Car accidents are shocking and scary events, but our Philadelphia car accident lawyers are here to help. Here’s what you need to know if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Many car accidents are caused by human error or negligence, including:
- Distracted Driving: Texting while driving, eating, other passengers or music can cause drivers to miss important signals and cues.
- Impaired Driving: Alcohol and drugs are behind a significant number of motor vehicle accidents. Sometimes prescription medications can impair a driver as well.
- Speeding or Dangerous Driving: Operating vehicles at excessive speeds or driving in an unsafe manner can increase one’s risk of an accident.
- Driving while Tired: Fatigue can cause a driver to make incorrect or unsafe decisions while driving or even fall asleep at the wheel.
Other causes of accidents include poor weather conditions, unexpected malfunctions with vehicles, or collisions with wild animals.
What do I do if I’m in a Car Accident?
If you find yourself in a car accident, follow these steps to help guide you.
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Anyone with neck or back pain or injury should remain immobile until first responders arrive to assist.
- Check your vehicle and the area around it for fuel leaking, fire, smoke, or downed electrical lines, consider whether you need to flee your vehicle.
- Move your vehicle off of the roadway, to avoid being hit by other cars. Only do so if it will not cause more damage or injury. Use flare or emergency flashers too to alert other drivers.
- Call police and paramedics to address any injuries and get a police report written. Give the police officers as much information about the accident as possible.
- Exchange Information with the other driver. You’ll want to exchange names, addresses, car type (make, model, color, and license plate), driver’s license number, registration, and insurance numbers. Taking pictures can often help speed the process along. Try to get information from any potential witnesses too.
- Visit a doctor, whether it’s the emergency room, urgent care, or a scheduled primary care visit. It’s best to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible to ensure your injuries are treated.
- File a claim with your insurance company and provide them with all the documented information from your accident. They’ll help make sure that your benefits are paid out and what steps to follow.
If you have questions at any point during this process, contact the Philadelphia-based car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jared S. Zafran.
Should I Get an Attorney for an Auto Accident?
The best indicator of whether you should retain an attorney is if there is any point in the process that you feel uncomfortable about your claim. This can be because you sustained serious injuries because you are having trouble getting your insurance company to pay out on your policy, or if you’re worried about being able to find or afford medical treatment. A Philadelphia car accident attorney can help you sort out these challenges and relieve some of the stress that comes with handling a car accident claim.
Who is Liable in a Car Accident?
Put simply, the person liable for a car accident is the person who caused the accident. For example, in a rear-end car accident, the driver who hit the vehicle from behind would be liable. Liability may also be determined if a party is speeding, intoxicated, driving while on their cell phone, or fails to follow traffic control devices. In some car crashes, more than one party can be liable. Additionally, there are some cases where the plaintiff in the lawsuit shares some of the faults. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer can help you determine who is liable for your car accident.
What is the max you can get from a Car Accident Settlement?
There are two factors that determine what you can get out of a settlement from a car accident. The first is the extent of your injuries and the cost of the treatment you needed to address them. Typically, the more serious the injury is, the more the settlement may be. The other factor is the insurance policy limits. For example, if the at-fault driver’s policy has a $100,000 bodily injury limit, that would be the max that their insurance would payout for an accident. The Philadelphia car accident attorneys at The Law Office of Jared S. Zafran can help you determine a fair settlement.
Can Pain and Suffering Exceed Policy Limits?
It is possible, but it can be difficult to do without the help of a car accident attorney. Generally, the excess would come from other sources, such as an umbrella insurance policy or the at-fault driver’s own funds. A Philadelphia car accident attorney can help you file a claim against a defendant and advocate on your behalf, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your pain and suffering.