If you or a loved one was hurt in a reckless driving accident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation.
To find out whether you’re eligible to file a lawsuit, contact The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia today. Our experienced and compassionate Philadelphia reckless driving accident lawyers will thoroughly analyze your case, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and fight tooth and nail to secure the damages you deserve.
What Is Reckless Driving in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law defines reckless drivers as people who operate vehicles “in willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of other drivers and property. Accordingly, several actions may constitute reckless driving, including:
- Driving significantly faster than the posted speed limit
- Driving while under the influence
- Performing illegal maneuvers
- Driving without a license
- Not using turn signals
- Driving while distracted
- Texting and driving.
What’s the Difference Between Careless and Reckless Driving?
According to section 3714 of Pennsylvania’s vehicle code, careless driving is when someone drives with “careless disregard” for the safety of property or people.
Although it sounds similar to reckless driving, there is a major difference in intent. A reckless driver is someone who deliberately drives without care, while a careless driver is merely careless when driving. To illustrate, a driver is carelessly driving when they fall asleep behind the wheel; a driver is recklessly driving if they are excessively speeding.
Call us at (800) 969-4400 today for a free consultation with one of our Philadelphia reckless driving lawyers.
What Kind of Accidents Can Reckless Driving Cause?
Reckless driving can cause a range of accidents, including:
Head-on collisions happen when the front ends of two vehicles traveling in opposite directions hit each other. During these collisions, the front end of an automobile can crush passengers and trap them between the dashboard and seat. Seeking legal representation from an experienced car accident attorney is essential in such cases to ensure your rights are protected and to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Commercial Truck Accidents
These accidents happen when commercial trucks hit other trucks or smaller passenger vehicles. They are extremely dangerous for drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 71% of deaths in large truck accidents are occupants of other vehicles.
Rollover accidents happen when a car turns over to the side. They can cause traumatic injuries and even death.
Rear-end collisions happen when an automobile crashes into the one in front of it. They typically happen due to driver distraction and inattention, panic stops, worn pavement, poor weather conditions, and tailgating.
Accidents Involving Government Vehicles
If your reckless driving accident involves a government vehicle, you must act quickly. In most situations, you must give notice that you want to file a claim within a short period of time. Contact The Cochran Firm’s lawyers immediately to ensure that all deadlines are met. Otherwise, you may not be able to recover maximum compensation.
Intentional Car Accidents
These happen when someone drives aggressively. Behaviors that lead to intentional car accidents include:
- Road rage
- Distracted driving
- Making unsafe and frequent lane changes at high speed
- Not yielding or merging
- Not paying attention to traffic signals and road signs.
As the name suggests, these collisions involve multiple vehicles. They may also involve different types of vehicles, including buses, cars, emergency vehicles, and trucks.
Multi-vehicle accidents have a high chance of causing life-changing, catastrophic injuries, and death, especially if the vehicles are hit repeatedly. The most common locations for multi-vehicle collisions include:
- Cross lane: An automobile may be sent across multiple traffic lanes if they are hit. Along the way, they may hit many other automobiles.
- Highways: Distracted driving, tailgating, and speeding can all cause multi-vehicle accidents on highways, especially if trucks and other large vehicles are involved.
- Intersections: Drivers have a hard time stopping at intersections if they are following others too closely. Refusing to yield, running red lights, and suddenly stopping can cause multi-vehicle collisions.
Common Reckless Driving Injuries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reckless driving accidents can cause a range of injuries, including:
- Herniated disks
- Broken and fractured bones
- Brain injuries
- Skin burns
- Internal bleeding
- Sprains and bruises
- Spinal cord injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Many of these injuries can be life-altering. Some of them can even put you out of work permanently.
If you or a loved one has suffered reckless driving injuries in Philadelphia, PA, reach out to The Cochran Firm today. Our aggressive and skilled personal injury lawyers will help you gather evidence and ensure that you get the justice you deserve.
Who Can I Sue For My Reckless Driving Injuries?
In most cases, you would only file a reckless driving accident claim against the driver(s) who caused the crash.
However, if other parties’ actions or inactions contributed to the accident, you can also sue them. For instance, if the reckless driving accident was partially caused or aggravated by poor road conditions, you may be able to sue the city or municipality responsible for maintaining safe road conditions.
What Our Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers Can Do For You
If you’ve been hurt by a reckless driving accident, The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia can help you put your life back together. Specifically, we can:
Analyze Your Case
First, our attorneys from the personal injury law firm will conduct a thorough investigation of your case. We will also:
- Ask you about your accident
- Advise you about your rights
- Plan your next steps.
Next, we will gather and preserve evidence to establish each party’s percentage of fault. Common examples of evidence for reckless driving cases include:
- Videos and photographs of the accident scene
- Police and medical reports
- Physical evidence like torn clothing and car parts
- Testimonies from vehicle passengers and eyewitness bystanders
- Expert witness testimony from highway safety engineers, accident reconstructionists, and medical professionals.
Documenting and Categorizing Injuries
Once we’ve gathered and preserved all relevant evidence, we will maximize your claims by documenting and categorizing injuries by looking at your X-rays, MRIs, and hospital reports.
Communicate With Insurers and Other Parties
After the accident, the opposing party’s insurance company may reach out to you. If this happens, direct them to us right away. We will answer all of their questions so you can focus on recovering and getting your life back together.
Remember, insurers never have your best interests in mind. They want to limit the amount of money they will pay to you, so they will use against you any information you tell them.
Pursue Justice In and Out of Court
If your case progresses to the court, we will protect your rights to the best of our ability and knowledge. If you receive settlement offers, we will help you determine whether they’re good for you or whether you should continue pursuing justice in the courts.
Why Choose Us
The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia, PA, has ample experience handling reckless driving claims for clients throughout the U.S. We boast a large team of savvy legal professionals, including:
- Robert S. Miller: Mr. Miller focuses on personal injury matters, including reckless driving accidents, premises liability, slips and falls, medical malpractice, and construction site accidents. He is widely known for his attention to detail and thorough litigation preparation. He is a member of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and New Jersey Bar Associations, as well as the Philadelphia, American, and Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Associations.
- Hezekiah Sistrunk: Mr. Sistrunk has been a trial lawyer for 30 years. His practice largely focuses on complex disputes involving statutory law, common law, physician and hospital liability law, commercial and business issues, class actions, and catastrophic personal injury cases.
- Derek Sells: The Managing Partner of The Cochran Firm’s New York Office, Mr. Sells has achieved many exceptional verdicts, including a damages trial verdict against The City of New York for $33.52 million.
What Compensation Can I Receive?
As a victim of a reckless driving accident, you can expect to receive the following types of compensation:
Also known as special or consequential damages, economic damages are injuries and property damage that can easily be distilled into a dollar amount. The most common types of economic damages in Philadelphia reckless driving accidents are:
- Medical bills: If you get hurt, you can sue for the cost of your recovery, which is reflected in your medical bills. You can recover current, past, and future medical bills as long as they are for injuries caused by the accident.
- Property damage: The costs of fixing or replacing your vehicle are economic damages that you can sue for.
- Lost wages and earning potential: During your recovery, you will probably be unable to work, causing you to lose income. If the accident causes life-changing injuries that prevent you from working or advancing your career in the future, you can also receive compensation for your loss of earning potential.
Non-economic or general damages compensate you for non-monetary losses that are harder to assign a dollar value to. Examples include:
- Loss of consortium: If your spouse has died or suffered permanent injuries due to a reckless driving accident, you may be able to recover compensation for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is when a spouse is deprived of their spousal relationship due to an accident. Essentially, it’s a claim for loss of:
- Domestic services, such as household chores and caring for children
- Affection and love
- Support and guidance
- Sexual relations.
- Pain and suffering: If your reckless driving injuries are preventing you from enjoying your life, you may be able to get compensation for pain and suffering. Depending on your case, pain and suffering may include:
- Depression or emotional turmoil
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Trauma and mental anguish
- Decrease in the quality of life.
As you can see, non-economic damages are much more subjective than economic damages. As a result, it’s difficult to assign a dollar value to these losses.
That’s why you should partner with The Cochran Firm’s experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers. After analyzing your case, we will determine and maximize your non-economic damages by collaborating with expert witnesses, such as medical experts, economists, accident reconstruction experts, and mental health experts.
Can I Sue If I Am Partially Responsible For The Reckless Driving Accident?
The answer depends on your degree of liability.
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence law that allows victims to sue for damages as long as their amount of fault is 50% or lower. However, their awards will be reduced according to their percentage of liability. For instance, if you are 20% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.
This means that the other party or parties will try to place more fault on you to maximize their damages. To prevent this from happening, partner with experienced Philadelphia reckless driving attorneys. The right lawyer will gather evidence and fight for your right to receive full and fair compensation.
How Long After a Reckless Car Accident Can I Sue?
According to Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of your reckless car accident to file a lawsuit. Once these two years have passed, you will no longer be able to file a claim.
Two years seems like a long time, but developing and advancing a strong claim takes time. Accordingly, you should contact The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia as soon as possible.
Contact The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia For a Free Consultation Today
A reckless driving accident can change your life forever. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be unable to work or advance in your field. You may also suffer from long-term physical and emotional conditions, such as paralysis, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Fortunately, The Cochran Firm’s Philadelphia, PA, reckless driving accident lawyers are here to help. Aggressive and skilled, our lawyers will ensure that you get the full compensation you deserve.
To learn more about your options, call (800) 969-4400 or fill in our online form for a free consultation.