Have you been injured in an Erie, Pennsylvania automobile accident? If so, you may be entitled to benefits and financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and emotional suffering. After a serious Erie, Pennsylvania car accident, get help from our Erie auto accident lawyers so you can begin recovering financially from your injury or injuries.
Please contact out team of Erie, Pennsylvania car accident lawyers for a free consultation. They serve all of Erie County and charge no fee unless they recover for you.
What To Do Right After The Accident
When a car crash happens and someone is seriously hurt, it is crucial to immediately get help to begin the financial recovery process. Auto collisions can have huge costs to an injured victim including vast medical bills, a damaged vehicle, and lost income from missed work. The cost of emotional distress to the victim and family members needs to be taken into account.
To start the process of financial recovery, it is best to find an experienced Erie, PA personal injury attorney to handle an insurance claim
Injury lawyers cannot help someone heal physically, but we can certainly help ease the stress of the financial burdens that usually accompany a car accident. Our Erie auto accident lawyers will launch a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, will manage all the paperwork, communications, documentation, and legal filings, and will handle negotiations to secure a full settlement. If a full settlement isn’t offered, he will take the claim to trial.
From the moment you retain our Erie auto accident attorneys you can stop worrying about medical bills, lost wages, insurance adjusters, and future expenses. You can concentrate on recovering physically and emotionally. Our team of Pennsylvania accident attorneys will concentrate on your financial recovery.
What Does It Cost To Retain Our Accident Lawyers
This is always a common concern with Pennsylvania auto accident victims. Our attorneys charge no legal fees unless they win for you. They will receive a percentage of the settlement or verdict reached. There are no up-front costs and no hidden fees. All fees and costs are paid from your settlement.
Our aggressively represents auto accident victims and the families of victims involved in a fatal car accidents. We handle car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents and wrongful death claims in Erie, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
We are not afraid to go up against large insurance companies, the responsible driver(s) or manufacturers of defective equipment. We will fight hard to obtain compensation for ongoing medical care, loss of wages and other financial damages.
Automobile accidents are the number one cause of serious injuries in Texas and around the country. They occur so commonly that we often forget the devastation they can cause when family and friends are killed, critically hurt, or permanently disabled.
Why Should You Retain Our Attorneys
- Because some insurance companies will try to offer you a quick settlement that does not fully cover your ongoing and future medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
- Because our team of Erie traffic accident lawyers will investigate the facts of your accident and aggressively pursue maximum compensation.
- Because your injuries may turn out to be more serious or more permanent than you originally thought, and you may be out of work longer than expected.
Pennsylvania & Nationwide Auto Accident Statistics
According to studies by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) hundreds of people are injured in car, motorcycle and commercial vehicle accidents every year. Many innocent people every year are injured or maimed in car accidents as a result of the careless and negligent driving of others.
Nationwide, almost 2,500,000 of Americans have been injured in all types of traffic accidents in the United States. Over 37,000 people are killed in auto accident across the country annually.
Every 13 minutes, there is a death caused by a motor vehicle accident. Car accidents and injuries claim our very youngest and our very oldest populations. Americans from the ages of 1-33 are more likely to die from a car accident than from anything else. Likewise, elderly adults aged 75 and up are most affected by motor vehicle crashes.
In PA the Erie, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas are well known for the high-volume traffic on its major roads and freeways. After all more than 2.5 million people call these areas home.
Minimizing risk is not about when you are on the road, but how careful you are, while you are on the road. The most dangerous month, is August, and Saturday the most dangerous day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving In PA Can Be Dangerous
The fact is, getting behind the wheel of a car is the riskiest thing most people do every day, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But since fatal crashes happen in “ones and twos” scattered across the country, the general public does not realize their collective toll–about 110 people per day, nationwide.
When Accidents Happen In Pennsylvania
According to the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, IIHS, an average 6.6 people are killed between the hours of 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and another 6.6 between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Those rates are the overall highest of any time during the day. In 2007, 14,055 people were killed in the 5 p.m. hour. But the hours between midnight and 4 a.m. have the highest number of fatalities when calculated as a percentage of the amount of people on the road, according to AAA. During that time, statistically speaking, 5.87 per 100 million people on the road will be killed.
Time of day plays an important role in evaluating fatal crashes, because other dangerous factors are increased at night. The instances of drunk driving, speeding and driving without a safety belt all increase during the night hours and each contributes directly to increased fatality rates.
Mid-week days like Tuesday and Wednesday also pose the lowest number of fatalities, both averaging fewer drivers and 96 and 100 deaths per day, respectively. Weekends–when the greatest number of people are on the road–predictably see the highest numbers of crash victims, with a combined average of 143 deaths for Saturday and Sunday, according to the IIHS.
Safe Driving Tips
Experts say it’s the simple things that enhance safety: wearing a seat belt, driving the right speed for the conditions and paying attention to the road. But those are the very things most drivers involved in accidents neglect to do.
Ninety-five percent of crashes are caused by human error, according to the NHTSA, but 75% of drivers say they’re more careful than most other drivers. So somebody’s errors are accounting for a lot of accidents.
According to AAA, 82% of drivers say distracted driving is a serious problem, but more than half say they talk on a cellphone while driving, and 14% admitted to reading or sending text messages while driving.
Nearly 75% of drivers report speeding as a serious problem, but 20% say they have driven 15 miles per hour over the speed limit on the highway, and 14% say they occasionally do the same on a neighborhood street.
Driving In Inclement Weather
Pennsylvania is knows for it’s harsh winters. Driving too fast for the weather conditions plays a major role in fatal crashes each year, especially during the winter. Studies show that speed is the single greatest contributing factor to serious crashes–not so much the violation of a posted speed limit, but when drivers ignore weather or traffic conditions that require a reduced speed.
Most Auto Accidents Are Due To Driver Negligence
The research findings reinforce the idea that most crashes don’t involve mechanical failures on the part of the car. Even though there are always technological improvements or preventative safety features and signs in the roads, a lot of it comes down to human behavior.
Here is good advice to keep in mind and safe rules to drive by. While you might not be able to limit all this winter’s driving to Tuesdays at 5 a.m., you can do what the statistics and the researchers recommend: wear a seat belt, focus on the road and, above all, stay in control and do not use a cell phone or text while driving a car.
Pennsylvania Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Laws
If an uninsured motorist or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist was involved in the car accident, you are strongly encouraged to seek the assistance of an Erie Pennsylvania auto accident attorney who understands UM/UIM cases. Our team of injury lawyers focus on the following critical aspects of car accidents:
- Helping our clients receive medical treatment with no out-of-pocket costs
- Seeking reimbursement for lost wages
- Focusing on our injured clients’ right to receive physical therapy and treatments recommended by their doctors
- Insisting on compensation from liable parties for ambulance or helicopter expenses
- Pursuing the causes of the car accident — for example defective brakes, defective design of air bags or seat belts — that may have made the injuries worse
- Making negligent parties and their insurers responsible for our client’s injuries
Contact Our Erie Auto Accident Law Firm
Our car accident recovery team will search for additional coverage for you. We know how to investigate auto defect and dangerous roadway design issues and take a team approach to getting you the help you need.
Our Erie personal injury attorneys handle a full range of car accident cases throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania including injuries caused or worsened by:
- Speeding, driver inattention (from texting or cell phone use) driver misconduct (reckless driving and road rage) or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Dangerous and defective roadway design or improper signs that causes an accident
- Auto defective design and other defects that cause an accident or that make injuries more severe
- Intersection collisions, running through stop signs and traffic lights (usually because of driver inattention and failure to keep a proper lookout)
- Single vehicle crashes and SUV rollovers
- Train and Automobile Accidents at railroad crossing
- Pedestrian-vehicle accidents and auto-bicycle collisions
- Allowing an unsafe or dangerous driver (negligent entrustment) to use a vehicle
- Snowmobile accidents
- All terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents
Handling The Insurance Companies
Sometimes an insurance company will try to give you a false sense of security, and then later notify you weeks or even months later that they will not cover your losses. Protect your rights and do not become a victim again.
Injury Claims And Recorded Statements
Car Insurance companies use a scheme where they ask you a series of general questions in a recorded statement. Be on full alert.
These questions are designed to having you admit that you were at fault in the accident or to get you to admit that you were not injured.
The insurance adjuster and defense attorney will try to use this recorded and transcribed statement against you to deny your legitimate claim.
Do Not Accept The Insurance Carriers Settlement
Whenever a car accident victim suffers a soft tissue damage or injury such as whiplash, muscle strain or stretch, the insurance company will use a scheme where they offer the car injury victim a small settlement. This will range from about $100 – $1000 and the adjuster will state that “This is all we are have to pay for your injuries”.
There are major problems with doing this. The insurance adjuster is not a medical doctor, and more importantly he/she is not your friend. They are not qualified determine the extent of your injuries based your symptoms. Most soft tissue type injuries do not fully appear until days, weeks, or even months after the accident.
Steps To Take After The Accident
You have been injured in an Erie County automobile accident, here is what do you need to do next:
- Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the witnesses as soon as possible, and keep them in a safe place. Follow up on your witnesses, and store their information and keep them current .
- Take photographs of vehicles. Take photographs at the scene of the accident. If you wait a day later or more, the debris will be cleaned up, skid marks will fade, the vehicles will no longer be in the same resting position. The person who caused the accident may have their vehicle fixed the very next day. You may need these photos to prove how the accident happened, or to prove how severe the accident was. Take pictures that actually SHOW the damage.PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES.
- Take photographs of injuries. If you have any bleeding, bruising, or injuries that are visible, take pictures of those injuries. Injuries can be fixed and resolve, and if you do not take a picture, the insurance company will not believe you. PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES.
- Get your own estimate of damage to your vehicle. Several body-shops will give you a free estimate. Insurance companies will often write an estimate for less than half what the damage really will cost to repair. To protect yourself, get your own estimate.
- See a doctor immediately. Either through the emergency room or through your local doctor. This is very important because the diagnosis of severe injuries can be delayed if initially you do not have any symptoms and then it can present later.
- Save all documents showing what you are out of pocket. Save all towing bills, rental bills, storage fees, prescription fees, doctor bills, etc. If you want a full financial out of pocket recovery, you will have to provide a full record.
- Call the police to the scene, order a police report. Call 911 and notify the dispatcher that there is an injury in the accident. You need a report taken, and a record of what happened. So protect yourself, and insist on a police officer to make a report if at all possible. Then order the police report and verify that it is correct.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. You need to hire someone with experience handling automobile accident claims. Someone who will maximize the benefits you are entitled to receive. Call our office immediately for a free consultation.
Using Your Cell Phone After An Auto Accident
Modern smart phone technology has incredible benefits – and there are many tools available on your smart phone. These tools are valuable in the event you are unfortunate enough to be a victim in a car accident or some other type of traffic collision on Northwest Pennsylvania roads, highways and interstates.
Camera phones can be used when documenting an auto accident by taking photographs and video. Take photos and video showing the scene of the wreck in detail. It is also very important that you take photos and video showing the damage to your vehicle.
Our Erie accident lawyers recommend that you take photos and video both up close and from a distance as the use of multiple angles often gives a much more accurate picture of the damage that has occurred.
You can also photograph and video the driver licenses, insurance information, the other vehicle’s registration plates and witnesses.
Contact Our Erie Pennsylvania Accident Lawyers
Contact us to to schedule a free initial consultation about a car accident, slip and fall premises liability claim or any other personal injury or wrongful death case. Our injury attorneys handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we accomplish our mission of getting justice for you.