The life of the average Philadelphia electric car accident lawyer has gotten a lot busier in the last few years. Until recently, electric vehicles accounted for only a small percentage of the cars on Pennsylvanian roads; nowadays, though, they’re everywhere.
Despite the popularity and positive environmental impact of these cars, they don’t come without drawbacks. The differences in their design relative to traditional, fuel-powered cars means they pose a different set of risks when it comes to accidents.
If you’ve been in a crash involving one of these vehicles, you need a knowledgeable Philadelphia electric car accident attorney.
How a Philadelphia Electric Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Pennsylvania has an unusual framework of rules around car insurance known as “choice no-fault.” This system allows drivers to choose between no-fault car insurance and traditional insurance (also known as full tort coverage).
If you have full tort coverage, you retain the right to sue the at-fault driver for both economic and non-economic damages (like pain and suffering) without having to meet any threshold.
However, if yours is a no-fault policy, you must turn to your own insurance coverage to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket losses after a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. A no-fault insurance policy will generally limit your right to sue the other party to an accident unless your injuries are so severe that the costs associated with them exceed your policy limits. In such cases, you are generally entitled to sue the at-fault party, or their insurance company, for the rest of the compensation you need.
If you get into a crash involving an EV, you’ll need an electric vehicle accident lawyer in Philadelphia. Only someone with ample experience of both electric vehicle crashes and Pennsylvania motor insurance law will be in a position to effectively represent you. If you decide to fight your corner alone, without expert legal assistance, you’re highly likely to get lost in the complexities of the various rules and requirements. Then, you’ll be forced into leaving much-needed compensation money on the negotiation table.
Why Choose an Electric Vehicle Accident Lawyer From The Cochran Firm?
Our firm has a long history of delivering the results clients need, no matter how difficult the situation.
Our founding partner, Johnnie Cochran, is world-famous for his work on high-profile cases. An expert in both civil and criminal matters, Mr. Cochran rose to prominence for taking on difficult cases with broader significance in terms of humanitarian and civil liberties issues. Though Mr. Cochran passed away in 2005, the ethos of dedication and professionalism upon which he built this firm lives on today.
At The Cochran Firm, we always put our clients first. Many people who get involved in car accidents fear that the cost of hiring an electric car accident lawyer might be too great to justify, particularly if theirs was a minor collision. We offer free initial consultations so that you don’t have to make that choice on your own; we can tell you whether you have a claim worth pursuing, free of charge.
The Risks of Electric Vehicles
According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), electric vehicles made up 14% of the global car market in 2022, compared to just 4% in 2020. The fact that EVs have risen in popularity so quickly means they’re still poorly understood by many road users. Because of this, the risks they pose are amplified.
Electric vehicles are famously quiet. While this is generally touted as a good thing, it can be dangerous for road users who are accustomed to hearing other cars. We’ve seen a number of accidents that came about because victims couldn’t hear electric vehicles approaching and ultimately didn’t have time to get out of the path. This is such a prevalent issue that the EU introduced a rule in 2021 requiring all electric vehicles to emit a minimum level of sound while traveling at low speeds and reversing.
Electric vehicles pose a particular fire risk because of their lithium-ion batteries, which can be unstable in collisions. Battery fires are challenging to fully extinguish, as they can reignite after being initially put out. These fires can even start while an electric car is charging, if there is some manufacturing or maintenance issue with the charger or the charging port.
Self-Driving Functionality Issues
Some electric vehicles come equipped with self-driving or driver-assist technologies. Although these are sophisticated, these systems can fail to detect obstacles, misjudge traffic situations, or respond inadequately to unpredictable actions from other road users. Last year, federal regulators revealed that there were almost 400 accidents confirmed to have involved automatic driving systems between July 2021 and May 2022.
There have been numerous reports of various brands of electric cars having issues with unintended acceleration. These glitches are related to voltage spikes and can cause cars to accelerate extremely quickly.
Range anxiety is a new trend whereby electric vehicle users experience concern about finding themselves stranded with a dead battery in their car, miles from the nearest charging port. While it’s unlikely this will happen under normal circumstances, it’s not unheard of (particularly where there are battery malfunction issues).
How Does an Electric Vehicle Lawsuit Work?
When you file a lawsuit against another party, that other party is referred to as a defendant. There are different potential defendants in electric vehicle lawsuits, depending on the nature of the accident.
For example, if you have a crash because your vehicle malfunctioned (such as by speeding up or losing power unexpectedly), you may be entitled to file suit against the manufacturer of the car. Tesla, the leading brand in the EV market, has been hit with a number of lawsuits like this, including over accidents allegedly related to its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features. State and federal authorities have also investigated the automaker over potential issues with these functionalities.
On the other hand, if you’re involved in an accident with an EV user while in your own vehicle, on foot, or cycling, the defendant in a lawsuit arising from that accident will usually be the driver of that vehicle or their insurance company. As noted above, Pennsylvania law allows drivers to choose whether to buy no-fault insurance; this choice will dictate the circumstances in which you can and cannot sue other parties to road accidents.
Working With an Electric Vehicle Accident Lawyer Who Will Put You First
Experts believe the explosion in the popularity of electric cars is set to continue in coming years. Unfortunately, that means we’re likely to keep seeing lots of issues like those discussed here.
At The Cochran Firm, we’ve been helping road accident victims get their lives back on track for decades. Electric vehicle issues may be relatively new, but the dedication, professionalism, and attention to detail that have made us successful in the past continue to do so now. If you get into any kind of difficulty on the road, you can be sure we’ll be here to help.
Get in contact today to schedule a free initial consultation. You can reach us over the phone at 800-969-4400 or via the contact form on our website.