West Chester, PA Car Accident Lawyer

Table of Contents

    West Chester, PA has been a main thoroughfare linking SE Pennsylvania with destinations north and west since before highways and cars. While these roadways and highways provide efficient and generally safe routes to West Chester and beyond, accidents are always a risk when it comes to travel by car.

    When an accident is unnecessarily caused by the careless, reckless, or negligent actions of another driver, you should not be left on the hook for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may be able to sue a negligent party for both economic and non-economic damages in West Chester. Victims have two years to file a claim, meaning gathering evidence and bringing a civil action as soon as possible is important. As is proving a negligent driver’s fault so that you have the best chance of a sufficient and swift recovery.

    The experienced West Chester, PA car accident attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm can give you a free case evaluation when you call us today at (215) 709-6940.

    Why Do Life-Altering Car Crashes Occur in West Chester?

    It is impossible to account for each and every possible reason that could contribute to causing an auto accident because the contributing factors are so broad and wide-ranging that they are nearly unlimited. However, over the course of our more than three decades of practice fighting for accident victims, we have determined that certain factors show up more frequently than others. Some of these more prevalent reasons that can cause or contribute to an accident include distracted drivers, poor road conditions, undressed vehicle defects, and many more.

    Distracted Drivers

    While distractions have been a problem ever since kids could argue in the backseat, today distractions seem to come from everywhere. Aside from contending with distractions by passengers, complex in-car entertainment systems, cell phones and electronic devices, and flashy electronic billboards all compete for a driver’s attention. Taking their eyes off the road for even a moment might cause a driver to strike another vehicle, causing an auto accident.

    Poor Road Conditions

    In an era of budget crunches and cutbacks, road maintenance seems like one of the first things to be put on the chopping block. Potholes, accumulations of ice and snow, and insufficient drainage can all lead to a loss of vehicle control and crashes. There are many other events and actions that can contribute to causing an accident including roadway debris, a vehicle that drops cargo on the road, adverse weather, and many other reasons.

    Unaddressed Vehicle Defects

    Defects like GM’s ignition switch problems, Takata’s airbag recall, and Toyota’s unintended acceleration, increase the odds of an accident due to an unexpected loss of vehicle control or exacerbate the consequences of a crash when it occurs. Drivers should always address vehicle recalls due to a safety defect to lower the chances of an avoidable accident.

    Aggressive Driving

    All motorists are required to follow the rules of the road. Drivers who speed, make erratic lane changes, and otherwise act unpredictably significantly increase the odds of an accident for all in the vicinity. Aggressive driving is simply poor driving and is likely to be in violation with one or more motor vehicle regulations, making a driver liable for any damages they cause.

    Drunk Driving

    Intoxicated people can experience poor response times and slower reflexes, inhibiting them from noticing obstructions in the road. People who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol might take more risks while driving, such as speeding or swerving between lanes, causing an accident in West Chester.

    Drowsy Driving

    Drowsy driving is common among truck drivers traveling long distances at a time. Driving while fatigued might cause people to fall asleep at the wheel or veer into lanes of oncoming traffic, resulting in a collision.

    What Types of Damages are Available After a Car Crash?

    Assuming that the crash is due to the negligence or other culpable action taken by the other party, there is a range of damages that may be available depending on the conduct and events that have transpired in West Chester.

    Compensatory Damages

    To begin with, the most commonly awarded type of damages are compensatory damages. Damages of this type are intended to make the victim whole for the losses they suffered. Our car accident lawyers can help you recover compensatory damages which can provide compensation for things like medical expenses, rehabilitative therapy, lost wages, lost earning potential, and pain and suffering. To recover total compensation for all damages you incurred because of a car crash in West Chester, keep all records of medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

    Punitive Damages

    In instances where particularly egregious or wanton behavior caused your injury, punitive damages may be imposed. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in West Chester and are intended to punish individuals for particularly unacceptable behavior. These damages may be more likely to be recovered in cases involving drunk drivers or negligent car part manufacturers.

    Limitations on Recovery for West Chester, PA Car Accident Victims

    Pennsylvania has complicated rules regarding car insurance requirements and limitations on recovery following collisions. Depending on your insurance type, you may or may not be permitted to bring a claim for certain damages after a car accident in West Chester.

    Drivers in West Chester and throughout Pennsylvania have the choice of purchasing either limited tort insurance or full tort insurance. The former restricts when a victim of an auto collision is able to sue for pain and suffering.

    The latter, full tort insurance, places no restrictions on the types of damages victims can recover in a compensation claim arising from an auto accident. While full tort insurance provides greater benefits to drivers if injured in a crash, limited tort insurance is the more popular option as it is less expensive.

    In cases of serious injury, victims with limited tort insurance might be able to recover damages for pain and suffering. This includes victims who sustained injuries that caused death, severe impairment of a body function, or permanent disfigurement in West Chester.

    The type of car insurance you have can impact your ability to sue for certain damages, whether you were injured in an auto accident in West Chester as a passenger, driver, or pedestrian.

    Deadline to File a Car Accident Claim in West Chester, PA

    If you do not bring a car accident lawsuit by the necessary date in West Chester, you forfeit your right to recover compensation against an at-fault driver. For most cases, victims must follow the two-year statute of limitations unless exceptions apply.

    More often than not, victims of auto accidents in West Chester have just two years to sue a negligent party for damages. The filing deadline for minors injured in car accidents is tolled until the minor victim reaches 18. This means minors in West Chester have until they turn 20 to bring a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a car crash.

    If you do not sue before the deadline, you will be unable to claim damages in a lawsuit in West Chester. Quickly filing is best, as waiting to bring a case might call into question the severity of your injuries and the damages you incurred.

    Burden of Proof in West Chester, PA Car Accident Lawsuits

    In any personal injury claim, including car crash cases, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Plaintiffs must prove that it is more likely than not that a defendant caused their injuries in an auto accident.

    A victim can meet the burden of proof and recover compensation by providing evidence against a defendant. Typical evidence in such injury claims includes eyewitness statements and surveillance footage. Witnesses and experts can provide testimony that implicates a defendant and helps prove their fault.

    Medical records can outline the seriousness of your injuries and pinpoint the exact time you sustained them. If surveillance footage is available, such videos can plainly show how a defendant acted negligently, causing your injuries.

    Importance of Proving Fault After a Car Accident in West Chester, PA

    It is crucial to compile evidence of fault that meets the burden of proof in your car accident claim. If victims are found to be partially negligent and at fault for their injuries, their awarded damages may be reduced.

    Our car accident lawyers will seek to prove that a defendant alone caused your injuries and that you did not contribute to them. Achieving this goal is paramount because of the fact that Pennsylvania is a modified comparative fault state.

    So long as a victim is not more at fault than a defendant, they will not be barred from recovery in West Chester. However, if a defendant has room to claim that you contributed to your injuries by also acting negligently, and you cannot contest that claim, your damages might be reduced.

    Comparative fault laws can play a part in various car accident claims, including those involving pedestrian victims.

    Settling a Car Accident Case in West Chester, PA vs. Going to Trial

    After suing a negligent driver in West Chester, they might approach you with the intention of settling the case out of court. There are some serious implications of settling, which victims should be aware of.

    Settling a car accident claim out of court might allow victims to recover some compensation sooner. However, it is important to note that defendants might offer a low settlement amount initially, which is why negotiating and not settling right away is crucial. In general, settling results in lesser compensation for victims.

    Victims should also know that they may have the opportunity to claim greater damages by going to trial. Settling typically does not allow for recovery for pain and suffering, which may be available if you take your case to court in West Chester.

    Our West Chester Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

    To schedule a free and confidential personal injury consultation with our car accident lawyers, call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 today.

    Our Offices

    1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd #501
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    Get Directions

    Get a Free Case Review

    "*" indicates required fields

    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.