West Chester Car Accidents
West Chester is the county seat and heart of Chester County. The traffic around the commercial neighborhood can be difficult to maneuver, with tight and busy streets and a vibrant commercial district. Other aspects of the town that spark interest include the county government buildings, including the courthouse and West Chester University. With college drivers zipping around trying to get to class on time and county officials also filling the town to get to work, there are many car accidents.
It can be a frightening experience when you are involved in a car accident, and it is difficult to understand your options and what resources are available to you. Hiring a West Chester car accident lawyer can help you with the answers to those questions and guide you through what could be a complicated process.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents?
There are a variety of circumstances that lead to car accidents in West Chester. A few of the more common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving: It is unfortunately become a common occurrence, particularly with young drivers. They are often distracted while they drive, usually by their cell phones. They will text, play games, and even surf the web while they should be focusing on the road. When you are distracted, you do not know what is taking place in front of you, meaning you will have to react quicker to a stopped vehicle or an accident.
- Aggressive driving: With a college campus in town, there will be students who drive to class. In the morning, there will be those who run late and will be in a rush to get to class. That means their driving will be more aggressive than usual, including weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, and tailgating.
- Drunk driving: Although this could be an enhanced problem when dealing with college students, it is by no means exclusive to them. Many drivers get behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink. This causes thousands of deaths per year in the United States.
- Defective vehicles: There are accidents that can be caused by other drivers or by a defect in their vehicle or yours. In addition, there could be certain injuries that are caused from a defect in the car, such as a faulty seat belt.
- Third-party liability: Not all accidents are the fault of one of the drivers involved. There could be an outside circumstance that caused the accident. Certain road conditions can lead to a car accident, including an unsafe design of the road, low-quality or inaccurate road signage, and unreasonable safety hazards.
Another example of the potential for third-party liability pertains to an accident that was caused by a drunk driver. Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law states that if an employee of an establishment serves alcohol to a person who is obviously already intoxicated and that person causes damage as a result, that employee might be held liable as well.
Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, meaning that you do not have to file a claim against the at-fault driver if you wish to recoup medical expenses you incurred from the accident. You can seek a claim on your own car insurance. It will compensate you for any medical expenses you incurred from your accident and any lost wages you may have experienced because your injuries kept you out of work.
The advantage of this is that it does not matter who was at fault for the accident. You can still seek this compensation from your car insurance. The disadvantage is that you cannot seek additional compensation beyond these expenses. You might be able to seek non-monetary damages against the at-fault driver, but that is only if you purchase full-tort liability insurance coverage and have a severe injury.
Even though your opportunities to file a claim against another driver are limited under the laws in Pennsylvania, it is still wise to speak with a car accident lawyer.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
There are several steps that you should take in the immediate aftermath of a car accident that will help you in the future. If you are able to do so, you should execute these steps as quickly as possible:
- Check on others. Check to see if anyone involved requires medical attention. If so, contact emergency medical services right away.
- Do not apologize. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may feel bad about what happened, but you should resist the urge to apologize to the other driver; it could be used against you in the future.
- Call the police. A police officer will speak with you and the other drivers and take down a report of the accident. That report will help bolster your claim with your insurance company.
- Gather evidence at the scene. If you can, you may wish to take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle. You can also take pictures of any circumstances that might have led to the accident.
- Seek medical attention right away. If you were severely injured, medical personnel will arrive on the scene, but even if you do not believe that you were injured at all, you should have a doctor check you out to ensure that there are no lingering issues.
- Track your expenses. Once you start going to the doctor, keep a record of any bills you receive as well as the doctor’s notes for your records. You can submit all this information to your insurance company as a part of your claim.
- See a lawyer. A final step after a severe collision is to call a car accident lawyer who will represent you.
West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Can Help You After Any Type of Severe Collision
There are a host of issues you can experience after being involved in a car accident. Our West Chester car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can protect your rights. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.