Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers
Delaware County can see a significant amount of traffic, given its more than half a million population and position just southwest of Philadelphia. It also contains several major highways, including Interstate 476, which leads to the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and Interstate 95. Other major roadways include U.S. Routes 1, 3, 13, and 30.
Philadelphia International Airport, the 11th business airport in the nation, is also within the county. Given its location on the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania, it is also close to Wilmington, Delaware. The chances are good that some drivers will get into a car accident, owing to the numerous highways and major locations that attract those who are not from the area.
If you are involved in a car accident or if you suffer personal injury because of one, you will need an experienced car accident lawyer who can handle your case while you deal with your injuries.
What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents in Delaware County?
There are more than 4,000 car accidents a year in Delaware County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The agency determines that there are certain causes that are more prominent in the county than others. Those include the following:
- Distracted driving: Many residents in the county commute to work every day and spend an average of a half hour in the car each way. Given how many commuters are in a rush to get to the office, many try to finish their morning routine in the car, including having breakfast or coffee and shaving or applying makeup. Finally, a major distraction is the use of cell phones with drivers texting, checking email, and even playing games and surfing the web.
- Lane drifting: This refers to drivers who drift in an out of their lane because they are not paying attention or do not care. It also includes those who change lanes without signaling. These aggressive and careless moves can result in the collision of two vehicles or force others to have to react.
- Impaired driving: This includes anyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance, whether that be drugs or alcohol. When you drive impaired, your senses are reduced, and you fail to react as quickly as you do when you are sober.
- Single-vehicle accident: A significant number of accidents occur in this area that did not involve two vehicles. This can mean a driver loses control of the vehicle for whatever reason and collides with a stationary object next to the street or a guardrail between the highways.
- Speeding: Although most motorists have been guilty of going beyond the speed limit at one time or another, it is nonetheless a dangerous practice. It can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and reduces the time you must brake should there be a sudden stoppage of traffic in front of you.
- Aggressive driving: This includes tailgating, racing to red lights, failing to yield, and ignoring stop signs. These cause other drivers to have to react suddenly, which can cause an accident on its own, but by driving aggressively you run the risk of hitting another vehicle.
- Vehicle failure: There are instances in which it is not another driver’s fault that an accident occurred. There could be a problem with the vehicle that you are operating that leads to an accident. A tire could blow out or the car could stall, which could cause you to cause or get involved in an accident.
- Drowsy driving: This can be just as bad as impaired driving; those who do not get sufficient sleep will find themselves slow to react. More dangerous is if a person is tired enough, they could fall asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle and lose control of it or swerve on the highway. Make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep before driving.
Many of these accidents can be prevented with common sense from the driver. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going and be sure that your full attention is on the road while you drive.
What Can I Receive if I Was Injured in a Car Accident?
Pennsylvania laws on the matter are complicated, although the state does act as a no-fault state. This means that you do not have to file a claim against another driver to recoup certain losses. You can receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages without ever having to file a lawsuit.
This is made possible through the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of your car insurance. Pennsylvania allows insurance companies to offer as little as $5,000 of this type of policy, although you can purchase more coverage and probably should, given how little that amount will stretch after a significant injury.
This system is convenient for those who are looking to avoid a prolonged legal battle before receiving their just compensation. You will also not have to worry about determining who is at fault when it comes to the cause of an accident.
However, the arrangement is not perfect. There are a few disadvantages, such as the fact that you can only recoup definitive expenses such as medical bills. Other damages such as pain and suffering cannot be included. Lastly, it is not guaranteed that an insurance company will pay you the full amount you are seeking. You still may have to fight them over certain expenses, meaning you still may have to deal with insurance adjusters.
Although it might be frustrating that the compensation you receive might appear to be limited, Pennsylvania does offer certain circumstances in which you can file suit against the at-fault driver. Unfortunately, one of those circumstances includes suffering from a catastrophic injury such as an amputation or even death. In those circumstances, you can file a claim against the other driver and seek compensation for your loss, including pain and suffering and quality of life.
A less painful option will depend on the type of insurance you are carrying at the time of the accident, as one version provides more options than the other. The two types of insurance are as follows:
- Limited-tort liability: This is the less expensive of the two because it lowers premiums. That reduced cost does come at a price. It means you are prohibited from filing a claim against an at-fault driver for non-economic expenses unless you sustain a catastrophic injury.
- Full-tort liability: This is the more expensive option but provides greater flexibility, as it allows you to seek non-economic claims against the at-fault driver. It will mean higher premiums and higher monthly bills but will provide you with more options if you are involved in a car accident.
Even if you already have car insurance, you should investigate the type you have and determine if the full-tort liability is a viable option. It might be the best way to protect you and your family. You should make the decision now, as changing your insurance after an accident will not have any impact.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Fight for Clients in Car Accidents
It is a frightening and confusing experience when you are injured in a car accident. You need experienced lawyers on your side who know the law and your rights and will fight for you in court or against the insurance companies. The Delaware County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will take on that fight for you. We will help get you the results you deserve. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.