PA Car Accident Lawyer If you are injured in a crash, speak to a PA car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Collisions often result in serious injuries, and if the other driver is at fault, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process. Stark & Stark’s PA car accident lawyers can advise you on what to do if you are injured in an accident, who might be responsible, and how much your claim may be worth. Call us today for a free consultation. How We Can Help You Our PA car accident attorneys will listen to your story and explain how the legal process works. We will use our over 200 years of combined experience to assist you with filing a claim. Our auto accident lawyers have decades of success helping clients recover from injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes, trucking accidents, workplace injuries, product liability cases, and medical malpractice. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t owe any legal fees unless we win your case. If we agree to accept your case, Stark & Stark will take care of all the paperwork and other legal procedures for you. Call a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer Today We can help you navigate the legal system, fight for your rights as a victim, and ensure that you receive adequate compensation for medical treatment and lost income. Don’t let insurance companies reduce the amount of compensation you are owed, and don’t get hung up on the complexities of the legal process. A lawyer can help protect you and your future every step of the way. What to Do After a Car Crash If you have been involved in a car crash, you likely won’t be thinking clearly. Even if you are uninjured, the adrenaline will make it hard to proceed rationally. That’s why our auto accident attorneys at Stark & Stark recommend that you do the following: Ensure that everyone in your vehicle is safe and not in need of immediate medical attention. If they are, call 911 immediately. Call the police. They’ll help secure the scene and write a police report, which can help in your case. Even if you weren’t seriously injured or suffered property damage, you should call the police. While they gather information, you should be doing your own evidence gathering. Speak with any witnesses and get their contact information, especially if they say that they saw anything important. You should also try and take photos from every angle of the scene. After you leave the scene of the accident, be sure to get medical treatment. This could be from an emergency room or a family doctor. Even if you don’t feel hurt, you could be suffering from soft tissue damage that can cause health issues. Before you speak to your insurance company, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer. They can advise on how best to represent yourself so you don’t accidentally say anything that could negate your claim. The Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict Most car accident cases are settled out of court, with both parties agreeing to a financial settlement. If you agree to a settlement, you won’t need to go to court and sit in front of a judge and jury. Also, you aren’t guaranteed any money for going to court. Due to these reasons, attorneys at Stark & Stark will attempt to reach a settlement before going to court. However, if the proposed settlement is too low, is unfair, and/or is not in our client’s best interests, we will absolutely take the case to trial. If you and the other party cannot come to a settlement agreement, then your case may go to trial, during which both sides will present their cases before a judge or jury. During the trial, each side presents evidence and witnesses supporting their claims. After both sides have been heard, the jury (or judge) must come to a decision on the amount of damages owed by one party to the other. This decision is known as a “verdict.” What types of damages can I recover from my car accident? Typically, damages are financial. If you have been injured in a car crash, your primary focus will likely be on the medical bills you have accrued as a result of your injuries. However, others involved may also make claims for their own damages. This includes anyone who has lost loved ones or who was injured in the crash. Economic Damages Economic damages are those that can be measured financially. As our firm has seen, the cost of medical treatment after a car crash can quickly become astronomical. If you or your passengers were injured, seek legal representation as soon as possible to maximize your claim. Another aspect of economic damages is out-of-pocket expenses that you have incurred due to the car accident, such as the costs of medication, physical therapy, or having someone care for you at home while you recover. Non-Economic Damages Non-economic damages are harder to measure. This includes compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disfigurement, permanent injuries, scarring, or burns. These types of damage awards are typically determined by juries who listen to testimony from doctors and lawyers about the impact of the accident and its consequences. Punitive Damages Punitive damages are rarely awarded in car crash cases, but if the defendant acted in gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing, punitive damages may be awarded by the judge. This type of damages is intended to punish the responsible party by requiring them to pay an amount that is greater than just compensating you for your losses. It’s important to understand that this type of award is rare and will only be issued if your case falls under special circumstances. Wrongful Death If a loved one was killed as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Wrongful death claims can be filed on behalf of the deceased by their living relatives. It covers the financial losses of the individual who perished, including any medical treatment and funeral expenses relating to the crash. It also covers damages for the family who lost a source of household income and a loving family member. How much can I expect to recover from my car accident? This is impossible to answer without knowing all of the details about you, your injuries, and the events surrounding the collision. If you want a general idea of how much you can expect to recover, give us a call at (888) 591-6916. At Stark & Stark, we have successfully represented many car accident victims who were not able or willing to take on big insurance companies alone. We are committed to fighting for our client’s best interests every step of the way. What is “comparative fault” in Pennsylvania? If you were injured in a car crash, you have a right to damages. This is true in Pennsylvania, even if you were texting while driving or otherwise not operating your vehicle safely. The other driver might be found at least partially responsible for the crash or held to be “comparatively negligent”—meaning that they were not as careful as you were. The idea behind comparative negligence is fairly simple: when two parties are involved in an accident, both may bear some responsibility for the harm inflicted on each other. Common Car Accident Injuries The most common injuries in auto accidents are broken bones, lacerations, concussions, whiplash or other soft tissue damage, back injuries, and neck injuries. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Brain injuries are among the most serious consequences of car accidents. They may occur because your head hit something inside the vehicle, or was jostled away from its proper position and then crashed back against the seat, resulting in an injury to your brain. Traumatic brain injuries can also be a result of a skull fracture that causes your brain to be jarred and bruised, or to bleed on or around the brain. Technically, concussions are also a form of traumatic brain injury. Although many people consider them “mild” or “less serious” than other brain injuries, the reality is that concussions can cause severe complications. Spinal Cord Injuries Another injury that can result from a car accident is damage to your spinal column, otherwise known as a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, resulting in paralysis or other loss of function below the point of injury. This might affect mobility and independence for the rest of your life. Burn Injuries Burn injuries can come from a variety of sources, including spilled gasoline or other flammable liquids. In the event of an accident where there is a fire, your car could get too hot and cause your skin to burn, or you might suffer second-degree burns from trying to escape a vehicle on fire. Back Injuries Pain and stiffness in your back, neck, or other areas can be caused by whiplash—that is if you were jerked violently forward and then backward during the crash. You might also suffer an injury to your lower back if you hit the steering wheel or center console of the vehicle. Soft Tissue Damage Another common injury in car accidents is soft tissue damage. When you are hit by another vehicle or run into something, your muscles and tendons can be badly hurt. This pain may come on suddenly or build over several days, but will usually go away within weeks or months if treated properly. If you have a more serious soft tissue injury, such as a herniated disk or torn ligaments and tendons, your doctor might recommend physical therapy to rehabilitate the area. Broken Bones Broken bones typically heal well on their own and don’t cause significant interference with daily life. However, in some cases, the break might be bad enough to require surgery—and the recovery process can last for months or even a year or more. In cases of serious fractures, you could have a permanent deformity in the limb because the broken bone was not properly reset. Common Types of Car Accidents Car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons and with a variety of impact positions. Some common types of car accidents include: Rear-End Collision A rear-end collision is when a vehicle hits the car in front of them from behind. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, it is likely that you were hit by a larger and faster vehicle, such as a truck or SUV. To learn more about your legal rights if you have been injured in a rear-end accident because of someone else’s negligence, contact a PA car accident lawyer. Head-On Collision A head-on collision is when two cars traveling in opposite directions strike each other head-on. This usually occurs because one driver was driving too fast to safely negotiate a curve or turn. It also commonly happens in truck accidents, when a tired driver falls asleep at the wheel and drifts into oncoming traffic. Sideswipe Accident A sideswipe accident is when one car hits the side of another vehicle. This commonly happens at highway on and off-ramps, where cars have to merge but may not look carefully before doing so. Vehicle Rollover A vehicle rollover occurs when a car flips upside down. This can happen if you fail to negotiate a turn at high speeds, or if the car hydroplanes on water, ice, or snow. However, they also occur in car accidents with multiple drivers or with side-impact collisions that tip your vehicle off-balance. T-Bone Accident A T-bone accident is when a car comes in contact with another vehicle perpendicularly—that is, at the “T” intersection where the front end of one car meets the side or back end of another car. If your injuries were caused by someone’s negligence in a T-bone accident, you can increase your chances of recovering compensation for medical bills and other damages by contacting a car accident lawyer. Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer Today We know that accidents can be devastating, especially when they’re caused by someone else. That’s why our team of experienced lawyers works hard to fight for all the benefits your family deserves. With experience in representing clients after motor vehicle accidents, and through careful assessment and preparation, Stark & Stark can help you obtain cash settlements that compensate for lost wages or medical expenses. We’ll fight for an equitable settlement, but if the other party refuses we are poised to take them to court. Car Accident Questions and Answers When should I hire a car accident lawyer in Pennsylvania? You should consider hiring an experienced car accident lawyer in Pennsylvania as soon as possible after your injury. If you wait too long, important evidence may be lost or destroyed, and your claim might be compromised. When should I tell insurance after a car accident? After a car accident, you need to call your car insurance company immediately. The sooner you call, the less likely they are to deny your claim. By calling sooner to inform your insurance agent of your accident, you can also ensure that you gather all of the evidence they require and only get treatment or repairs done at places that they cover. This is helpful for seeking medical treatment, as some insurers only work with certain hospitals. However, be careful when speaking to your insurance agent. Do not admit any fault. This can allow them to deny your claim. What should I tell the police on the scene of a car accident? When you call the police on the scene of a car accident, they will want to know what happened. It is important that you be truthful with them and provide any information that can help your case down the road. You should answer all of their questions fully and honestly. By being honest from the beginning, it could help prevent your claim from being denied. However, the police are not “on your side.” Remember that they are coming up with a story of the events that occurred. Tell them exactly what happened, and be sure not to make assumptions or admit fault. What if the person who caused the accident has no insurance? Please see our Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Benefits Legal Guide for more information on what to do when the person who caused your car accident does not have insurance. This document covers legal recourse for getting compensation for damages when the at-fault driver does not have car insurance. Who pays for the property damage to my car? If you have been involved in a car accident, many people may be responsible for paying for the property damage to your vehicle. First, your insurance may pay to have the repairs done while you sort out the legal claim for damages from the at-fault party. In some cases, this at-fault party will be the other driver. If an at-fault driver hits your vehicle and causes damage, they are legally obligated to pay for its repair. However, they may try to get out of this by claiming that they were not at fault. If they accept responsibility, then their insurance will likely pay out to your insurance to cover the cost of your vehicle’s damages. A third option arises when a driver was not responsible for your accident. In some cases, a third party who was not present at the accident can be liable for a car accident and be required to pay for damages. This includes government entities if roadways were poorly maintained, manufacturers for car defects that cause accidents, and technicians who install parts incorrectly. Working with an experienced PA car accident lawyer will help you determine who is responsible for paying for your car’s damages. Can I receive reimbursement for my lost wages if my doctor has prohibited me from working as a result of injuries due to the accident? If your doctor has placed you on restrictions due to injuries caused by the accident, you may be able to recover lost wages. However, there are some conditions that need to be met. First, your doctor must provide a clear medical diagnosis for why you are unable to work including the length of time expected for recovery. Secondly, if your doctor cannot provide an exact time frame, they should at least provide a statement of the severity of your injuries. You must also be able to show that you were working at the time of the accident and that you would not have been injured if it had not occurred. Finally, you need to be able to prove how much your lost income is. This includes all wages you will lose until your doctor releases you to return to work including future expected wages for the period of time you are not working. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim against the at-fault driver for these lost wages.