After being seriously injured in a car accident, you are likely to wonder how you will pay for medical bills, what will happen to your job, and how you will support your family and loved ones. You may also wonder how and why your accident happened and whether another driver is at fault. At the Reiff Law Firm, our compassionate, experienced Bucks County car accident lawyers understand the devastating impact of an auto accident. This is why we fight around the clock to recover compensation, discover why your accident happened, and hold the negligent drivers accountable. If you or a family member was hurt in a car crash in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, our skilled attorneys are here to help.
At the Reiff Law Firm, we are committed to providing aggressive legal support for car accident victims throughout the Bucks County area. For nearly 40 years, we have successfully represented tens of thousands of accident victims and have handled claims involving a wide variety of car accident and injury types. To discuss your potential car accident injury claim in a free legal consultation, contact our Bucks County car accident attorneys at (215) 246-9000.
Fighting Insurance Companies for Compensation After a Bucks County Car Accident
For decades, the Reiff Law Firm has been dedicated to fighting for seriously injured people who suffered life-altering or catastrophic injuries in car accidents. Especially in accidents caused by carelessness, recklessness, or negligence, we work to hold the responsible drivers accountable. We are equipped to aggressively handle all types of vehicular accident claims, and we work to get you compensation, whether that means going through insurance or through the courts.
In all car accident and defective vehicle injury cases, we vigorously oppose insurance companies who use a “deny, delay, and defend” approach. We understand how insurance companies build and present their cases, and we take a tactical, proactive approach tailored to each case and designed to give our clients the greatest likelihood of success.
In many car accident insurance claims, the damages that you receive will not cover your injuries in full. Pennsylvania’s “limited tort” insurance policies usually mean you will have to pay deductibles and that your coverage will be capped at a percentage of your full injuries. Moreover, insurance companies will often work to shut down claims early or pay low-dollar settlements.
Our lawyers work to fight for our clients and help guide them through the process. We can help you understand what your case should actually be worth and help fight for full compensation by taking your case to court instead of relying on insurance claims. When the at-fault driver’s insurance policy provides them with a lawyer, we can help fight these legal teams as well to work toward getting you the compensation you need.
Types of Car Accident Claims We Handle in Bucks County, PA
At the Reiff Law Firm, we have decades of experience handling a wide range of car accident cases. At our firm, you will find hard-hitting, knowledgeable lawyers with practical, hands-on experience in cases arising from accidents such as the following:
- Accidents caused by detached runaway trailers
- Accidents caused by road or intersection defects
- Accidents caused by vehicle defects
- Accidents involving uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM/UIM)
- Collisions between cars and commercial vehicles, such as semi trucks
- Collisions between cars and public transportation vehicles, such as buses, trolleys, and other SEPTA, PATCO, or NJ Transit vehicles
- Fatal car accidents leading to wrongful death claims
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Head-on collisions
Our Bucks County car accident injury attorneys are dedicated to seeking compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. We fight to recover the compensation our clients need to be made whole and move forward with their lives again after a serious car accident injury.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Bucks County
After surviving a car accident, most people want to know why they were injured. In some cases, the accident was the result of a single factor. However, most cases see multiple causes combine to cause an accident. Some of the following factors are some of the most common contributing causes in car accidents in Bucks County, PA:
Some drivers seem to think that the roads belong to them and that all other drivers should simply get out of their way. Reckless and aggressive drivers endanger everyone, and they should be held accountable for the risks and injuries they may cause. Likewise, drivers who drive recklessly by committing serious traffic violations should also be held accountable for their actions.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Drivers who fail to adjust their driving behaviors to road and weather conditions can greatly increase the risk of accident and injury for all motorists. For example, drivers should allow more following distance and proceed more conservatively when roads are slick or when visibility is reduced by snow or heavy fog.
Drowsy Commercial Drivers
Fatigue slows reaction times, impairs decision-making, and leads drivers to be seriously distracted or to fall asleep behind the wheel. Unfortunately, drowsy driving is a major problem in the commercial trucking industry. Fatigued drivers – and the companies that push their drivers to work beyond legal limits – should be held accountable when this tired driving causes preventable accidents. These types of accidents are especially likely on long, monotonous stretches of highway, such as Route 611 or 309.
Bucks County has strict DUI laws that make it illegal to operate a vehicle with enough alcohol in your system to make your driving dangerous. If the driver who caused your crash had alcohol on their breath or had a BAC over .08%, they could be held liable for any damage and injuries they caused. If they were overserved at a bar or restaurant, Pennsylvania’s “dram shop” laws might also allow you to sue the bar or restaurant that got them drunk in the first place.
Most car accidents are caused by drivers who make careless, avoidable mistakes while operating the vehicle. Examples of common driver errors include speeding, failing to stop at stop signs or red lights, failing to check mirrors for other vehicles, looking away from the road while distracted, failing to yield, failing to use turn signals properly, and failing to leave an adequate following distance.
While most auto accidents are caused by driver error, others are caused by dangerous or defective auto parts. Using examples that have been prominent in the news, GM’s ignition switch problems or Toyota’s unanticipated acceleration issues could cause drivers to crash after losing control of their vehicles. Other auto defects – such as exploding Takata airbags, or the exploding gas tanks found in certain Jeep vehicles – could directly cause severe injuries or accidents.
Unfortunately, there are almost countless factors that could increase the likelihood of a serious car accident in Pennsylvania. Other factors that may cause or contribute to traffic accidents include overloaded vehicles, negligent vehicle maintenance, and distracted driving caused by cell phones. We will put in the work to dig through the evidence and find the underlying cause of your accident, connecting the dots to prepare a stronger claim on your behalf.
Suing for Car Accident Injuries in Bucks County
After a serious auto accident, you could be left with substantial medical bills, and you might be left out of work. These kinds of injuries and damages can sometimes be compensated with an insurance claim, but you might be better off filing your claim in a court of law.
Lawsuits for auto accidents are allowed for most serious, permanent, or deadly injuries. Even if you have a “limited tort” insurance policy that would usually limit your right to sue, you might be able to sue in court if the injuries are too severe. You can also usually sue if you have a “full tort” insurance policy.
In court, you can claim the full value of medical bills and lost wages related to the crash. You can also claim damages for pain and suffering, which can help pay you for the intangible harms of the accident.
When your case goes to court, it is the jury who decides the case, not the judge or the insurance company. This gives your lawyer a chance to present the case to a jury of your peers who can see for themselves the injuries and negligence involved in your case. If your attorney can convince the jury that it is more likely than not that the other driver caused your crash, you can get compensation for any damages your attorney can prove were related to the crash.
Determining Fault in a Bucks County Auto Accident
To get you the compensation you need, your lawyer must first prove who was at fault in the crash. The court will usually accept evidence of traffic violations, dangerous driving, drunk driving, and other serious mistakes behind the wheel as proof that the other driver was at fault. In any case, the jury must see that there was some violation of a duty caused by lacking care or skill behind the wheel. If you can prove that this negligence caused the crash, you can usually win your case.
If the accident involved more than two cars, you can usually have the jury assign partial blame to all drivers who were at fault. In accidents between two cars, it could be simple enough to put all of the blame on the other driver. However, accidents with three or more cars could mean multiple drivers were at fault. The court can assign a percentage of blame to each driver, and each driver will be responsible for that share of the damages. If the court thinks you were partly responsible for the crash, this could mean losing a percentage of your damages, but it will not block your case as long as you are less at fault than the other drivers.
Courts can also hold other companies responsible, such as trucking companies, bus companies, taxi companies, and other transportation companies. Typically, these companies will be responsible for their drivers’ accidents. This means you might be able to sue a trucking company or a taxi company if their driver hit you. You can also hold these companies liable for hiring a dangerous driver or for failing to properly maintain dangerous or defective vehicles. Many state and federal rules and regulations also put extra duties on these companies.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Bucks County
If your injury took place days or weeks ago, it is likely too late to go back to the accident scene and collect more information. If you have photos of the crash scene from the day of the accident, those can go a long way toward helping prove your case, as can traffic cam footage or other security video of the accident. Even if this information is unavailable, the information contained in a police report can usually supply most of the other evidence you need.
After a car accident, it is vital to call 9-1-1. The responding officer will usually get the names and contact information from each driver, passenger, biker, pedestrian, or other person involved in the crash. This also often means getting the names and info for witnesses to the crash. Getting a copy of this police report can help you collect this information if you were unable to do this yourself at the scene of the crash. You can also usually get the make, model, and license plate number of each vehicle this way.
In the initial moments after the crash, it is vital to get to safety and call for medical help. If you were rushed to the hospital and treated for your injuries, this can help create an excellent record of what happened. The medical records from your ER visit can document what injuries you sustained, how severe they were, and other observations about the injuries. If you can get photos of the injuries, this can also be good evidence to show a jury.
It is important after being involved in any type of accident or injury that you do not share information publicly about the case. Anything you post on social media or say to a friend about your injuries could be used against you in court. Talk to a lawyer for guidance on how to collect evidence and protect your case as you fight for compensation in a car accident lawsuit.
Bucks County, PA Car Accident Statistics
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) compiles annual reports on auto accidents throughout the state. These reports include statistics on auto accidents in each county, including Bucks County. The following facts are sourced from the 2016 version of the report:
- That year, Bucks County was one of the top 10 counties with the most car accidents in Pennsylvania, accounting for 4.8% of the state’s traffic accidents.
- Sadly, Bucks County was also one of the top 10 Pennsylvania counties with the most auto accident fatalities, accounting for 4.4%.
- During 2016 in Bucks County, PennDOT recorded 2,815 injury crashes, 50 fatal crashes, and 3,294 crashes resulting in property damage only, amounting to 6,159 total car accidents.
- The same year, 16 fatalities were attributed to drunk driving accidents in Bucks County.
Bucks County, PA Car Accident Lawyers Fighting for Compensation
At the Reiff Law Firm, we are dedicated to pursuing catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims from major vehicle accidents. We realize that every accident is unique and must be approached individually. Therefore, our firm carefully assesses each claim and formulates an individualized strategy that is likely to bring about a favorable result for our client. We are proud to advocate for accident survivors and their families throughout the Bucks County region. To request a free, confidential legal consultation, call the Bucks County car accident lawyers at Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 246-9000.