Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyers
For More than 40 Years, We’ve Been Helping Car Accident Victims Recover Compensation
When you’ve been severely injured in a car accident, you will need significant legal compensation to account for your losses, from property damage to lost wages to medical expenses. Even if you think your personal injuries are “minor,” they may become more serious over time.
After a car accident, high levels of adrenaline in your body block your pain receptors from perceiving the true scope of the injury. Additionally, soft tissues and muscles are easily damaged and may not always heal correctly.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Claims in Pittsburgh?
A car accident, also known as a traffic collision or motor vehicle accident (MVA), occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary objects. These accidents can vary in severity, ranging from minor fender-benders to catastrophic collisions resulting in significant injuries or fatalities.
Common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions: These occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle, often due to sudden braking or tailgating.
- Head-on collisions: These accidents happen when the front ends of two vehicles collide, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities, especially at high speeds.
- Side-impact collisions (T-bone accidents): These occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, forming a "T" shape. These accidents often happen at intersections.
- Rollover accidents: These accidents involve a vehicle rolling onto its side or roof, often caused by sharp turns, high speeds, or colliding with obstacles.
- Single-vehicle accidents: These occur when a vehicle crashes without involving another vehicle, often due to factors like loss of control, road hazards, or driver error.
- Multi-vehicle pileups: These accidents involve three or more vehicles colliding with each other, often on highways or during adverse weather conditions.
- Side-swipe collisions: These accidents happen when the sides of two parallel-moving vehicles come into contact with each other, often when one vehicle drifts into the adjacent lane.
- Hit-and-run accidents: These occur when a driver leaves the scene of an accident without providing their information or offering assistance to those involved.
- Pedestrian accidents: These involve a vehicle colliding with a pedestrian, often at intersections, crosswalks, or in parking lots.
- Cyclist accidents: These involve a vehicle colliding with a cyclist, often at intersections, bike lanes, or on roads with narrow shoulders.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Pittsburgh
Car accidents can happen for various reasons, and understanding the common causes can help drivers take preventive measures to reduce the risk of collisions. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
The most common causes of car accidents in Pittsburgh are:
- Distracted driving: Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or interacting with passengers can divert a driver's attention from the road and increase the likelihood of accidents.
- Drunk driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.
- Speeding: Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for road or weather conditions reduces a driver's ability to react to hazards and increases the severity of accidents.
- Reckless driving: Behaviors such as aggressive driving, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and disregarding traffic signals or signs contribute to accidents by creating dangerous situations on the road.
- Drowsy driving: Fatigue impairs cognitive abilities and reaction times, making drowsy drivers more prone to accidents, especially during late-night or early-morning hours.
- Weather conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, fog, or high winds can reduce visibility, decrease traction, and make roads slippery, leading to accidents if drivers fail to adjust their driving behavior accordingly.
- Poor road conditions: Potholes, uneven pavement, debris, construction zones, and inadequate signage or lighting can increase the risk of accidents, especially if drivers are not attentive or fail to adapt their driving to the conditions.
- Failure to yield right of way: Ignoring traffic rules and failing to yield the right of way at intersections, crosswalks, merge lanes, or when entering or exiting highways can lead to collisions.
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctions in vehicle components such as brakes, tires, steering, or suspension systems can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and result in accidents.
- Inexperienced or inexperienced drivers: Lack of driving experience, inadequate training, or overconfidence can lead to poor decision-making and errors behind the wheel, increasing the risk of accidents, especially among young or newly licensed drivers.
Common Injuries in Car Accidents for Pennsylvania
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor bruises to severe, life-threatening conditions. The types of injuries sustained in a car accident depend on various factors, including the speed of the vehicles involved, the type of collision, the use of safety devices like seat belts and airbags, and the overall health and physical condition of the individuals involved.
Some common types of injuries from car accidents include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in car accidents, especially in rear-end collisions. It occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward and then backward, causing soft tissue damage, muscle strains, and neck pain.
- Head and brain injuries: Head injuries, including concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and skull fractures, can occur when occupants hit their heads on the steering wheel, dashboard, or windows during a collision. These injuries can range from mild to severe and may result in long-term complications, including cognitive impairment and neurological deficits.
- Back and spinal cord injuries: Back injuries such as herniated discs, spinal fractures, and spinal cord injuries can occur due to the impact of a car accident. These injuries can cause severe pain, limited mobility, and in the case of spinal cord injuries, paralysis or loss of sensation below the injury site.
- Fractures and broken bones: The force of a car accident can cause fractures and broken bones in various parts of the body, including the arms, legs, ribs, pelvis, and skull. Fractures may require surgical intervention, casting, or bracing to heal properly.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and contusions, can affect muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. These injuries can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility, impacting a person's ability to perform daily activities.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries, including organ damage, internal bleeding, and abdominal trauma, can occur without visible external signs. These injuries may require immediate medical attention and surgical intervention to prevent further complications.
- Psychological trauma: Car accidents can also cause psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Emotional distress and psychological symptoms may persist long after physical injuries have healed and may require therapy or counseling for recovery.
- Facial injuries: Facial injuries, such as lacerations, bruises, fractures, and dental injuries, can occur due to impact with airbags, steering wheels, or other objects within the vehicle. These injuries may require plastic surgery or dental procedures for repair and reconstruction.
- Burns: Burns can result from fires or explosions occurring during a car accident, particularly in high-impact collisions or crashes involving fuel leakage. Burn injuries can range from minor to severe and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
- Amputations: Severe car accidents can result in traumatic amputations, where limbs or digits are partially or completely severed during the collision or due to crushing injuries. Amputation injuries have profound physical and psychological effects and may necessitate lifelong rehabilitation and prosthetic use.
Individuals involved in car accidents need to seek prompt medical attention, even if they do not immediately notice any injuries, as some injuries may not manifest symptoms until hours or days after the accident. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and promote recovery from car accident injuries.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident?
All drivers are required to carry car insurance (or risk facing expensive fines). However, even filing an insurance claim isn’t a sure way to receive the funds you need.
If you’ve been left with a catastrophic spinal cord injury, for example, you may become paraplegic and require lifelong care. Such assistance is likely to exceed the average driver’s car insurance limits, which usually cap damages at $50,000 to $100,000.
To make matters more complicated, insurers often reject first claims or significantly lower your first estimate. This is a negotiation strategy, as insurers know injury victims are desperate for help and may accept the first offer they get. By working with an experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyer from the start of your car accident case, you will signal to both the insurance company and the other driver that you are serious.
What Are My Next Steps After a Car Accident?
Once you get into a car accident, it’s easy to be overwhelmed: After all, you’ve just endured an incredibly traumatic experience, and you may suffer from PTSD, which can affect memory.
However, after you’ve pulled to the side of the road safely, there are a few steps you should be taking to ensure you have a solid insurance claim later.
After your car accident make sure you:
- Avoid apologies. It may be tempting to say “sorry” in the chaos of a crash but avoid the temptation. Anything you say during the accident may be used against you later when you file a lawsuit.
- Visit a doctor. Whether you’re headed to the ER in an ambulance or driving yourself to the nearest urgent care center, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, no matter how minor they seem. This establishes your medical record of injury and shows that you suffered enough to seek medical help immediately.
- Call the cops. Even if you don’t think it’s necessary, calling the Pittsburgh police to file an official report will help you during the claims process, as it establishes a public record of the events leading up to the car crash.
- Keep track of expenses. The minute you start paying for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses, keep track of everything you buy. You should also request your full medical record from the hospitals and care providers you visit throughout the claims process, as they are obligated to give you these documents under HIPAA.
- Call a vehicle accident lawyer. Once your condition is stable, seek immediate counsel with your Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer, preferably one experienced in car accident law. Without legal representation, you may not be able to get adequate compensation for your losses.
Damages You Can Recover from a Car Accident Case in Pittsburgh
Monetary Damages Include:
- Medical bills/ future medical care
- Current/ future lost earnings
- Reduced earning ability
- Property repair/ replacement
Non-Monetary Damages Include:
- Pain & suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Car Accident?
Generally, it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after suffering injuries in a car accident. There are a couple reasons for this, the first being the statute of limitations. According to the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 42 section 5524 the state of Pennsylvania has a two-year timeline.
This means you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim or you risk losing your right to do so. It’s important to note that exceptions to this law exist that can change your filing time. An experienced attorney can advise you of any exceptions that apply to your specific claim.
In addition to the statute of limitations, a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law by
- Navigating you through the entire legal process
- Determining who is liable for your injuries
- Gathering evidence to support your claim
- Negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf
- Representing you at trial, if your case goes to court
If you have suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent driver call our firm today for a free consultation.
Contact Your Local Car Accident Attorney in Pittsburgh
Any Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. has legal experience with all types of car accident claims and is ready to put all our efforts into representing your best interests.
Our experienced lawyers will also strive to get you a better deal on your car accident claim if it involved a motorcycle, semi-truck, or bus. Get in touch with our law firm in Pittsburgh today to find out how we can help you.
- What’s the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
- 5 Steps to Take After a Car Accident
- How to Strengthen Your Car Accident Claim
- Avoid These Common Mistakes After a Car Accident
- What’s Included in a Car Insurance Policy?
Do I Need to File a Police Report?You must file an accident report with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation if the accident was not already investigated by police and anyone was injured or killed, OR, any vehicle needed to be towed from the scene, either for safety reasons or due to the scope of the damage.
When Can I File a Lawsuit for Car Accident Injuries?If your damages are not fully covered by your medical benefits coverage, you may be able to file a lawsuit. The damages you can recover will depend on which type of insurance you have: full tort or limited tort. With full tort coverage, which is the standard, you may sue for tangible expenses as well as non-economic damages such as “pain and suffering.” With limited tort coverage, you may only sue for tangible expenses unless your injuries meet a certain standard. In cases of death, serious impairment, or permanent disfigurement, you may also be able to sue for non-economic damages.
What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?When you are injured and/or face property damage in an accident where the at-fault party does not have insurance, you will need to use your own uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage. Our attorneys can advise you through filing your claim and negotiating your settlement.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in PA?In Pennsylvania, you have two years to bring any “action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual,” including any caused during a car accident. However, when negotiating with insurance companies, you may need to meet their deadlines instead. These typically require you to take action much more quickly—you may have only a few months to seek out and negotiate a settlement.
“My experience with Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. was exceptional. From the first day that I contacted them, I knew I made the right choice. Their entire team is very knowledgeable and guides you through the entire process with ease.”- Kelly Weber
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