Pennsylvania is a “No-Fault” Insurance State
Pennsylvania is considered a “no-fault” insurance state. The phrase “no-fault” refers to how benefits are applied from an injured party’s personal auto insurance policy.
What this means is that no matter who is to blame for a car accident, some benefits, including wage loss coverage and medical payments, are covered by the victim’s insurance policy. If you or someone who lives with you was injured in a car accident, the benefits provided by your auto insurance policy would be used as a payment source to cover these costs. If you happen to use all the benefits offered by your insurance policy, then it is possible to seek the balance of your losses from the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
An example would be if you purchased an auto insurance policy with a medical benefit of $5,000. When you were involved in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, your insurance provider will pay medical costs up to that $5,000 limit. If you have medical bills that exceed your policy’s limits, then the at-fault party’s insurance company must cover the balance of your bills (anything that exceeds the $5,000 limit).
If you were not at fault for a car accident and recover compensation, your insurance company is not allowed to increase your premium.
Our legal team will work to ensure that your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company pay the benefits that you are owed. We will also work to ensure that your premiums are not increased for an accident that was not your fault.
Common Types of Car Accident Cases Our Legal Team Can Handle
At The Cochran Firm, we can handle all types of car accident cases. Some of the most common that we represent include:
A head-on collision is one of the deadliest types of accidents. During a head-on collision, the front portion of a vehicle can crush passengers and pin them in between the seat and dashboard.
A rear-end collision takes place if a vehicle in the front of another stops suddenly and the vehicle behind them speeds up, colliding with their rear bumper. In most situations of rear-end collisions, the car in the rear will be considered at fault for the accident. It’s worth mentioning that speeds as low as 20 mph can result in serious injuries to the back and neck. It does not take a lot of speed in this type of accident to cause serious injuries or impairment.
Commercial Truck Accidents
An accident that is caused by larger commercial vehicles can be devastating for smaller passenger vehicles. In almost 70% of all truck accidents, the fatalities and injuries that occur are to those in the other vehicle (not the large truck). In most cases, a passenger vehicle is unable to stand up to the impact caused when a large truck or tractor-trailer collides with them, which means the occupants will often experience severe injuries. Due to this, most insurance companies will aggressively fight claims involving large trucks. Because of the injuries and damages that may occur, it’s recommended that you hire a Philadelphia truck accident attorney right away to help protect your rights.
Accidents Involving Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is considered a common cause of car accidents in Philadelphia and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Cases of distracted driving because of texting and other types of distraction are growing throughout the U.S.
Accidents Involving Government Vehicles
If government vehicles are involved in a collision, it’s necessary for you to act quickly. In most situations, you have to give notice that you have the intention to file a claim within a short period of time. If you don’t provide this notice, then you may lose the right you have to recover compensation for the collision. If you are involved in a car accident with a government vehicle, it’s a good idea to contact our legal team right away to make sure that all deadlines are met so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
If you drive too fast for the road conditions or just drive too fast in general, there is the likelihood that you will cause an accident. Speeding can result in serious accidents and injuries that can impact you and other drivers on the road. It’s important to stay aware of how fast you are going and to make sure that you drive within the set speed limits. This will help you avoid harming yourself or other people on the road.
Fatigued Driving Accidents
In most cases, when you think of fatigued drivers, you likely think of truck drivers. While this is not wrong, all drivers can experience fatigue and therefore present a danger to themselves and others when on the road.
Cases of car accidents involving fatigue tend to happen between the hours of 11 PM and 8 AM. Many people drive overnight for work, which puts them at a higher risk of being involved in this type of accident.
Intentional Car Accidents
An intentional car accident occurs when someone drives aggressively. Some of the most common aggressive behaviors that can lead to collisions include:
- Not paying attention to road signs or traffic signals
- Flashing headlights at another driver
- Not merging or yielding the right of way
- Making frequent or unsafe lane changes.
A rollover accident is considered one of the most serious incidents that can occur because they have extremely high fatality rates. Even though rollover accidents are not as common as the other ones listed here, they still kill many people each year.
In the state of Pennsylvania, cases of rollover accidents make up about 3.7% of all passenger vehicle accidents; however, they account for about 18.5% of all fatalities. An accident that involves large trucks, vans, or SUVs has a much higher crash rate. In these vehicles, rollovers occur in about 5.4% of accidents but make up 27.7% of fatalities. What this means is that rollover accidents that occur in larger vehicles are about 50% deadlier than with smaller passenger vehicles. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that rollover accidents have a much higher fatality rate for all types of vehicles.
Some of the most common reasons that rollover accidents occur include:
- Severe weather conditions
- Unsafe driving
- Tire blowouts
- Faulty vehicle designs
- Defective parts.
If a tire on your vehicle loses traction, then the vehicle is at risk of being unstable. Additionally, if you try to drive your vehicle beyond its performance limits, attempt an emergency maneuver, or drive in severe weather, you may lose tire traction. A remedy for this is to utilize the vehicle’s traction control systems, which are also called Electric Stability Control. These systems will help to prevent cases of rollover accidents by 80% or more by reducing the power that goes to the wheels and keep them from losing the grip they have. Today, all vehicles that have been produced since 2012 are required to have the ESC system based on NHTSA regulations.
Drivers on the road today are more distracted than ever before. This high level of distraction leads to more accidents on Philadelphia roads. In many cases, the most serious accidents that result in fatalities involve multiple vehicles, which include emergency vehicles, trucks, cars, buses, and more.
If a multi-vehicle accident occurs, there is a high likelihood that the injuries will be catastrophic and life-changing. They can even cause death. A large amount of damage to the vehicles makes it extremely difficult for those inside to protect themselves before another collision occurs. During this type of multi-vehicle accident, some cars and trucks are hit over and over again, which means serious and life-threatening injuries are likely. A multi-vehicle accident may occur for many reasons and can occur in any location and on any type of road.
Some of the most common locations and reasons for multi-vehicle accidents include:
- Rear-ending: If one car is tailgating another while distracted, it can cause them to collide with the vehicle ahead of them. This type of accident can result in a chain reaction which leads to a multi-vehicle accident situation.
- Highways: Tailgating, being distracted, and speeding can all lead to a multi-vehicle accident. If you are on the highway when this incident occurs, the outcome will likely be much more serious.
- Intersections: It’s challenging for vehicles to stop fast enough if they are following other vehicles too closely. Not yielding, stopping suddenly, and running a red light can all result in multi-vehicle accidents.
- Cross Lane: A vehicle may be sent across multiple lanes of traffic if they are hit during an accident, which results in their vehicle striking many others. In an accident involving a semi-truck jackknife, the length of a trailer is often enough to block three to four full lanes of traffic.