Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, let our car accident attorneys help you make sure you are able to receive compensation for what you’ve endured. Call Edelstein Martin & Nelson for a free consultation.
In 2020, there were 35,766 fatal car accidents on United States roadways. Auto accidents can involve cars and other vehicles such as big rigs, motorcycles, other cars, bicycles and pedestrians. Some auto accidents are collisions in which the driver crashes into another vehicle, object, or person. Others are caused when the driver swerves to avoid something in the road, such as an animal, and the vehicle rolls over. Regardless of the cause of your motor vehicle accident, you have protections under the law that may entitle you to file an injury claim.
Pennsylvania car accident attorneys are available as an important resource for injured victims dealing with serious injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages. Pennsylvania has its own statutes regarding car accident liability, as it does with liability for other types of personal injury. When you need an experienced attorney, a Pennsylvania car accident lawyer from Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP is the best choice. We will review your legal options with a free consultation and give you guidance on the best way to move forward.
Serving Pennsylvania Auto Accident Victims
Motor vehicle accidents happen every day and are major causes of traffic jams. People do not generally think about them until one happens to them. Then, it can be life-changing as lost wages and medical bills pile up from car accident injuries. It is unthinkable to expect anyone to handle an injury claim on their own. Also, not just any car accident lawyer will be suitable. You need an experienced car accident attorney with a proven track record, who can successfully negotiate fair compensation for you.
Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP has a team of skilled, experienced car accident attorneys who have handled many different types of car accident claims. We’re trusted by our clients here in Pennsylvania for our commitment to holding responsible parties liable for the damages they cause. If your claim is being denied by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, a free consultation from our law firm can help.
Car Accidents in Pennsylvania
Whenever there is traffic, adverse weather, debris, or anything else in the way of driving safely, slowing down is necessary. The NHTSA states that a top reason for traffic accidents and fatalities is driving too fast for road conditions and driving in excess of posted speed limits. Even experienced drivers have greatly reduced reaction time, greater vehicle stopping distance, and less protection from road safety structures when speeding. Here are some facts about car accidents in Pennsylvania:
- There are 323 car accidents each day in Pennsylvania on average.
- PennDOT reported that in 2020, there were 13 accidents every hour.
- In 2022, there were 1,190 traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania.
- In 2020, there were 123,205 traffic crash reports in Pennsylvania, of which there were 1,129 fatalities and 72,013 injuries.
- 24% of all fatal crashes in 2020 were alcohol-related.
- In 2020, there were 5,145 car wrecks that involved motorcycles, which resulted in 201 fatalities and 4,549 injuries.
- In 2020, there were 5,173 car wrecks that involved large trucks, which resulted in 141 fatalities and 2,696 injuries.
- Young drivers aged 16 to 24 are especially vulnerable to the risk of being involved in a car crash in Pennsylvania.
- In 2020, Philadelphia had 94 deaths from fatal crashes, the highest number in the state.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is known as one of the most dangerous roads in the state, averaging 11 fatalities per year. The most dangerous time to be on the road in Pennsylvania is when rush hour traffic is at its peak, or on weekdays between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents can involve one or more vehicles. They are named depending on the type of collision that was sustained. Here are some common names for different types of car accidents:
- Head-on: The deadliest type, the head-on collision tends to cause serious injuries to the brain if it does not kill immediately upon impact. It often happens in traffic at high speeds or while turning left at intersections.
- Rear-end collision: Often caused by someone following too closely and colliding, it sometimes can just be a fender bender, but rear-end collisions can also be quite destructive depending on the specific circumstances.
- Side-impact: Also known as an angle or t-bone collision, the side impact involves the front of a car colliding with the side of another.
- Sideswipe: A collision involving the point of impact on the side of both vehicles, sideswipe wrecks often happen during a lane change.
- Rollover: A collision that occurs when the vehicle rolls over, usually by swerving or driving too fast on slippery roads.
- Backing up: Also known as backing over, this collision occurs when there is someone in the car’s rear blind spot and the driver is unaware until they hear a “thump” sound. It often happens in parking lots and driveways.
Certain other terms may be used to describe a car accident such as multi-vehicle pile-up, single-vehicle accident, drunk driving accident, or hit-and-run. In 2020, the rear-end collision was the most common type of crash in Pennsylvania, followed by angle and sideswipe collisions. The rear-end collision or fender-bender is also the most common type of car accident in the country.
Injuries from Car Accidents
In 2020, there were thousands of car accidents that caused injuries in the United States. Collisions are sudden and can involve a great deal of force upon impact in a very brief amount of time. Auto accident victims may experience the following injuries depending on the speed at the time of impact, the type of collision, the type of vehicle they were in (if any), and other elements at the time of the car crash. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained during car accidents:
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Lacerations, road rash, and bruises
- Broken bones (hand, wrist, shoulder, knee, foot, ankle)
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Internal bleeding and soft tissue injuries (crush, sprain, strain, bruising)
- Facial injuries and scarring or disfigurement
- Back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
The adrenaline rush of the initial shock can last for a while, which often tricks injury victims into believing their injuries are minor. Back injuries in particular often cause a delayed pain response. If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to get immediate medical treatment. Not only will you hopefully avoid the risk of permanent damage, but your injury claim will be strong and show that the accident is the direct cause of your injuries because medical records were created immediately after the incident.
Causes of Car Accidents in PA
The average fatality rate in the United States is 1.17 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles. 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2020 had speeding as a factor. The top cause of car wrecks in Pennsylvania is distracted driving, followed by speeding and aggressive driving. Below we will go over all of the main causes of car accidents.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of Pennsylvania car accidents. A major example of distracted driving is talking or texting on the phone, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or GPS, and eating or drinking.
Speeding happens whenever a motorist is driving either too fast for road conditions or over the speed limit. When combined with other factors such as impaired driving or distracted driving, speeding can easily lead to accidents.
Impaired driving involves driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This major cause of Pennsylvania car accidents impairs judgment, slows reaction times, and prevents full control of a vehicle.
Reckless driving includes any one of several behaviors such as ignoring traffic signals or signs, weaving in and out of traffic, and tailgating.
Adverse weather conditions such as rain and fog can also cause accidents, because weather often requires drivers to adjust their behavior for the safety of themselves and others on the road. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Pennsylvania is famous for harsh winters and they lead to ice, snow, and other hazardous road conditions, so accidents are bound to happen.
Hazardous road conditions are to blame if there is a lack of maintenance on the road that causes a car accident. A loose guard rail can mean the difference between a minor car accident and a serious or fatal one.
Inexperienced drivers have not yet developed good driving habits. Their limited knowledge of the rules of the road means they may make mistakes that lead to car accidents.
Fatigued driving can happen with any driver who is sleepy or tired. Fatigue can impair a driver as much as drugs or alcohol would. Like driving under the influence, fatigued drivers have impaired judgment and reaction time.
Poor vehicle maintenance can easily lead to a vehicle mechanical issue such as malfunctioning brakes or tire blowouts. Bald tires and worn-out brakes are significant contributors to car accidents, especially when the driver neglects maintenance for too long.
Improper lane usage happens when a driver fails to stay in the correct lane. Driving in the wrong lane or failing to signal while changing lanes are examples that can result in accidents.
Negligence by pedestrians and cyclists involves any behavior in which someone on foot or on a bike fails to yield to oncoming traffic or follow traffic rules.
In Pennsylvania, car accidents are decreasing while fatalities are increasing. Distracted driving is a major factor in car accident fatalities, and Pennsylvania’s population is aging. People aged 65 or older are at greater risk of car accidents. The following is some more information about who may be injured in a car accident.
People Who Get Injured in Car Accidents in Pennsylvania
The most common injured victims of car accidents in Pennsylvania according to PennDOT are as follows:
Drivers: Drivers sustain the majority of injuries in car wrecks and are the most common victims of car accidents in the state.
Passengers: Passengers are often injured in car accidents, especially when they do not wear seat belts.
Pedestrians: People walking on foot are especially at high risk of car accident injuries in urban areas.
Motorcyclists: Motorcyclists don’t have the same protections as drivers of enclosed vehicles, so they are at high risk of accident injuries.
Bicyclists: Like motorcyclists, bicyclists are less protected than car drivers or passengers, and less visible to motorists on the road, especially when near the side or rear of their vehicles.
Children: Due to their small size, larger heads, and developing bodies, children are more susceptible to serious injuries from car accidents.
Elderly people: Elderly passengers have fragile bodies, so they are at higher risk of injuries and more vulnerable to serious injuries from car accidents.
Commercial Vehicle Occupants: Commercial vehicles are larger and heavier than cars and often carry heavy loads of consumer goods, or many passengers. Occupants in buses and delivery trucks have a higher risk of car accident injuries.
The Road to Recovery for Pennsylvania Car Accident Victims
Most car accidents, including serious accidents, are caused by negligent drivers operating in an unsafe manner. Car accident injuries can be costly in medical bills and lost wages, especially if they involve serious injuries or life threatening injuries. Filing an injury claim with the insurance company of the at fault party is the first step in seeking compensation. However, if the insurance company does not seem keen on reimbursing you for all of your costs, you should seek a lawyer as soon as possible, and don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance company for the at-fault driver, nor agree to any settlement they offer.
Here are the two main categories of damages you may claim in a Pennsylvania car accident lawsuit:
- Economic damages including property damage, medical expenses, future medical bills, lost wages, and future lost wages or diminished earning capacity
- Non economic damages (general damages) including pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and decreased quality of life
The most important steps you should immediately take after a motor vehicle accident are as follows:
- Document the scene by using your phone to take pictures of injuries and the accident in general, if you are able to
- File a police report
- Get medical attention
- File an accident claim with the other driver’s insurance company
You should also get copies of your medical records and any related expenses for your injury claim. If you have a serious injury or cannot otherwise get the financial compensation you need, a Pennsylvania car accident attorney from our law firm can fight for you.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers Helping Car Accident Victims Seek Maximum Compensation
The experienced attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP have been handling a variety of motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers for many years. We understand the difficulties car accident victims face during their recovery, especially financially. Our law firm fights for the maximum compensation you can receive under the fullest extent of Pennsylvania law, and not a penny less. With a free consultation, you can have some peace of mind regarding your legal options.
Our Car Accident Settlements and Verdicts
We deal with an array of personal injury cases, including car accident cases. Here are some examples of settlements and verdicts we have won for car accident victims:
- Six-figure settlement for a woman injured by a U.S. mail truck
- Six-figure settlement for bicyclist injuries
- $2.4 million and $1.5 million settlements for two clients in a collision on I-95
- Six-figure settlement for bicyclist injuries due to hitting a pole on a poorly maintained road
Every car accident case is different. While we cannot promise a specific amount, we will do everything we can to calculate all economic and non-economic damages you are owed.
Who Is Responsible for Your Car Accident in PA?
Many causes of motor vehicle accidents are preventable, but it’s not always one driver who is at fault. There may be multiple liable parties.
Another issue is that the insurance company you deal with will likely come up with excuses as to why they will not give you fair compensation. For example, the adjuster may claim the following:
- Your injuries are not very serious
- Your injuries were not caused by the accident (especially if you delayed in getting treatment)
- The other driver was not the at fault party
- You were also at fault
Accident reconstructionists are necessary for when fault is contested or undetermined in an insurance claim. They will analyze the crash scene and help determine liability for your personal injury claim. As a third party, they can serve as crucial witnesses.
Pennsylvania is a “no fault” state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. It means that all parties can collect compensation from their respective insurers. However, it has modified comparative negligence laws, which means that any individual with less than 50% responsibility in an accident can collect compensation. The deciding factor is being able to prove that the other driver is more at fault for causing the accident. Also, drivers can opt out of the no fault requirement of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
A Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer from Our Law Firm Can Find All Responsible Parties
A major problem that makes it difficult to recover maximum compensation is failing to acknowledge all parties who were at fault for the motor vehicle accident. With each unique percentage of fault comes a unique liability for damages. But when you have car accident injuries that are serious or long-lasting, you should not have to settle for the initial offer from the insurance company. You need compensation for future medical bills and non-economic damages, things that very likely were not considered at all when the insurance company made the first offer to you. Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP will thoroughly investigate your insurance claim so you can focus on healing.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for My Car Accident Claim?
What you think at first was a minor car accident could result in more pain, suffering, and time away from work than you initially realized. A car accident attorney knows how to calculate the total amount of anticipated damages you will experience in the future in addition to everything you have already experienced, to ensure you get the maximum compensation you are eligible for. They have the systems and resources in place to build a compelling injury claim.
Mistakes You Should Not Make After a Car Accident in PA
Here are some common mistakes to avoid during your car accident case:
- Not calling in a police report: The police provide a witness account of the crash scene so that it’s not only your word against that of the other driver.
- Neglecting to take pictures: Recording damage to your vehicle and any obvious injuries you have right after an accident is an important piece of evidence for insurance adjusters.
- Refusing medical attention: Even if you had a minor car accident, it’s best to make sure you don’t have any hidden injuries. Also, your medical records will strengthen your injury claim.
- Agreeing to admit fault: The police, the other driver, or the insurance adjuster will ask you about the accident, and the other driver or insurance adjuster may try to get you to accept the blame. If you make any statements or sign any documents without legal counsel, you may be forfeiting your right to fair compensation.
- Not consulting a lawyer: Car accident victims receive pressure from insurance companies to push them into accepting a settlement quickly, but it’s not usually for the full amount of financial compensation they deserve. A car accident lawyer will be able to challenge insurance companies successfully to help you get justice for what you endured.
A car accident attorney is also very helpful in that they will explain everything to you every step of the way during your claim, and handle all communication for you so you don’t have to worry about speaking with the liable party or their insurance company. When you have a lawyer representing you, you do not need to speak with the insurance company of the at fault party.
Don’t Delay in Filing A Lawsuit
The statute of limitations for filing an injury claim in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the accident, which applies to motor vehicle accidents and any other type of personal injury case. When you seek medical treatment and file an insurance claim right away, you make sure you don’t lose valuable evidence. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer is a reliable ally to represent your claim and recover compensation.
Car Accident FAQ
Is Pennsylvania a no-fault state?
Yes, Pennsylvania is a no fault state. It has a modified comparative negligence law for liability in accidents.
How much is my car accident claim worth?
A Pennsylvania car accident attorney can calculate your economic and non-economic damages. They may be able to give you an estimated range of what you can expect for a settlement.
Should you hire a lawyer for a minor car accident?
Not necessarily. However, you should first make sure the accident is minor and have a doctor evaluate you for injuries.
Does a fatal car accident qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit?
Yes, any accident which causes a sudden and unexpected death entitles the deceased person’s loved ones to a wrongful death lawsuit. A drunk driver is a common cause of fatal car accidents.
Will my insurance claim go to court?
Your insurance claim may or may not go to court depending on the damages you are seeking. If your Pennsylvania car accident lawyer can seek fair compensation from the insurance company, you can settle out of court. If they refuse, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial to get the award you deserve.
Call Our Pennslyvania Car Accident Attorneys Today
The law firm of Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP is devoted to obtaining maximum compensation for car accident victims in Pennsylvania. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with insurance companies that try to deny car accident claims, especially those that deal with long-lasting and permanent injuries. We won’t let them do that to you.
If you need a personal injury lawyer to advocate for you, call us to receive a free consultation at 888-208-1810. We’ll evaluate your injury claim and let you know how we can help.