A serious car accident can change your life in an instant. If you were hurt in a crash, you’re probably facing steep medical bills and wondering how you’ll make up for lost income.
That’s exactly how our PA car accident lawyers can help. We’ll work to hold the negligent driver(s) responsible and get you the compensation you need to move on with your life.
Call (800) 535-3425 today for your free consultation.
What to do after a car crash
You might find it hard to think clearly in the days after your crash. Even if you weren’t seriously hurt, adrenaline can make it hard to tell the full extent of your injuries. That’s why our attorneys 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, dial 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 the police gather information, you should (safely) gather your own evidence. 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 of the scene from different angles. Remember, only do so if it’s safe and if you don’t need immediate medical attention.
- After you leave the scene of the accident, be sure to get medical treatment. This could be from an emergency room or your primary care physician. 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’s a good idea to contact a lawyer. An attorney can advise you on communicating with insurance and can handle all communication on your behalf. Insurance is notorious for taking statements out of context or placing the blame on innocent drivers, so speaking with an attorney beforehand is crucial for protecting your best interests.
Damages you may be able to claim
Economic damages are those that can be calculated by adding up the bills, invoices, and other expenses that you received as a result of the crash.
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 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.
Wrongful death claims
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.
These claims cover 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 (800) 535-3425.
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.
“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.
How our PA car accident lawyers can help you
Attorneys at Stark & Stark aren’t just expert negotiators – we’re also expert listeners. Your lawyer will listen to your story and explain the ins and outs of the legal process. We’ll use our decades of experience to assist you with filing a claim and seeing it through to a settlement or verdict.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t owe anything unless and until we win your case. If we agree to accept your case, Stark & Stark can take care of all the paperwork and other legal procedures for you.
We fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation
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 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 can 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 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.”
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 injury (TBI)
Brain injuries are among the most serious consequences of car accidents. This injury is often caused upon impact when a person’s head hits something inside the vehicle or is violently jerked back and forth.
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 injury (SCI)
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 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.
Pain and stiffness in your back, neck, or other areas can be caused by whiplash—that occurs when a person is jerked violently forward and backward upon impact. You might also suffer an injury to your lower back if you hit the steering wheel or center console of the vehicle and were then pushed back into your seat.
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 usually goes 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 don’t usually 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.
Speak with our experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyers
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 you deserve.
With experience in representing clients after motor vehicle accidents, and through careful assessment and preparation, Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law 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’re ready to take them to court. Call (800) 535-3425 to schedule your free consultation.