Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers
Fighting for Your Right to a Fair Recovery
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 a car accident injury can take a lot of time—and a lot of money. When the insurance company rejects your claim or offers you a settlement far below what your claim is worth, the already stressful process of recovering from the accident can easily become a nightmare.
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC, our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers are ready to fight for your rights. We understand the stress and frustration you are going through, and 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 in our efforts to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. With years of experience in car accident litigation, our dedicated attorneys can determine who is liable for the accident, negotiate with the insurance company, and, if necessary, take the responsible parties to court.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics
According to the National Safety Council, approximately 38,800 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2019 and another 4.4 million suffered car accident-related injuries. Although these estimated numbers represent a decline in car accident deaths and injuries from the previous two years, the sheer number of people who are injured or lose their lives due to motor vehicle collisions in the U.S. every year is staggering.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2018, the state saw the third-lowest number of traffic fatalities on record—1,190. That number dropped again in 2019 to 1,059, according to PennDOT’s latest statistics. Additionally, in 2019, there were 125,267 total reported crashes, leading to 76,243 total injuries. In line with national trends, both these statistics represent a decline in the overall number of accidents, deaths, and injuries in the state from previous years. But, again, these numbers are much too high. The total economic loss caused by motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania in 2019 amounted to nearly $2,000 per person, including every adult and child.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Pennsylvania
What causes these accidents to occur? In most cases, 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 and/or negligence.
- 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.
Generally speaking, the common factor in the vast majority of car accidents in Pennsylvania is negligence, whether it’s the negligence of another motorist, an auto manufacturer, or some other person or party. When this is the case, injured victims and the surviving family members of those wrongfully killed are entitled to take legal action against the at-fault party.
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 after any motor vehicle accident in order to make sure you not only follow state law but also so that you don’t risk your right to file a possible future lawsuit.
After an accident, to the best of your ability, be sure to do the following:
- 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 or if anyone appears to be hurt. If someone is or seems injured, do not move them but instead wait for paramedics/EMTs arrive.
- Exchange information with the drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in the accident. Also, try to get the information of any witnesses to the accident (if possible).
- Document the scene as best as you can. If you have a smartphone, take photos of the scene and the damage to your vehicle, as well as any injuries you have sustained.
- 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 in the days and weeks following the accident.
- Contact your insurance company to submit a claim. Make sure you get the police report and any medical records needed for the claim.
Last but not least, reach out to an experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorney. It is not uncommon to experience difficulties in filing your claim, but an attorney can help you navigate the process and protect your rights. If you are contacted the at-fault person’s insurance company, refrain from speaking to the adjuster and instead get in touch with a lawyer who can help ensure that you do not accidentally say anything that compromises your claim.
The Complexity of Full & Limited Tort
Pennsylvania is what is known as 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 selecting full tort or limited tort insurance.
Not many people 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 apply 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? Simply put, yes, you do have options. If your injuries are serious enough, as determined 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 the situation, and present legal options that will work best for your situation. We encourage you to reach out to our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers as soon as possible for a free consultation.
Why Choose Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC?
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, our attorneys 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 often requires an extensive amount of paperwork. From our investigators to our expert witnesses, we have access to leading experts and specialists who can help compile invaluable information to support your claim. Not only do we have the experience you need, but we also have a proven track record of success in personal injury matters, having secured more than $110 million for our clients in our 20+ years of practice.
It’s important that you act quickly, as you only have two years from the date of the accident (in most cases) to file your claim. If you do not file a claim within Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations on car accident claims, you will be unable to recover compensation for your damages.
If you or someone you loved has been involved in a car accident in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, or anywhere in the Keystone State, don’t delay. Reach out to Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC right away to learn how we can help you get back on your feet.