Whenever you drive on the road, you run the risk of being in an accident. While most accidents are thankfully minor, other accidents can be serious. Car accidents can cause serious injuries, and pain and suffering and leave you with mountains of medical bills. When you are involved in a serious car accident, you are generally stunned and traumatized.
When you have been injured in a car accident, you may be physically unable to handle everything by yourself. You need someone who can answer your questions and explain your legal options. You need a qualified Delaware County car accident lawyer who understands the intricacies of Pennsylvania auto insurance, is experienced with injury lawsuits, and can prove that the responsible party is liable. For help with your potential case, call the Reiff Law Firm today to schedule a free case consultation. Our number is (215) 246-9000.
Common Highways for Car Accidents in Delaware County
Delaware County, like Philadelphia right next door, sees some of the most traffic anywhere in the state. Pennsylvania is a shipping and travel hub, and millions of cars and trucks pass through Delco each year. Some of the major roads that are the heaviest traveled every day in Delaware County include I-95, I-476 (The Blue Route/Northeast Extension), and I-76 (The Schuylkill Expressway).
When there is an accident on any one of these roads or the other major highways in the area, there is a much greater likelihood of serious injuries. Accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but at high speeds, it only takes a second for an inattentive driver to travel a long distance and cause a serious accident. Additionally, these major roads are often under heavy construction in Delaware County, which both causes an inconvenience and raises the risk of an accident.
Accidents on highways are also far more likely to involve a large truck or multiple cars. Large trucks tend to stick to the highways in Delco, carrying tons of freight through the county each day. If you were hit by an 18-wheeler, your accident could be more severe than if you were hit by a sedan. Similarly, whether these accidents involve semi trucks or not, multi-car pileups are more common on highways. Being the first or second car involved in a pileup can lead to serious injuries, but so can being the last or second last car. Talk to a lawyer about who is at fault in these kinds of highway accidents.
Common Injuries in Delaware County Car Accidents
Car accidents are a major source of injuries. Because there are so many major roadways in Delaware County, you will be sharing the road with all types of drivers and vehicles such as passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. While no two accidents are the same and no two injuries are the same, in our experience there are several common injuries that we see in car accident cases.
Cuts and Scrapes
Broken glass and other debris can cause surprisingly serious injuries. Even if you received other injuries that were more severe, cuts and scrapes still might require stitches and follow-up care. Cuts to the face and neck might lead to high levels of blood loss and may require help from a plastic surgeon to properly suture the wounds to avoid scarring.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain plays an essential role in our daily lives, and any injury to this important organ can be devastating. Damage or abnormalities in the brain can cause trouble with focus, alter your personality, cause increased aggression, make communication difficult, and cause issues with focus and attention.
When there is an accident, bone fractures are some of the most common injuries. Breaks can range in severity from a minor break that will heal in a few weeks to major compound fractures that require immediate medical attention and potential surgery.
One of the most serious injuries you can receive in a car accident is an amputation injury. Losing a limb to a car crash often results in a permanent disability. Even if the limb can be reattached, you might face a limited range of motion or mobility that can affect your ability to work and your day-to-day life going forward.
Car accidents could expose flammable gasoline and other chemicals to sparks. If you suffered serious burns in a car crash, you might be left with very painful, very visible injuries. The treatment for burns often involves skin grafts, which can be more painful than the injury itself. These injuries can also cause substantial emotional distress because they are physically visible to the outside world. Because of these factors, burn injuries from car accidents are often worth substantial financial compensation in car accident lawsuits.
Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries are very common injuries in car and truck accidents. The neck is very susceptible to injury in a car accident. When it is exposed to a sudden jarring force from an accident, it is very likely that the bones, muscles, or tendons can become damaged. Often, people experience a form of injury known as whiplash, which can lead to broken bones, pinched nerves, and even paralysis.
Whiplash injuries are a very common injury in any type of car accident. Whiplash injuries can cause shearing of muscle and nerve tissue resulting in nausea, headaches, and long-term stiffness in your neck. While many whiplash injuries go unreported, they can greatly impact your life and affect your ability to work.
If you have suffered one of the above injuries in an accident or simply do not feel quite right, see a doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Your chance of a full recovery often goes up if you receive treatment early and often.
Calculating Damages for Car Accidents in Delaware County, PA
Car accident cases in Delaware County often see substantial damages. Victims of serious injuries might be unable to work to support themselves and their families, and they may be unable to afford the expensive medical bills necessary to treat their injuries. It is often vital to file a lawsuit to get the full compensation you need for a serious car accident injury, including damages for noneconomic harms like pain and suffering.
Calculating damages in your case can be difficult. A car accident lawyer can help you figure out what expenses you faced because of the accident and help you collect records and documentation to prove these values in court. For some damages, your lawyer might be able to hire a financial expert to help project future expenses.
The following damages are often available in car accident cases, though the value of these damages can fluctuate from case to case:
A car accident can cause serious injuries that might require emergency medical care and ongoing care. The initial hospital bills you face for an ER visit can be expensive, especially if you needed to be admitted and monitored at the hospital for a few days. If your injuries involve permanent or long-term injuries or disabilities that will require ongoing medical care needs such as rehabilitation, physical therapy, or home nursing care, these damages can be more substantial. A lawyer can help you calculate the total costs of these damages and hire experts to project future care costs to determine how much to claim for these medical bills.
If your injury kept you from working, you could be entitled to sue the at-fault drivers for lost wages. Wages that you missed because the injury kept you out of work for a few days can be substantial, but wages you will miss going forward could be worth even more. If your job keeps you from going back to work entirely or your injury requires reduced job tasks, you could end up facing future lost wages. A financial expert can project what these damages will cost going forward and how they compare to your old projected wages, allowing you to claim damages for the full reduced earning capacity in many cases.
Pain and Suffering
It might be obvious that someone with serious injuries might be in a lot of pain, but it is difficult to know exactly what someone else is going through. Pain and suffering damages cannot be proved by looking at records or financial statements, but your testimony about the injuries and how they affected your life can help the jury choose a fair compensation amount for you. These damages can often be the biggest part of an injury case. In most insurance claims, these damages are unavailable, so it is important to discuss a lawsuit with your lawyer to maximize the damages you can claim.
What Happens in a Car Accident Lawsuit in Delaware County?
In many cases, you will need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to get the compensation you truly deserve. Insurance claims filed with your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company can sometimes get you compensation for some medical bills and lost wages. However, deductibles, policy limitations, and lack of coverage for pain and suffering might make insurance settlements too low for your needs. When you file a lawsuit instead, you can often claim higher damages.
When you first file your injury claim in court, your lawyer will submit a “complaint” detailing what happened and why the other driver is at fault. The defendant driver will get a chance to respond, filing their own paperwork to deny fault. These filings will go back and forth a few times, and if the case proceeds without a settlement, the case will move to “discovery.”
In discovery, both sides exchange evidence and take depositions to get at the evidence in the case. Once the evidence has all been exposed, it may be easier to reach a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial.
At trial, your lawyer will present evidence and testimony to prove that the other driver was at fault. The jury ultimately decides what facts they believe happened, not the judge. This means convincing them that it is more likely than not that your claim is true to meet the “preponderance of the evidence” standard in a civil case.
At any point throughout the lawsuit, the defendant or their insurance company might offer you a settlement. A settlement blocks you from continuing your case in court and leaves you with whatever money you accepted in the settlement. Our attorneys fight to ensure that any settlement offers are fair and just, and we will work to help you avoid any low offers. If your offers are too low, we can continue fighting your case in court to get a jury verdict for the full damages you need.
Our Delaware County Car Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident, you need a lawyer who can provide the high-quality legal support you deserve – and who can ensure that you will be properly compensated. The Delaware County car accident lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm have the expertise to hold responsible parties accountable. Call us today at (215) 246-9000 for a free consultation.