Three Ways a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You After a Crash
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident or a loved one died as a result of a crash, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you in at least three very important ways:
- Assess the value of your settlement claim
- Hold negligent parties accountable and work to obtain maximum compensation
- Explain how and when you can expect to be compensated
If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, the experienced attorneys at McCann & Wall can help. Our legal team has recovered more than $200 million in verdicts and settlements for accident victims in the Philadelphia area.
After you are in a serious accident, your life changes completely. Everything may be upended as you seek medical care and wrestle with insurance companies and police reports. You may not be able to work and bills may go unpaid. That is the time to seek professional legal help. Our attorneys will stand up for your rights, fight your legal battles, and handle many complicated issues that arise in the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash.
Why is it Important to Hire an Attorney After an Accident?
The main reason it is important for you to hire a car accident lawyer after an accident is because the other party’s insurance company will do everything in their power to avoid responsibility for your injuries. They will strive to settle your case for as little compensation as possible. Their proposed settlements may only cover a fraction of the costs you will incur for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. If you are involved in an auto accident, you should contact the qualified Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC as soon as possible.
Why Choose McCann & Wall, LLC?
There are many reasons for choosing McCann & Wall, LLC. First and foremost, our car accident attorneys are known for providing focused, results-oriented legal representation to injury victims who have suffered at the hands of negligent drivers. We also have a track record for maximizing compensation for plaintiffs involving personal injury or wrongful death due to auto defects.
When choosing an attorney, it is important to remember that when you are involved in a car accident, the full financial impact of your injuries may not be immediately apparent. Some lawyers are interested in settling your case as quickly as possible without taking the time to do all of the hard work necessary to maximize your compensation award. At McCann & Wall, LLC, our process is different. Our priority is to fight aggressively and thoroughly to secure full compensation for all your injuries, as well as lost wages and damages, no matter how long it takes. Our results speak for themselves.
What Are Your Chances of Having a Car Accident?
The chances of getting into a car accident depend upon many factors, including the following:
- Where you are driving
- Your type of vehicle
- Time of day
- Day of week
- Your age
According to the statistics compiled in 2017 by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania drivers between the ages of 17 and 20 were more than twice as likely to be involved in a crash as drivers over the age of 40. The statistics also reveal that most crashes occur on Friday and Saturday, and there are more crashes and fatalities during rush hours. Passenger cars were involved in more crashes than all other vehicle types combined.
According to the National Safety Council, your odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash are 1 in 103. The chances that you will die from a heart attack are much higher (1 in 6). However, you are much more likely to die in a car accident than in an airplane crash (1 in 188,364) or in a train wreck (1 in 243,765).
Follow These Six Steps if You Are in a Car Accident
Most drivers will be involved in at least several motor vehicle crashes during their lifetime, according to insurance industry estimates. Therefore, you are wise to consider the steps you should follow in the event of a car accident. The first thing you should do if you get into a car accident is to stay as calm as possible. If you are able, turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and move to a safe place. If anyone is injured, you must call the police. Call 911 and wait for the first responders to arrive. Never leave the accident scene if you or anyone involved is injured.
The following six steps can enable you to make the best of a bad situation and help maximize your compensation if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence:
The more evidence you can collect about what happened in the accident and any injuries you sustained, the better your chances are for obtaining full compensation. Photos of the scene can be very compelling in getting insurance companies to increase their settlement amounts.
It is very important to seek medical treatment right after an accident. Information about your initial diagnosis and treatment will build the foundation for the documentation you will need to receive compensation for medical bills. It is also critical to receive follow-up treatment and care to preserve your claim for compensation.
The car accident attorneys at McCann & Wall, LLC, have the knowledge and experience to review all of the evidence and medical documentation you collect and then successfully handle every aspect of your claim.
How Can You Request a Police Report in Philadelphia?
A police report is a key piece of evidence that can help build your claim for compensation after you have been in a motor vehicle accident. If the accident caused serious injury or death, the police may also have photographs available.
If your accident occurred in the city of Philadelphia, you can obtain a traffic accident report or photographs by mail or by going in person to City Hall. You will need to bring a government-issued ID to prove you are eligible to obtain a report. According to City Council Bill No. 11-0631, the following persons are eligible for obtaining photographs or copies of a traffic accident report:
- Individuals involved in the accident
- Lawyers representing individuals involved in the accident
- Automobile insurance companies
- Other government jurisdictions
You may have to wait about two or three weeks after the accident before the report is available. If you go in person to get a traffic accident report, you will need to fill out a form and pay a fee. Visit the city’s website prior to obtaining the form to make sure you have the appropriate form of payment and all necessary information, including date and location of the accident and the police district number. The procedure for obtaining a police report in other municipalities will be similar; visit the municipality website for details.
How Can a Car Accident Change Your Life?
When negligent drivers cause car accidents, life-threatening or fatal injuries can result. There are many ways in which a serious car accident can change your life, including the following:
- Physical harm – including traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputation, burn injuries, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and whiplash
- Emotional damage – including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression
- Loss of vehicle use – if your car was totaled or in the shop, it may be difficult to get to medical appointments, do errands, or report to work
- Medical bills – from ambulance fees to X-rays, medical costs mount up fast
- Lost wages – if you miss work for any length of time, you may only receive a partial paycheck or no check at all, depending on the benefits offered by your employer
- Property damage – cost of vehicle repair or replacement
- Insurance hassles – insurance companies will contact you to offer minimal settlements, and may try to convince you not to speak with a lawyer
- Higher insurance premiums – your insurance premiums may increase after an accident, even if it is not your fault
For all these reasons and more, you need to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at McCann & Wall, LLC as soon as possible after you have been involved in a crash. Life is much more complicated and stressful after a serious accident, and you should not hesitate to reach out for assistance from our compassionate and professional legal team. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to see that you are awarded full compensation for lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical costs, and damages for pain and suffering.
The Economic Toll of Car Accidents
If you are the victim of a car accident or if a member of your family died as the result of a motor vehicle crash, you need to start building your case with an experienced lawyer right away. The monetary burden of being in a car accident may end up being a lot higher than you might anticipate. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the economic loss due to reportable traffic crashes was an average of $1,414 to every man, woman, and child in Pennsylvania during 2017.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
- Fatalities $8,032,512,735 (approximately $8 B)
- Serious Injury $6,594,551,154 (approximately $6.6 B)
- Minor Injury $2,854,546,548 (approximately $2.85 B)
- Property Damage and Other (including accidents in which severity of injuries could not be determined, approximately $650 M)
The total economic loss attributable to reportable traffic accidents in Pennsylvania during 2017 exceeded $18.11 billion.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Considering the number of vehicles on the road, the increased aggression of many drivers, and the pervasiveness of distracted driving, motor vehicle accidents occur at a tremendous rate. Our car accident attorneys handle accidents of all types and severities. The following list includes some of the many common causes of car accidents in the Philadelphia area:
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drugged driving
- Drunk driving
- Poor weather conditions
- Reckless driving
- Teen driving
- Texting while driving
- Unsafe road conditions
While factors such as bad weather, unsafe road conditions, or automobile defects can cause an accident, the majority of traffic crashes involve some sort of driver error, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Where Do the Most Motor Vehicle Accidents Happen?
In Pennsylvania, nearly 75 percent of the motor vehicle accidents in 2017 happened on highways or turnpikes, even though expressways of that type represent only about one-third of the state’s roadways.
Accidents can occur in many different types of locations. Some of the various types of collisions include the following:
- Intersection collisions – intersections are a common area for crashes, especially those involving left turns
- Highway accidents – highway accidents involving high speeds are particularly dangerous
- Rural roads – including numerous incidents involving drunk driving and drowsy driving
- Wrong-way accidents – including incorrectly entering an on-ramp or off-ramp
Across the state, the urban counties with higher populations and more vehicles reported the most crashes. More than half of all reportable traffic accidents occurred in just one-sixth of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Philadelphia County had the highest number of traffic fatalities of any Pennsylvania county in 2017.
The risk of having a car accident in Philadelphia is significant. If you are involved in a car crash, reach out to experienced attorneys right away. At McCann & Wall, LLC, our skilled trial lawyers are dedicated to representing individuals and families who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents. We have experience taking on powerful insurance companies and winning large settlements on behalf of our clients. We have successfully represented many clients in the Philadelphia area including Delaware, New Jersey, and southeast Pennsylvania.
What Types of Car Accidents Are the Worst?
The severity of a car accident depends on the speed and location of impact as well as the crash worthiness of the specific vehicle make and model involved in the accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives different ratings for the crash worthiness of many types of vehicles.
In general, crashes fall into one of three categories: frontal impact; side impact; or rollover. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 56 percent of passenger vehicle deaths in 2017 were due to frontal impacts, while side impacts accounted for 24 percent of car accident fatalities.
In addition to fatalities, car accidents injuries can be serious or catastrophic. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
No matter what type of injuries you sustain in a car accident, you can be sure that medical bills will mount up and you may miss work, leading to the possibility of serious financial hardship. The importance of enlisting an experienced legal team to help you pursue an accident claim to obtain full compensation cannot be overstated.
Common Types of Accidents
When an accident occurs, documenting exactly what happened is a vital step in building your claim. Within the three main categories of impact (frontal, side, and rear-end) there different variations of motor vehicle accidents, including the following:
- Chain reaction accidents
- Ejection from automobile
- Fender benders
- Head-on collisions
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Rollover accidents and tire blowouts
- Side-impact collisions
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC have years of experience with all these types of accidents and more. We follow a very hands-on approach to all cases, maintaining an open line of communication with you and taking all the time necessary to capture critical details. Our results speak for themselves, as we have been successful in securing multi-million-dollar settlements for injured victims in the Philadelphia area.
How Do You Get Paid for Car Accident Injuries?
If you are injured in a motor vehicle crash and you are entitled to compensation, you will be paid for your car accident injuries by an insurance company. However, the amount of money you receive depends on many factors. One factor is whether or not you were injured due to the negligence of another driver. Another factor is the type of automobile insurance that you have. An experienced lawyer can help you maximize your payment.
The types of insurance payments include the following:
- First party personal injury protection (PIP) – these are benefits from your insurance company
- Third party benefits – these are paid by the negligent driver’s insurance company
- Full tort or limited tort coverage – these are options that you choose when you purchase insurance
- Uninsured (UM) and underinsured (US) coverage – also optional
First party PIP compensation is designed to be paid whether or not you are at fault. PIP coverage is mandatory in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but the amount of compensation may not be very much. For example, in Pennsylvania, the minimum compensation limit for medical bills $5,000, but you can choose to pay for more coverage. Also in Pennsylvania, if you damage someone else’s vehicle and you are at fault, your insurance company will pay a minimum of $5,000.
You will pay lower insurance premiums if you choose limited tort coverage. However, you will be less likely to recover damages for pain and suffering. If you choose full tort coverage, you have unrestricted rights to sue negligent parties.
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured (US) coverage provides benefits if a negligent driver caused the accident and they were uninsured or underinsured.
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC are well-versed in the options and complexities of insurance policies and will guide you through the process of pursuing an accident injury claim.
How to Prepare for a Car Accident
No one wants to think about getting into an accident, but preparation can make the difference between life and death when a catastrophe happens. The best way to prepare for an accident is to ask yourself these simple questions before you get behind the wheel:
- Is my phone charged?
- Where is my driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance card, and health card?
- Do I have a safety kit? (including flashlight as well as first-aid supplies)
It is also helpful to have recent photos of your car in its current condition in case your car is damaged in an accident so you can prove the damage was the result of the crash.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident in Philadelphia?
If you have been injured in a car accident in Philadelphia, or if someone you love was killed or seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash, contact the skilled attorneys at McCann & Wall, LLC today for a free consultation by filling out our online form or calling 215-569-8488 or 302-888-1221. Chances are you will be contacted by the negligent driver’s insurance company before you contact us. Keep in mind that insurance companies are not representing your best interests. Their job is to give you as little money as possible. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers will vigorously defend your best interests in obtaining full compensation.
From our offices in Philadelphia, we represent car accident victims in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. We also handle injury claims for clients in New Jersey, Wilmington, Delaware and the surrounding areas.