People sometimes disregard car accidents as common facts of life, but many accidents are incredibly serious. If you were hurt in a crash, an attorney can help you recover damages to pay for your considerable expenses.
There are numerous major roads and highways around Allentown where car accidents might occur. After a crash, you might have several legal options, including filing an insurance claim and a personal injury lawsuit, depending on your circumstances. Common factors behind car accidents include distracted drivers, poor road conditions, problems with the vehicles themselves, and traffic violations, among others. Injuries can be severe, and a litany of injuries are possible. Some common car accident injuries include broken bones, brain injuries, and whiplash. Damages can also be severe, and economic and non-economic losses and injuries must be accounted for to maximize your potential compensation. To recover these damages, you must have evidence. Evidence often comes from the scene of the accident but might also be found in unexpected places.
Our car accident lawyers can help you determine the best way to get compensation for your grievous injuries. For a free case evaluation, call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.
Where a Car Accident Might Happen in and Around Allentown, PA
Allentown may be Pennsylvania’s third-largest city, but it is also the state’s fastest-growing city. While Allentown has long been overshadowed by Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and even nearby Bethlehem, the city is positioned to expand and develop more extensively due to its access not only to regional roads, but also its numerous local roads linking the city to these throughways and expressways.
Major roads linking Allentown with commercial centers include I-78 linking the city with Harrisburg and New York City, US 22, running from Cincinnati to Newark, PA 390 allows travel to and from Philly and the Poconos, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike allows travel to Plymouth Meeting & Clarks Summit. Major roads linking Allentown to these expressways include:
- Hamilton Blvd.
- Airport Rd.
- Fullerton Ave.
- PA 145
- Lehigh St.
- Union Blvd
While most trips on these highways and connecting roads are completed without complication or other events, an accident always remains a possibility. If you have been involved in a life-altering car crash that inflicted catastrophic injuries, the personal injury attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free consultation, call (215) 709-6940 or contact us online.
Legal Options After a Car Accident in Allentown, PA
After a car crash, you can speak to our car accident attorneys about taking legal action and getting compensation from the other driver. Depending on your circumstances, you might have several options worth looking into, including insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.
Pennsylvania is one of a few states that is a no-fault insurance state. Drivers are generally required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that covers them regardless of fault. This means that after a car accident, drivers would file no-fault claims with their own insurance companies to get coverage. The upside to this system is that you should be covered regardless of who was at fault, and you do not have to worry about whether the other driver has insurance. The idea is that your no-fault insurance will cover your damages, and there will be no need to file a lawsuit. This way, drivers get their expenses paid for, and the justice system is somewhat relieved.
Unfortunately, many car accident victims have very high damages not fully covered by their insurance. At that point, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to recover additional damages might be a good option.
While a lawsuit can help you recover damages not covered by your insurance, filing a case is not always possible. In Pennsylvania, drivers are required to choose between limited and full tort options when they purchase auto insurance. The option you select will determine whether you can file a lawsuit and how your case moves forward.
Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1705(a)(1), a limited tort option, you and all members of your household covered by your insurance may seek damages related to medical expenses and other economic losses, but non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering are off limits unless your injuries are considered “serious injuries.”
Serious injuries are defined under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1702 and include personal injuries resulting in serious bodily function impairments, permanent serious disfigurement, or death.
A full tort option allows you and other members of your household covered by your insurance to file personal injury lawsuits for economic and non-economic damages without needing to prove serious injuries. This is a less restrictive but often more expensive option.
What are Common Factors Behind Car Crashes in Allentown?
The reasons behind a car accidents are numerous. Furthermore, few accidents are the product of a single reason or cause. More commonly, multiple factors combine to create the circumstances where a collision becomes imminent. Factors that can commonly work alone or in concert to make the occurrence of an accident more likely include:
- Distracted drivers – Distractions have always been something a driver has had to contend with. Whether the distraction took the form of the chrome dash adornments of the 1950s and 1960s that used to reflect light into the driver’s eyes or a cell phone, drivers should not have their attention unnecessarily diverted from the road. A distracted driver is a driver who cannot perceive or react to potential hazards or dangers.
- Poor road conditions – Bad road conditions can require drivers to allow more following distance due to decreased visibility or slippery conditions. While bad road conditions increase the accident risk, drivers who do not adjust their driving behavior face an even greater risk of collision and injury.
- Defective vehicle – Vehicle defects like the GM ignition switch defect and the Toyota unintended acceleration problems can lead to an unexpected loss of vehicle control. Problems like fuel tanks that are prone to explosion on impact found on some Jeeps and the defective Takata airbags can make the resultant injuries more severe or fatal.
- Failure to follow traffic laws – Drivers who speed, change lanes unexpectedly, fail to signal, brake suddenly, and tailgate are not only violating motor vehicle regulations, they are also placing themselves and other drivers at greater risk of severe injury. Drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road to avoid unnecessarily increasing one’s accident risk.
What Types of Injuries Commonly Follow Car Accidents?
The exact injuries that occur are a product of the characteristics of the individuals in the vehicle, the class of vehicle, the speeds involved, the location of the initial impact, and many other factors. Some more commonly occurring injuries include:
- Bone fractures – Broken or fractured bones are extremely serious and can take months or years to recover from. Injuries of this type can limit your mobility and ability to handle tasks of daily living. Surgery and therapy are often required as part of the recovery process.
- TBIs – Traumatic brain injuries can be inflicted by blunt force that acts on the closed skull or penetrating forces that can pass through the skull. Regardless of whether the injury is closed or penetrating in nature, the type of problems experienced is related to the structures of the brain that suffered damage.
- Whiplash – Whiplash injuries are extremely common. However, despite their commonality, injuries of this type can be severe. Whiplash injuries can lead to problems with balance, coordination, motor skills, and other problems.
The preceding captures some of the more common injury types but is far from a comprehensive accounting of all possible injuries.
Potential Damages in Allentown, PA Car Accident Cases
Injuries, losses, expenses, and painful experiences may be summed up in a single legal term: damages. Your damages represent everything you lost or endured because of your car accident. Some damages are based on actual amounts of money you lost or had to spend, while others are based on more subjective experiences. Our car accident lawyers can assist you in calculating your damages so nothing is overlooked.
In car accident cases, economic damages often include medical bills, lost income, and property damage. Medical bills are known for being high, even if injuries are minor. When injuries are severe, medical bills can be astronomical. Even with health insurance, your deductibles might be significant. Additionally, injured drivers tend to lose income because they must take time away from work to recover. The longer you are out of work, the greater your economic losses. Finally, vehicles are not cheap to repair or replace, and the cost of repairing your car should be included in the assessment of your damages.
Non-economic damages are different because they are often not connected to a particular sum of money or value. Instead, non-economic damages reflect subjective experiences you went through during and after the crash. For example, your physical and emotional pain and suffering may be factored into these damages. In especially serious and traumatic accident cases, these damages are significant. Examples of other non-economic damages include humiliation and damage to your reputation.
Evidence to Support Your Claims in a Car Accident Case in Allentown, PA
Evidence is the lifeblood of your case. Without it, you are unlikely to recover damages. Evidence may look like almost anything, come from almost anywhere, and is unique to your circumstances. Our car accident lawyers can help you investigate for valuable evidence to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident.
Many car accidents occur on busy roads surrounded by homes, offices, stores, and other buildings. Many such places are equipped with security cameras, and those cameras might have recorded the accident. Security camera footage of your accident can be powerful evidence, especially if it clearly depicts the defendant behaving negligently.
Even if there are no video cameras to record the accident, you can make your own recordings by taking photos. Immediately after the crash, you should take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. These photos might save valuable details about the crash we can use to your advantage. Remember, you should focus on your safety first and only take pictures if it is safe to do so.
Witnesses include people who saw the accident happen or have other personal knowledge relevant to the case. When a witness is sure of their testimony and accurately remembers the accident, their testimony can be very powerful and persuasive. We can help you find witnesses using details from accident reports from the police.
Call Our Allentown, PA Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Review
If you have been severely injured or if a loved one has been killed due to a reckless or negligent driver, our car accident attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm may be able to help. To schedule a free and confidential auto accident case review, call (215) 709-6940.