Upper Darby Car Accident Lawyers
There are many reasons to visit Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, including stopping to see the Tower Theater or the oldest log cabin in the state. Many people do flock to this town, as a result, car accidents are inevitable.
When you are involved in a car accident, the financial, physical, and emotional impact it can have on you can be significant. An Upper Darby car accident lawyer will help you sort out what options are available to you, and which one is best suited for your situation.
What Do I Need to Do After a Car Accident?
Those first few moments after a car accident can feel like a rollercoaster of emotions. You must remember to remain calm. These moments can have a significant impact on your chances of making a full recovery as well as the potential viability of your case.
There are several steps to take after a car accident:
- Get medical help right away. If you get hurt in an accident, the most important thing to do is to be sure that you seek out medical assistance as soon as possible. If there is an ambulance on site, do not refuse medical treatment. If there is something wrong, you need to get it diagnosed. If someone else has been severely injured, call for an ambulance.
- Call the police and obtain the police report. The police will send an officer who will investigate the scene and write up an objective report on what happened. Obtain a copy of that report.
- Talk with witnesses at the scene. Speak with anyone at the scene who saw what happened. Take down their statement and their contact information in case your or your lawyer need to reach out to them later.
- Collect evidence if possible. This is the best opportunity to take pictures of what just happened since everything will be fresh. Get pictures or videos of the damage that was sustained on all vehicles involved, your injuries, and the conditions or circumstances that led to the accident, including the road conditions.
When speaking with witnesses, the other driver, and even the police, do not reveal too much about your own role in the accident. In fact, you should not take any responsibility for anything that took place, nor should you apologize to anyone. Also, avoid social media and discussing the accident with anyone after the fact. All of this can be used against you later.
If an insurance company tried to get you to make a recorded statement or sign anything, do not do it without first consulting an Upper Darby car accident lawyer.
No-Fault Insurance in Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that you can still be compensated by your insurance for your accident in a reasonable amount of time without having to prove that the accident was the fault of another driver. When you purchase car insurance in Pennsylvania, you have two choices, and the one you choose will determine your legal options:
- Limited tort: This is the cheaper of the two options and allows you to collect economic compensation for your injuries. You will make a claim off the personal injury protection (PIP) provision of your insurance. What you can seek is limited only to economic expenses, and you will be limited from filing a claim against an at-fault driver. Only in certain circumstances can you sue, such as if you have a serious injury.
- Full tort: This option gives you the most legal flexibility when it comes to how you can recoup your losses. You can file a claim against a negligent driver, and you can seek economic and non-economic damages.
When you do file a claim, it is important to remember that Pennsylvania follows the legal principle of modified comparative negligence. Both drivers will be assigned a percentage of fault. Your percentage of fault will be reduced from the overall compensation award. You are only eligible to collect damages if you are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.
You should also move quickly in filing your case, as Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations, which starts on the date of the accident.
What Damages Can I Seek?
When you do file a claim, there are specific damages you can seek to recoup the financial impact of what you experienced. Those expenses include:
- Medical bills: You can be compensated for all your medical expenses, including doctor visits, testing, surgeries, medicines, and rehabilitation treatments.
- Lost wages: Your injuries could have an impact on your work as well, causing you to have to miss time while you are recovering from your injury. You may also have to take extended time off to see the doctor or fulfill a rehabilitation appointment. You may not be able to return to work at all. In addition, your injuries may force you out of your job altogether. You can file a claim for the pay you lost and the income you would have made had it not been for your accident.
- Property damage: Your vehicle will sustain damage during a car accident, which could also range in severity. It will cost you money to repair it, or if you need to replace it, you will need to put money down to purchase a new car. You can seek compensation to repair your car, pay off a car that has been deemed a total loss, or to help buy a new car.
- Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical and emotional stress caused by a car accident injury.
In certain instances, punitive damages may be awarded. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter them and other drivers from behaving in the same way. The defendant’s acts must have been egregious and extreme for punitive damages to be awarded.
Upper Darby Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Will Protect Your Rights
If you have been hurt in a car accident, know that you may have legal options. Speak with one of our Upper Darby car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. today. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.