Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
Philadelphia car accident lawyer Leonard Hill and his legal team at Hill & Associates, P.C. represent all auto accident victims injured in preventable collisions.
Most collisions are not true accidents—instead, they are preventable crashes that happen when drivers fail to use reasonable caution. An accident can happen at any time of day and anywhere. In the aftermath of a serious crash, victims often wonder how they will pay for medical treatment and begin the long road to recovery.
We can help you find sound medical treatment, negotiate with insurance representatives, and hold the responsible parties liable for their actions. Whether an auto defect caused a single-car crash or a distracted driver caused a head-on collision, we will thoroughly investigate all possible avenues for legal recourse to protect your rights.
Common Causes of Car Crashes
Car crashes often involve multiple contributing factors. A driver may engage in several reckless driving activities leading up to an accident. Some of the most common contributing factors we see in these claims include:
- Speed. Speed makes any other negligent driving behavior more dangerous.
- Distracted driving. Distractions include any activity that takes away attention from the roadways including using a mobile device, eating, digging around in a purse, applying makeup, and other non-driving activities.
- Intoxication. Alcohol and drugs impair reaction times, judgment, and perception. Drunk drivers often fail to follow the rules of the road and cause serious and deadly accidents.
- Carelessness. Some drivers simply do not obey the rules of the road. They fail to follow traffic signals, to maintain lanes, and to follow other marked rules.
When careless drivers contribute to accidents, they must face accountability for their actions. Often, a legal claim provides the only sense of justice and closure an accident victim will receive. Allow a Philadelphia car accident attorney at Hill & Associates, P.C. to make this difficult time more bearable.
What to Do After a Wreck
After a wreck, gather as much information as possible. Take pictures of everything, record contact information for everyone on the scene (other drivers, officers, EMTs, and witnesses), gather your personal belongings, and always seek medical attention. Write down a detailed version of events as soon as you find time. If you suffer a serious injury at the hands of another, consider discussing your legal options with a personal injury lawyer well-versed in car accident claims.
At Hill & Associates, P.C., we provide complete accident support and are here to protect your rights, your future, and your recovery following a Pennsylvania or New Jersey accident. You can trust us to provide straightforward and actionable legal information that you can use to begin the recovery process.
Types of Motor Vehicle Injuries
Common injuries involve broken bones, life-changing pain, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, neck problems, severe burns, disfigurement, brain injuries, amputations, and in severe accidents, even paralysis or death. As a result of becoming a victim of an auto accident, you may suffer for the rest of your life, incurring enormous bills for medical treatment and physical therapy, as well as treatment for depression and anxiety due to the intense psychological impact of an accident. If you have been injured in an accident, you probably feel overwhelmed. You may be confronted with major financial difficulties, disability, and unethical insurance companies, all while trying to recover from your injuries, causing you to lose out both financially and psychologically. Many victims take years to recover from an automobile accident. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers are here to make that recovery as easy on you as possible.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident
There are four main elements a plaintiff (injured party) must have to prove someone else’s fault for a car collision. First, that the defendant (responsible party) owed the plaintiff a duty of care. All drivers owe others around them a duty of care to reasonably prevent harm. They must follow roadway rules, drive prudently, and obey state and local laws. Other parties, such as vehicle part manufacturers, owe duties to produce safe goods for consumers. Duties of care will vary depending on the defendant’s relationship to the plaintiff.
The second element is a breach of duty of care. The plaintiff needs evidence the driver or other party breached his/her/its duties in some manner. A breach is any action or behavior that falls short of accepted standards of care for the situation. A breach could take the form of distracted driving or Philadelphia’s failure to maintain a roadway. It is some form of negligence, recklessness, or unlawful act that contributes to the accident.
The third and fourth elements are causation and damages. The defendant’s breach of duty must be the proximate cause of the crash. The plaintiff must have sustained real, compensable damages in the accident. These include personal injuries, medical bills, lost wages from missed time at work, emotional distress, and property damage. There may be additional or different elements the law requires to prove fault in a car accident depending on the circumstances. Talk to an attorney.
Holding Dangerous Philadelphia Drivers Accountable for Their Actions
Because it can be devastating to suffer injuries at the hands of a negligent driver, the law provides you the right make a claim for damages. Damages may be awarded to help cover medical bills, physical rehabilitation services, pain and suffering, and lost wages due to the accident. Insurance companies are quick to work hard to convince victims of motor vehicle accidents to settle for as little as possible, but a qualified Philadelphia personal injury lawyer well-versed in car and truck accidents will protect you from unfair and insufficient compensation. With nearly twenty years of experience representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death as a result of automobile accidents, the legal team at Hill & Associates will fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the award that you need to rebuild your life after a serious injury.
The Statute of Limitations
The “statute of limitations” on crash claims refers to the deadline an injured victim has to file. Each state abides by its own statutes of limitations, and there are different deadlines depending on the type of claim. To file a car accident personal injury claim in Pennsylvania, you must do so within two years of the date of the crash or of the date you discover your injuries. If the crash causes a loved one’s death, you have two years from the date of the death to file a claim. Give yourself plenty of time to file your claim by speaking to a lawyer without delay.
Pennsylvania’s Insurance System
In the state of Pennsylvania, we operate using choice no-fault car insurance options. A driver here can choose to participate in the no-fault system and invest in insurance policies that include personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. No-fault car insurance ensures you can always count on your coverage to pay for personal injury costs. This option does limit drivers from pursuing legal claims against at-fault drivers. The state only permits no-fault system participants to file a lawsuit in accidents involving serious or catastrophic injury.
Alternatively, drivers can opt out of the no-fault system and invest in traditional car insurance. Traditional insurance policies do not include PIP coverage and may only provide coverage for the minimum state liability requirements. In accidents involving traditional insurance, a driver can file a legal claim against an at-fault driver and recover damages.
Insurance coverage often plays a major role in the amount of compensation an injured accident victim receives. At Hill & Associates, P.C., we routinely help our clients navigate the complexities of insurance after a crash. A Philadelphia car accident attorney at our firm can represent you in front of insurance adjustors, hold insurance companies accountable for good faith practices, and ensure you receive the maximum compensation owed according to policy coverage.
How to File an Auto Insurance Claim in Pennsylvania
One of the first things you’ll do after a car crash is file a claim with your vehicle insurer. You will need to contact your insurance provider using the phone number on your card. Have your name and policy number ready. The company will assign your case to a professional who will work on your claim. An insurance claims agent will ask you for details of the crash, including the date and time, location, names of other drivers and passengers, and drivers’ licenses and license plate numbers for all drivers.
The agent may ask you to issue a sworn statement about the accident. The law does not obligate you to do so, and you should not until you speak to a skilled Philadelphia car accident attorney. The claims adjuster could use what you say in this statement against you. After you speak to your company about the crash, you may need to wait for a claims professional to evaluate your case, including checking out property damage and medical records. Then, the company may contact you to try to resolve your claim. Feel free to speak to one of our attorneys at any time before, during, or after filing your auto insurance claim in Pennsylvania
Call a Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney for Help
Auto accidents may be some of the most common grounds for personal injury claims, but that doesn’t make them simple. Each accident is unique and comes with a slew of questions the plaintiff must answer. A legal professional can serve as an invaluable asset throughout the car crash claims process in Philadelphia. Attorneys understand state laws, local laws, procedural rules, and can navigate them on your behalf. With a caring, dedicated attorney representing your best interests, you can relax and begin the fight for compensation with confidence.
Because it can be devastating to suffer injuries at the hands of a negligent driver, the law provides you the right make a claim for damages. Damages may be awarded to help cover medical bills, physical rehabilitation services, pain and suffering, and lost wages due to the accident. Insurance companies are quick to work hard to convince victims of motor a vehicle accidents to settle for as little as possible, but a qualified Philadelphia car accident lawyer will protect you from unfair and insufficient compensation. With nearly 20 of experience representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death as a result of automobile accidents, the legal team at Hill & Associates, P.C. will fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the award that you need to rebuild your life after a serious injury. Call our office at (215) 567-7600 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.
Children of First Responders Scholarship 2019
The Children of First Responders Scholarship will be awarded to one student whose parent’s career as a first responder helped shape their life. To apply, the student must write an essay explaining how their parent’s job has affected their lives. For more information on this award, please visit our scholarship page.