Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of accidental deaths and the number one source of personal injury claims in the United States. In 2009, 10.8 million cars were involved in crashes. In the same year, fatal automobile collisions took the lives of 35,900 people. In Pennsylvania, more than 1,250 people died in car crashes in 2009. Most of the collisions occurred due to negligence of one of the drivers. When a car crash is caused by another motorist's negligence, the injured driver and passengers often reach settlements with the liable party which provide compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering as well as other damages. The Lassen Law Firm, Philadelphia motor vehicle accident lawyers, is a team of dedicated, aggressive personal injury legal experts. The attorneys at the Lassen Law Firm believe that every victim deserves top legal service and aggressive representation to ensure the inured person gets the optimum compensation.
Car Crashes and Pennsylvania Law
When people drive, they must obey traffic safety rules and exercise caution so that they do not harm themselves or others. Unfortunately, many people choose to disobey traffic laws or engage in reckless driving behaviors, such as: talking on cell phones, speeding, talking to other passengers, ignoring traffic lights, or even driving too slow. These driving behaviors tend to seem harmless to most people until they are involved in a severe motor vehicle accident that places their lives and the lives of others at risk.
Victims of car, truck, motorcycle, bike, and pedestrian accidents often sustain serious, even life-threatening injuries. Victims of motor vehicle collisions are lucky to escape with minor physical damage, as many motor vehicle crashes lead to catastrophic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and burn injuries. In 2009, more than 75 percent of car collisions involved a collision with another motor vehicle while the other 25 percent involved collisions with stationary objects and other non-motorized objects. Motor vehicle injuries can adversely impact the victim's quality of life and physical capabilities for years to come, and usually demand continual medical treatment, as there is a looming threat of conditions becoming worse over time. Almost all of these mishaps occurred due to a driver's negligence and statutory traffic violations.
The motorist who sustained injuries in a vehicular crash caused by the negligence of another driver may be compensated for her or his injuries. Negligence is a legal term that means someone has failed to act in a reasonably careful and responsible manner. In the case of a car crash, negligence can be found in the police report, eyewitness testimony, expert witness testimony, photographs and sketches of the crash scene. Proving negligence means showing that:
1) Someone's carelessness caused the car crash;
2) The car crash caused harm; and
3) The party at fault is responsible for paying compensation for the harm done.
If more than one party involved in the accident is at fault, liability may be distributed among the negligent parties according to percentage of fault. This is called comparative negligence. In addition, collisions may be caused by the conduct of third parties. For example, a plaintiff is injured in an automobile collision. The collision occurred because the defendant allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign. Further investigation, however, reveals that the intersection was poorly designed and the stop sign was broken and not visible. In such a case, the cause of the mishap could be attributed to not only the defendant driver, but also the municipality that maintained the intersection, the engineers who designed the intersection, or the manufacturer of the stop sign.
In personal injury actions, the defendants may argue that the plaintiff also bears some responsibility for the incident. Perhaps, the plaintiff was not watching the traffic, but instead was distracted by speaking on a cell phone. In personal injury cases, a jury is faced with the difficult task of assigning fault between the plaintiff and the defendant and perhaps other individuals or entities. This is known as comparative fault. Under the comparative fault law, all of the potential causes of the collision are considered to total 100%. The jury must break out of that 100% total the percentages of fault that are attributable to the plaintiff, the defendant and any third party involved in the accident.
Under the Pennsylvania comparative fault system, if a plaintiff is determined to be at fault, the recovery he or she gets will be reduced by the total percentage that person is at fault. For example, a plaintiff is determined to be 20% at fault for the crash. The jury awards the plaintiff $100,000.00. After the verdict is returned, the judge will reduce the plaintiff's recovery by $20,000.00, representing the 20% fault assigned to that person. Similarly, a defendant who is less than 50% at fault will usually only be responsible to pay the portion of fault attributable to him.
In addition, an injured person can recover nothing if he/she is more than 50% at fault for the crash. Thus, if it is determined that the plaintiff was 51% at fault for the accident, they will recover no damages from any party. Finally, fault can be assigned to entities that are not part of the lawsuit or even immune from suit. For example, a plaintiff is injured in a construction accident. The defendants may argue that the plaintiff's employer bears some responsibility for the incident. The plaintiff's employer is most likely immune from suit because of the worker's compensation statute. However, under the comparative fault law, even if the person is immune from suit a jury can still apportion fault to that immune entity. By apportioning fault to an entity that is immune from suit, the potentially liable defendants may reduce their total liability to the plaintiff.
Recovery for Car Crash Injuries
Financial recovery entails compensation for property repairs, medical expenses, lost income, physical and psychological pain and, if applicable, lost prospects. The negligent party or his or her insurance company is responsible for paying the money damages. A reputable personal injury law firm can help a car collision victim recover compensation. If you have been the victim of a car crash, you need to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to learn about being fully compensated for your losses. The Philadelphia motor vehicle crash lawyers at the Lassen Law Firm are experienced in handing different types of mishaps including:
MVA Practice Areas
Personal injury law is a legal practice area that governs monetary compensation for physical, mental, or emotional injuries that have been sustained as a result of negligence. In cases involving motor vehicle crashes, the person that caused the collision is usually regarded the negligent party, and is therefore susceptible to legal action. When a driver is injured during a motor vehicle accident in Philadelphia, he/she may seek monetary damages from the negligent party. These damages may cover the injured person's:
- medical expenses
- lost wages
- lost future wages
- emotional distress
- mental impairment
- physical impairment
- pain and suffering
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
Stop Searching. Start Calling. 215-510-6755.
Authored by: Christian Lassen