Car accidents can be terrifying experiences for those involved, and it is crucial that victims be able to secure compensation from an at-fault party. All too often, car accident victims struggle to secure compensation after they have been injured due to another driver’s negligence. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we are here to help if you need a Philadelphia car accident attorney by your side. Our attorneys have the resources necessary to investigate your accident and help secure full compensation for your losses.
What kind of negligence contributes to Philadelphia car accidents?
When we turn to data available from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, we can see that there were more than 125,000 total vehicle collisions reported during the latest year across the Commonwealth. Out of incidents, we know that 1,059 people lost their lives, and more than 76,000 drivers and passengers were injured.
There are various ways that negligence contributes to accidents on the roadway. We need to be very specific when we talk about accidents caused by “negligence” because this word comes with certain connotations. When someone is negligent, this typically means that they have behaved in some sort of thoughtless or careless manner that has caused harm to somebody else. A person will generally be found negligent if they do something that they should not have done, or that a reasonably prudent person would not have done in similar circumstances.
Negligence can occur on the roadways in many different ways, but the following elements will generally apply:
- First, the law requires that drivers operate their vehicles in a reasonably careful manner. Essentially, all drivers owe a duty of reasonable care to others around them.
- A driver can breach, or violate, their duty of care if they do not operate in a reasonable or prudent way. There are various types of behavior that could be defined as negligent on the roadway, and some examples of negligent driver conduct include:
- Failing to stop at a red light
- Operating too fast for conditions
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Following other drivers too closely
- In order for a negligence claim to be viable against another driver on the roadway, it will need to be shown that the driver’s actions caused harm to the injury victims in the case. This is where investigations at the scene of the crash as well as in the days and weeks following the incident come into play.
- Finally, in order for a car accident injury victim to recover compensation, they must have sustained some sort of loss. This can include financial losses such as medical expenses, lost income or earning capacity, property damage losses, etc. This can also include various non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and more.
Pennsylvania is a No-Fault State: What That Means After a Philadelphia Car Accident Resulting From Negligence
Pennsylvania motorists must choose between two options when deciding which type of insurance to purchase: limited tort or full tort.
In states that employ the fault or tort model in regard to car accidents, when someone is injured in an accident resulting from the negligence of another motorist or other such party, if they wish to recover compensation for such losses as their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses associated with their accident, they can do so by filing a claim to collect from the insurance of the negligent party.
Most states use the system. However, Pennsylvania is one of a few that use the no-fault model. In a no-fault state, it doesn’t matter whether an accident resulted from someone’s negligence. Typically, a victim’s primary means of seeking compensation for their losses will be to file a claim to collect from their own insurance.
That said, Pennsylvania’s version of the no-fault system is somewhat unique when compared to that of other states. The following section of this guide explains how.
Understanding Limited Tort And Full Tort Insurance in Pennsylvania
The type of insurance a motorist in Pennsylvania buys will determine the options they have if they ever need to seek compensation for losses resulting from a car accident caused by a negligent driver.
Many Pennsylvania drivers choose to purchase limited tort insurance. They often do so because limited tort insurance tends to be less expensive than full tort insurance.
That said, if someone with limited tort insurance is harmed in an accident, they typically will not have the option to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation from the negligent party responsible for their injuries. They will instead only be able to secure compensation from their own insurance.
There are exceptions, though. If a victim has limited tort insurance but their injuries and/or losses are particularly severe, they may be able to file an additional claim or lawsuit against the negligent party. A Philadelphia car accident negligence attorney can review your case and let you know whether you have this option.
Full tort insurance is the more expensive type. Those who choose to purchase full tort insurance may do so because it allows drivers to opt out of Pennsylvania’s no-fault system. Drivers who have full tort insurance automatically have the right to seek compensation from negligent parties who cause their accidents. This is true regardless of whether their injuries meet the threshold to qualify as “serious” under Pennsylvania law.
If you are a Philadelphia motorist who has already been injured in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, it is likely you have also already made a decision regarding what type of insurance to purchase. However, you should still review your case with the experts at our Philadelphia car accident negligence law firm. Along with providing aggressive representation to help you secure the compensation you may deserve, we can explain how your insurance situation influences your legal options in these circumstances.
Call our Philadelphia car accident negligence lawyer today
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to another driver’s negligence in or around the Philadelphia area, turn to the team at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. for help today. Our attorneys will be able to conduct a complete investigation into your claim and help secure full compensation for your losses. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost income, household out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more. When you need a Philadelphia car accident negligence attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572.