Why Are Some Car Accident Cases Contested in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, at-fault motorists can be sued for the car accidents they cause. In some cases, victims can recover several forms of monetary damages from the drivers who caused their crashes. However, for these victims’ claims to succeed, they must be able to prove that their collisions were caused by other parties’ negligence.
Many defendants in Pennsylvania contest plaintiffs’ car accident cases to avoid paying for the damages that are owed. There are multiple strategies that defendants can utilize in their attempts to defeat plaintiffs’ claims. Accordingly, support from our legal team can be crucial to recovering the full extent of damages available in your car accident lawsuit.
In the aftermath of your harmful car crash, seek guidance and support from our experienced Philadephia car accident attorneys by calling the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free assessment of your case.
Why Do Defendants Fight Car Accident Claims in Pennsylvania?
Plaintiffs in car accident lawsuits can recover a significant compensation for the damages caused by their injuries. However, the path to payment can be complicated. Defendants will usually look for reasons to dispute victims’ cases.
There are many strategies that the defendant in your car accident case may utilize to contest your claim. If their arguments are successful, then the defendant may avoid paying for certain losses you incurred. Fortunately, our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers can help build your case and hold the at-fault party responsible for the full extent of damages you suffered.
Examples of How Defendants Fight Car Accident Cases in Pennsylvania
There are several ways that the defendant in your car accident lawsuit may attempt to refute your claim. The following are all examples of how defendants fight car accident cases in Pennsylvania:
One common way that a defendant can contest your car accident claims is by arguing that they were not at fault for the accident at issue. There are several types of evidence that can be used to establish fault. For example, witness statements, personal recollections, and evidence from the scene may all be utilized. The defendant in your case may try to use this evidence to say that your crash is actually related to your own negligence.
The defendant may also contest your case by challenging the damages you are claiming. For example, they may attempt to assert that your injury is not as severe as you allege. Further, they may argue that the property damage you are claiming is overvalued. Support from our team can be invaluable when seeking to establish the damages caused by your accident.
Furthermore, the defendant may try to defeat your car accident claim by disputing the causal link between your crash and your injuries. For instance, they may try to prove that your injuries were actually caused by some subsequent incident, rather than your car crash.
Also, they may assert that your injuries were pre-existing and are unrelated to your accident. Accordingly, you should never allow another insurance company access to your medical records without first consulting with legal representation.
Asserting Comparative Negligence
There are some situations where plaintiffs can share fault for their car crashes. For example, you may share some of the blame for your collision if you were speeding when you were struck by a drunk driver. If you share fault for your crash, then you can still recover financial compensation for your injuries. However, the amount of damages you are awarded can be limited.
Pennsylvania courts abide by the rules of modified comparative fault. This means that damages in car accident cases are awarded based on each party’s percentage of blame. As an example, if you are 20% liable for your collision while the defendant is 80% at fault, then the defendant will be ordered to pay for 80% of the losses you incurred while you are left to account for the remaining 20%. However, if you are over 50% responsible for your crash, then you will be unable to bring a claim against the other motorist.
Accordingly, defendants may try to hurt plaintiffs’ car accident claims by arguing that they shared fault for their accidents. By shifting blame, at-fault drivers may be able to avoid paying for the damages they caused.
Claiming the Statute of Limitations Was Violated
Finally, the defendant in your car accident lawsuit may contest your case by asserting that you did not file in accordance with the statute of limitations. States’ statutes of limitations set forth time windows for bringing specific types of cases to court. Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524(2), you will usually have two years from the date of your crash to bring your potential lawsuit to court. If you do not adhere to this deadline, then the defendant may move to dismiss your case.
Even though you may have two years to file your car accident lawsuit, you should begin working on your case as soon as you can. Crucial evidence needed to support your claim can become hard to preserve and gather as time passes. The quicker you begin building your case, the more effective your evidence-collection process may be.
Examples of Evidence Used to Prove Fault for a Car Crash in Pennsylvania
Thankfully, there are many different forms of evidence that can be used to prove that defendants are at fault for car crashes in Pennsylvania. The following are examples of evidence that our team may utilize:
Witness statements are a highly valuable form of evidence that can be used to demonstrate why or how accidents happened. For example, a witness may state that the defendant in your case caused your collision by running a red light.
Photos from the Scene
Photos from the scene of your accident can be used to identify contributing factors and disprove the defendant’s alternative theory of fault. These photos can also be used to establish the damage caused by your crash. Accordingly, you should attempt to take photos at the scene of your accident if you can.
Finally, your personal recollection of your accident may be very helpful when building your case. You should attempt to write down a detailed recollection of your crash while your memory is fresh.
Call Our Attorneys for Help with Your Car Accident Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
Seek assistance from our experienced Montgomery County, PA personal injury lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm by dialing (215) 709-6940 today.