Our attorneys have helped car accident victims in Philadelphia for over 35 years
A Philadelphia car accident attorney at Anapol Weiss will offer more than legal advice and a path to compensation, our award-winning lawyers offer support while guiding clients through the complexities of a car wreck claim. From the moment you contact Anapol Weiss, you will feel at ease. Our car accident attorneys main goals will be to maximize your compensation and get you back on the road to recovery.
Many of our attorneys receive recognition as Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers every year. We have recovered billions of dollars for our clients over the years, and we are committed to each client we serve. We believe that a good car accident lawyer must:
- Have a friendly and straightforward approach to communication. Attorneys stay busy and many work in high-stress environments on a daily basis. Yet, client satisfaction often hinges on an attorney’s ability to connect with clients. You want an someone who is willing to give you complete answers, but who also takes a no-nonsense approach to your case.
- Be strong, active connections in legal and local communities. Search for firms and attorneys who take part in legal associations and receive awards for their work. Positive referrals and online reviews also highlight the star attorneys in your community.
- Have access to the necessary resources to explore the claim. From independent investigations to courtroom skill, a firm should have it all. Every step is important. Trial experience and a history of high dollar resolutions are the capabilities you want in a firm.
- Not be afraid to take a case to trial. Great attorneys never take the path of least resistance. They do what is right for their clients. This includes help with insurers, employers, and medical professionals, and others. This also means taking the case to trial if necessary.
1. Stop your vehicle immediately.
Pennsylvania law requires that individuals stay at the scene of an accident if injuries or property damage has occurred. If possible, do not block traffic.
2. Get to safety.
If you do get injured in the collision, move to a safe area and wait for emergency responders to arrive. Make sure that someone on the scene has called for an ambulance. Never refuse treatment, even if you don’t think your injuries are severe — symptoms that may not be obvious right away could intensify later.
3. Keep calm.
Don’t admit fault for the accident, and don’t make accusations. What you say immediately after an auto accident can be used against you later, so avoid discussing the accident with the other driver. Do not sign any waivers until getting legal advice.
4. Cooperate with police.
Report the accident to police. Cooperate with investigating police officers when they arrive, but do not describe the accident. Instead, politely say that you would prefer to speak about the accident later. The police will create an accident report that you can acquire later.
5. Collect information.
Make written notes of the names, addresses, phone numbers, and license plate numbers of everyone involved, including witnesses. If you can do so, take photos of all the vehicles from various angles. Take video as well if your phone is capable. It is also smart to document anything you remember about the setting. This can include the time, lighting conditions, road conditions, or any other factors that could have influenced the accident.
6. Hire an accident attorney.
Speaking with a lawyer early in the claims process can help down the road. You can do this before seeing a doctor. An car accident attorney can help you when speaking with the insurance company. They can also help you get a copy of the accident report. Most firms offer free consultations so there is no risk to you.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Any activity that takes a driver’s attention off the roadways constitutes distracted driving. This includes eating, applying makeup, playing a game, reaching into the backseat of the vehicle, and digging around in a bag while driving.
Head-on collisions are some of the most serious accidents. They can be caused by a driver speeding to pass a car or running a red light.
Accidents on the highway are more serious than residential collisions. Whether you are on I-95 or 76, even a small crash can impact you and other passing drivers. These accidents can involve multiple vehicles and victims.
Hit and Run Accidents
If you are hit by another driver and they flee the seen, try to document as much information as possible. If the other driver is eventually found, you maybe be able to pursue criminal charges in addition to you civil case.
Fatal Car Accidents
In 2017, at least three people died every day in Philadelphia due to accidents. If you lost a family member in a collision, contact an attorney to discuss your options,
In addition to the accidents above, we also handle cases involving vehicle rollovers, side impact collisions, sideswipe accidents, and reckless driving. It’s also important to note that some collisions are caused by environmental factors.
Pennsylvania is a “no-fault” state. This means that regardless of fault in a car accident, your insurance can cover you. However, Pennsylvania is unique in that by having “choice no-fault” insurance. This difference boils down to the idea of full or limited tort insurance.
What is the difference between full and limited-tort?
Tort selection is the most important concept for any vehicle owner in Pennsylvania to understand:
- Limited-tort coverage saves owners on their annual insurance premium. It also abandons their rights to recover non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) if they are injured by another driver.
- Full-tort coverage costs more each year in premiums. But car owners can recover all economic and non-economic damages if injured.
Without full tort, the chances of the other driver’s insurance company denying or limiting an accident claim increases. It also substantially limits your right to recover.
What is the minimum vehicle insurance coverage required in Pennsylvania?
- Medical Benefits: provides compensation for medical bills for those covered on your policy regardless of fault. The state minimum limit is $5,000 of coverage.
- Bodily Injury Liability: pays for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and damages for those injured in a car accident where you are liable. The minimum limit is $15,000/$30,000, which compensations up to $15,000 per person injured up to a total of $30,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability: covers damage to another person’s property in an accident for which you are at fault. The minimum limit is $5,000 of coverage.
Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offers After My Car Accident?
Do not accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without first speaking to a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. During your claim, the insurance company’s main goal will be to save money – not to pay a fair amount for your damages. The initial settlement offer, therefore, could be significantly less than your case is actually worth. It could be an absolute minimum amount for your medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, and pain and suffering. Settling quickly for the first offer an insurance company gives you, therefore, could negatively impact your future.
It is important to refuse the first settlement offer from an insurance company after a car accident. The insurer will know you may not fully understand the future value of your claim in the first few days after a crash. It will take advantage of this to offer a lowball settlement amount in the beginning. Do not rush into your decision. Understand how much your case is worth, then negotiate a better amount with the insurance claims adjuster with help from a Philadelphia injury attorney.
Before you say yes to an insurance company, go over the facts of your case with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney. You can trust the evaluation an attorney gives you, as he or she will want to maximize your payout, not minimize it. Ask a Philadelphia car accident attorney what he or she believes your case is worth. If the answer is less than the insurance company is offering, you may need to hire the attorney to negotiate a better offer on your behalf. Most insurance companies will automatically offer more money once they hear you have hired an attorney, to avoid the costly court process.
When Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
Most car accidents do not result in lawsuits. Victims can often successfully settle matters with insurance companies for fair compensation without going to court. You may need to file a car accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania, however, if the insurance company is not offering as much as your injuries and damages are reasonably worth. Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault insurance laws, you can only bring your car accident claim to court if your injuries are serious enough to qualify for a claim outside of the insurance system.
- Broken bones
- Catastrophic or disabling injuries
- Serious impairment of one or more bodily functions
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- The wrongful death of a loved one
If you do need to file a lawsuit, you will have two years from the date of your crash to file. This deadline is strict. Missing it generally means you cannot file a claim to damages. In a wrongful death car accident claim, the two-year deadline does not start until the date of death rather than the date of the accident. If you did not notice your injuries until after the accident, the deadline starts on the date of injury discovery. Work with a Philadelphia car accident attorney at Anapol Weiss to understand your precise deadline to file.
The Importance of Proving Fault in an Accident/Examples of Negligent Behavior
Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of no-fault car accident states. No-fault laws mean you will not have to prove fault for your accident to receive payment from your insurance company. In serious injury claims, however, you will need to prove fault for a better compensatory award from the other driver’s insurer. It will be important in these cases to prove that the other driver’s negligent behavior caused your car accident.
- Texting and driving
- Driving distracted
- Drinking and driving
- Driving while drugged
- Drowsy driving
- Speeding or racing
- Running red lights
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Road rage driving
- Driving on a suspended/revoked license
- Breaking roadway rules
Under Pennsylvania’s car accident laws, the party at fault for the accident will be financially responsible for victims’ damages if the case proceeds to court. Determining the identity of the at-fault party, whether it is the other driver or another party, such as a car manufacturer or roadway maintenance crew, is an important step in obtaining fair compensation. From there, you or your attorney can go about the task of proving negligence to obtain an award.
If your car accident case proceeds to court in Pennsylvania, you will bear the burden of proving the defendant’s fault for your damages. The burden of proof is always on the plaintiff’s side in the civil courts. A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer from Anapol Weiss can help you take your car accident case to court in Philadelphia for better odds of success. Proving negligence requires establishing the existence of four main elements through clear and convincing evidence.
- Duty of care. The defendant owed you a duty to exercise care, such as the duties all drivers have behind the wheel: to pay attention to the road, obey traffic laws and reasonably prevent accidents. The defendant’s duties of care can vary depending on the identity of the defendant.
- Breach of duty of care. The defendant failed to meet the expected standards of his or her duty of care. The defendant committed an act of negligence, recklessness or malicious intent to harm that went outside of his or her duties of care to you. A breach of duty could be anything a reasonable and prudent person would not have done in the same circumstances.
- Causal connection. The breach of duty of care by the defendant must be what caused or greatly contributed to your car accident. If something unrelated caused your crash, the defendant might not be liable, even if the defendant was guilty of negligence. The defendant’s actions must have a causal link to your car accident.
- Compensable damages. The car accident must have led to compensable specific damages for you or a loved one. These can include vehicle damages, personal injuries, medical bills, lost income, physical pain or emotional suffering. You and your lawyer will need to prove damages through receipts, medical records, pay stubs, mechanic reports and other forms of evidence.
Clear and convincing evidence can take the form of photographs, videos, eyewitness statements, driving records, cellphone records, police reports, opinions from experts and crash reconstruction. Working with a Philadelphia accident attorney can make it easier to obtain evidence of fault for your car accident, as well as prove your case before a judge or jury. Your lawyer can handle the difficult aspects of your claim while you focus on healing from your injuries.
Some Cases Do Not Involve Proving Negligence
You will not bear the burden of proving negligence in every car accident case. Some types of claims in Pennsylvania involve strict liability, or a defendant’s liability for damages whether or not he or she was negligent. A common example is a product liability claim. If a defective car part caused your car accident or injuries, such as a seat belt, airbag, tires or brakes, the manufacturing company could be strictly liable. You or your lawyer will only have to prove that the car contained a defect and caused your injuries to obtain an award, not that the manufacturing company was negligent.
Another example is a dram shop liability claim if a drunk driver caused your damages. In Pennsylvania, the alcohol provider could be legally responsible if an intoxicated individual causes a car accident. If the dram shop sold or gave alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, and that person gets behind the wheel and causes a car accident, the dram shop may be liable without the need to prove negligence. Your lawyer will simply need to demonstrate that the bar or restaurant sold alcohol to a visibly intoxicated driver and that this contributed to the car accident in question. Speak to an attorney to discuss the burden of proof in your particular case.
How much is my car accident claim worth?
Compensation after a car accident depends on many factors. The type of injury and amount of insurance are important factors. If your injuries and property damage go beyond $15,000 or $30,000, you will need to prove fault on behalf of other other driver to receive more. This is where an experienced car accident lawyer comes in. They can help you with insurance companies and fight for more compensation. Do not try to settle a claim on your own without the advice of an attorney.
Why would an adjuster deny my insurance claim after an accident?
Insurance adjusters may deny a car accident insurance claim if:
- You could have avoided the crash or you did something that led to it, such as driving drunk.
- There was no complaint or record of an injury or treatment at the time of the injury. This presents the argument that the injury happened after the car accident.
- There was a pre-existing health condition. This could allow the insurer to argue the injury and pain is related to the condition rather than the crash.
It’s important to contact your insurance company right away if you receive a notice of denial. A representative can tell you exactly why your claim was denied and what you can do.
Let Our Car Accident Lawyers Fight To Get You The Compensation You Deserve
If you suffer an injury after a car accident in Philadelphia, PA you will need the help of a lawyer. Insurance adjusters know time is on their side when one of their drivers caused an auto collision that hurt someone. While an injured victim is recovering, the other driver’s insurance company has begun investigating the accident. They also do not have a legal obligation to inform injured victims of their legal rights.
At Anapol Weiss, we can be your advocate. We understand the devastation that arises from car accidents. We are also experts on the laws that protect people just like you from suffering without restitution. Allow us to help you find closure and fair compensation for your losses. We cannot guarantee an outcome, but we deliver our commitment to excellence backed by a history of success. For a case evaluation, contact our Philadelphia office today.