Injured in a Car Accident?
Car and truck accidents are very common in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Every year thousands of people are injured in car accidents. After an accident, you may be saddled with bills, out of work and not know who to turn to or if you can rely on your insurance company. You need an experienced attorney who can go above and beyond to help you get your life back on track.
Auto accident law is surprisingly complex and different states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey have very different laws that can affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. PIP, Limited Tort, Full Tort, Verbal Threshold, UM, UIM, if the car accident wasn't enough, these terms are sure to make your head spin.
Common types of Car Accident Injuries
PennDOT does not release lists of specific injuries, but a 2010 CDC report offers a view of what injuries emergency rooms commonly treat. The report found that 23.6% of all ER visits after a car accident were for sprains or strains of the neck and back, like whiplash. 15% of ER visits were for mild to moderate contusions and bruises. 8% of crash-related ER visits were for spinal problems. Sprains, fractures, and open wounds covered a smaller part of motor-vehicle injuries.
While head injuries are excluded in the CDC’s report, many people experience severe headaches after a crash. Neck injuries can cause headaches, but long-lasting headaches could be a sign of brain injury. Always make sure to have a doctor check for signs of concussions and brain trauma.
Injuries Like Whiplash Can Appear Days Later
A car accident is a high-stress, emergency situation. Your body reacts by releasing adrenaline (epinephrine), which causes the “fight or flight” response. The adrenaline rush speeds up your reaction time, boosts your strength, and masks the feeling of pain. Immediately after an accident, you might not feel hurt and may not notice injuries until later.
Other injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), or “whiplash” injuries might not even be noticeable until days later. These kinds of injuries may take a while to “set-in.” Other times, their symptoms may simply go unnoticed for days after a crash. Therefore, it is vital to seek immediate medical attention after any car accident. Even if you do not feel injured at first, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor.
Many people dismiss their accident as a “minor fender-bender.” Even low-speed crashes or minor accidents can result in injury, especially whiplash. The quick, “whipping,” back and forth motion of your head can cause neck injuries that might lead to discomfort for the rest of your life.
How Much is My Philadelphia Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of a car accident claim depends on many factors. First, what injuries you suffered will significantly affect the value of your case. Your type of insurance, coverage levels, and supplementary coverage options will play a significant role in determining potential settlements. Finally, your negotiation ability is a huge factor.
Hiring an experienced auto accident attorney can not only help you get a better idea of what your case is worth but will put an experienced negotiator in your corner. Trying to settle a lawsuit with insurance or other attorneys on your own, without legal counsel, can be difficult. Our lawyers have the experience necessary to know what your injuries are worth and how high a settlement offer should be. Plus, for most people, an accident is personal; they hurt you, and you want compensation. Hiring an attorney can help put distance between you and the legal dispute, allowing cooler heads to discuss the issue rationally.
On top of that, insurance companies often have highly paid legal teams on their side. These teams fight to reduce your claims of injuries, hire their own experts to show you are at fault, and otherwise drive down the cost of a settlement. To fight this, you need a legal team of your own. Our experience with motor vehicle accident cases puts them at the same level as these legal teams and can help get you the settlement you deserve.
A Philadelphia car accident lawyer understands the problems caused by a serious injury, including unexpected medical expenses and limitations on your work or daily activities. Although these cases are frequently trivialized, we know that the pain and suffering endured by victims is real. When you are represented by our car accident lawyers in Philadelphia, you can rest assured that we will work diligently and strategically to pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.
Car accident settlement amounts vary greatly from case to case. The amount of a car accident settlement will depend on the negligence of the limits of available coverage, whether or not you have UIM coverage, as well as the degree of harms and losses you incurred as a result of the accident.
Injuries incurred in a car accident can simultaneously reduce your quality of life, burden you with heavy medical expenses, and make it difficult or impossible for you to continue earning income at the level you were accustomed to before the incident occurred. However, if your injury occurred because of another party’s negligence, that party may be liable for your damages, including:
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Loss of Earning Capacity
Lost Wages and Income
Pain and Suffering
A Philadelphia car accident lawyer will fight aggressively on your behalf in an effort to see that you are fully and fairly compensated for the harm caused. Our law firm knows what your case is worth and will protect you from unknowingly accepting a low settlement offer that fails to appropriately address your long-term care and expenses. If an acceptable settlement offer is not made, we will not hesitate to try your case in front of a jury.
Who is at Fault in My Car Accident Case?
Pennsylvania is a “no-fault state” for medical bill coverage. “No Fault” means that, regardless of whether you or the other driver caused the crash, insurance can cover you. “Personal Injury Protection” or “PIP” will cover your injuries up to a certain limit. If you need more coverage, your injuries are too severe, or you require compensation for pain and suffering, you can reach beyond PIP and go after the other driver’s insurance.
Only then does it become a question of who is “at fault.” Whichever driver caused the crash will ultimately be the one whose insurance pays for injuries. If the other driver was at fault, you might be able to get all of your injuries covered by their insurance.
However, proving fault is not always easy. You need an experienced legal team to investigate your claim. We look to all factors to help determine the other party was responsible for the crash and work to protect our clients and get their injuries fully compensated.
What is Tort Status? “Full Tort” vs. “Limited Tort” in Pennsylvania
When you sign your insurance policy, one of the things you choose is whether you want “full tort” or “limited tort” coverage. If you select a full tort option, you can go to court over a crash, and any damages would be available to you. Under limited tort, you can only take a case to court over an instance where death, severe impairment of function, or a permanent/severe disfigurement has occurred.
The critical difference between cases that go to court and do not go to court is the availability of damages for “pain and suffering.” A court case under full tort insurance can award you money for physical pain and mental anguish, but limited tort insurance cannot. Regardless, hiring an attorney to fight for you in your case will help ensure you get the maximum compensation available.
How Do I Choose a Car Accident Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer is not a task that should be taken lightly. Car accident lawyers are not all the same. When deciding to hire a car accident attorney meet with the lawyer in person. Ask them questions about the law. Ask them when the last time they tried a jury trial. You may be shocked to hear that some “lawyers” have never even seen the inside of a courtroom. Ask them for referrals, ask to speak to a previous client, check out their online reviews and see what others have said about them. Troy Crichton goes above and beyond to help you after a crash. In addition to making sure you're fully compensated for your injuries, our lawyers will handle the property damage claim, negotiate your medical bills and deal with the insurance company to save you money.
Call for a Free Consultation
If you have already been in an accident, do not rush to accept a car accident settlement from an auto insurance company. A settlement may seem like what you need, but it may not cover everything you are entitled. We understand the costs it can take to rehabilitate from a severe injury, but we also understand what your injuries are worth. Remember, auto insurance adjusters work for the insurance company – not you. Low offers are designed to keep their company profits high. They are not on your side – but we can be. Call (267) 225-3317 to speak to our lawyers today for your free consultation.
Philadelphia Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case
If you believe that you have a personal injury case, Troy R. Crichton can help you. He is an experienced litigator who can help assist you through every part of your legal case. Contact us for your free case evaluation. All of our personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay unless you receive a monetary award for your case. Call 267-225-3317 today for free consultation.