While there are always extenuating circumstances, there are a variety of general rules that are almost universal in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania with regard to who is at fault in an accident.
The first thing to remember when trying to determine whether or not you were the victim of another driver's negligence is the center line on the road. Whether the center line is single or double, solid or broken, yellow or white, the centerline is always the first variable the authorities will consider when determining fault.
If you were on your side of the center-line when the accident occurred, the odds of the other person being at fault are much greater, especially if the other driver crossed the center-line and went into your lane. Again, there are always extenuating circumstances, but even if they are not found to be at fault, if you were in your lane, there are only a few instances in which you can be found at fault.
Exceptions may -- but aren't guaranteed to -- include extremely low visibility, slick roads, an object impeding the other person's lane, etc.
In all but the most extreme circumstances, if you are rear-ended, the other person is liable. Unlike other types of accidents, if you are rear-ended, the other person will be ticketed regardless of the circumstances. Poor weather conditions are no excuse for rear-ending someone.
The officer will typically ticket the person that rear-ended you for careless or reckless driving as it is understood that the person behind you must give themselves both the time and distance to stop if you slow or stop. Part of that time and distance estimate is dependent upon the weather.
About the only exception is if your vehicle's brake lights fail and the person behind you had no warning that you were slowing or coming to a stop.
Intersections are one of the most common places where accidents occur. Intersections are one of the most dangerous components of driving. Even if you follow the law to the letter, sometimes accidents at intersections are unavoidable. The one thing you need to determine when considering whether or not the other driver was responsible was whether or not they were obligated to yield to you.
Again, it is part of both drivers' responsibility to avoid an accident if at all possible, but if the other driver was obligated to yield to you and didn't, the odds are good that they will be held liable for your injuries.
Impaired or Distracted Driving
If the person that runs into you is impaired -- intoxicated or under the influence of drugs -- or was distracted when the accident occurred -- texting on their phone, for example -- the odds are promising that they will be held liable, regardless of the other circumstances of the case. The reason being: it is understood that by accepting a license a person has an obligation to not only drive in a safe manner, but also to avoid an accident with another vehicle if at all possible.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, you need a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia who can pursue the maximum possible compensation.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a low 29% contingency fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
The Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102