Earning Capacity
We will seek lost future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to work at full capacity.
Any car accident injury that prevents you from returning to your position, such as only being able to return part-time, or returning at a lower-paying position (because it offers fewer physical demands), will qualify for future earning capacity compensation.
Cost of Services
Some injuries may prevent you from completing tasks that you normally perform around your home, and you may have to pay to have these services done. In some cases, we can seek compensation for these services that you’ve had to pay for as a result of your car accident injuries.
Additional Expenses Related To Injury
Expenses directly related to your car accident injury may be eligible for compensation. Some of these expenses may include alterations to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injury, costs of over the counter medicines or supplies recommended by your care provider, cost of transportation to and from medical appointments if you are unable to drive, and if you do drive, cost of mileage and any tolls you may have to pay to visit your care providers.
Pain And Suffering
Pain and suffering compensation is applicable in some cases. This type of compensation is unique to the injury victim and will differ with each case. Everyone suffers a car accident differently, and everyone receives a different prognosis for their injuries.
Because there are so many variables that must be considered when seeking pain and suffering compensation, your attorney will work very closely with you and your doctor to determine a fair amount to seek as part of your compensation package.
Loss Of Consortium
Some injuries can cause the way you physically interact with your spouse to change. If this applies to your case, your attorney will seek damages for loss of consortium. Additionally, if it applies to your case, your lawyer may also open a secondary case for your spouse and seek damages for loss of consortium as well.
You may be entitled to additional forms of compensation based on the facts of your case, new laws, or the terms of the insurance policy. Since compensation is specific to each case, we’ll dig in to make sure we have all of the bases covered!
Speak With A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer About Your Rights – FOR FREE
NO OUT OF POCKET FEES. Starting from our FREE CASE EVALUATION, we will not charge you any upfront legal fees. We do not get paid until you do, and even then we only get paid a percentage of your settlement.
Working on a contingency basis helps those who are in need. A car accident injury already places a significant amount of financial stress on our clients and their families; we do not wish to add to that grief.
By working on a contingency basis, everyone has access to quality representation, regardless of their financial situation.
As a law firm, we also find that working on a contingency basis also keeps our attorneys sharp and on their game. They have to stay aggressive and concentrate on winning for their clients, or they do not get paid.
When you come for the initial consultation, you are encouraged to bring with you the following items: Police report, medical reports, and any other relevant information that you may have regarding your case. If you do not have this information, don’t worry, we can obtain these records for you.
Your life has been changed by the actions of a careless individual. Now your life has changed because of the events of that day, and it is only right for the responsible party to pay for your losses.
There is no reason to put off speaking with an attorney. Call now to speak with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer immediately. Call: 833-323-4448