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 cases involving personal injuries, a jury has the tough
task of assigning fault between the various parties. 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.
MVA Practice Area
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.
Minimize Accidents with Safe Driving Habits
By adopting defensive driving habits and techniques, you can help minimize
the chance of being involved in motor vehicle crashes. Young or inexperienced
drivers can hone their driving skills by taking a defensive driving course.
Even experienced drivers can benefit from what these courses have to offer.
Other aspects of safe driving include:
- minimizing distractions such as talking on the phone, texting, boisterous
passengers, loud music, etc.
- not driving when you're sleepy or tired
- using turn signals when turning or switching lanes
- keeping a safe distance from other vehicles
- adhering to speed limits
- ensuring your vehicle is in good working order
- wearing seat belts at all times when driving
Accidents Don't Just "Happen" - They are Caused
According to the old adage, accidents don't just happen, they are generally
caused. The same holds true for motor vehicle collisions. If all drivers
were to comply with safe driving etiquette, there would be fewer collisions
on the road. Although you cannot control the actions of other drivers,
you can protect yourself from collisions by adopting safe driving habits
yourself and putting the following tips into practice in your driving regimen.
1. When driving to unfamiliar locations, confirm your directions before
hitting the road. This enables you to focus on driving safely rather than
being distracted with how to get to your destination.
2. Stay alert to what other drivers are doing by constantly scanning the
road ahead and anticipating vehicle movements in advance.
3. Stay calm and collective, especially when driving under "trying"
conditions or around unfriendly and obnoxious drivers.
4. Make accommodations for arriving safely to your destination in bad weather
conditions. Start earlier to give yourself plenty of time. Under dangerous
circumstances such as snow or ice storms, seriously consider staying home.
When Injuries Occur from Motor Vehicle Accidents
Safe driving is a deterrent to vehicle accidents but there's no guarantee
that accidents will never happen or that you'll be spared from injury
in the event of a crash. If you are injured in an motor vehicle accident
that is not your fault, a personal injury lawyer may pursue compensation
from the insurance company of the driver at fault to cover medical expenses
for the injuries you have sustained as well as money for pain and suffering
and lost wages. Our firm will get you maximum possible compensation for
your motor vehicle accident in Philadelphia.
There are many advantages to having a motor vehicle accident lawyer in
Philadelphia handle your claim. A personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia
will make sure that you obtain the money from all available insurance
policies. A lawyer will negotiate your medical bills and liens down. An
attorney will be able to negotiate for maximum compensation.
Personal injury claims often take time in order to get positive results.
Without previous knowledge or experience in this area, you may find it
very difficult to handle this type of situation on your own. Hiring a
personal injury attorney enables you to benefit from his legal experience
and expertise. Your attorney will take responsibility for managing your
claim from beginning to end to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.