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Philadelphia Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Do You Need A Philadelphia Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyer?

Statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation indicate there were over 8 million passenger vehicles with active registrations in the state in 2021. Sadly, single-vehicle accidents are common in the state, and they can leave victims with devastating injuries. 

If you suffered physical or financial harm due to an incident like this that was someone else’s fault, it may be a good idea to consult with a one-vehicle crash lawyer to assess whether you should file a lawsuit. 

How A Philadelphia Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyer from The Cochran Firm Can Help You

If you’ve had a single-vehicle accident, our car accident attorneys can help you through every stage of the difficult process that follows. 

Firstly, we’ll analyze all the available evidence and make a judgment as to whether someone else may have been legally at fault. From there, we’ll advise you on any potential legal action. 

If you choose to pursue a lawsuit, we’ll submit a court filing on your behalf and start the process of evidence-gathering, discovery, and case-building. We typically enter negotiations with the opposing side ahead of going to court, as a negotiated settlement is quicker and less stressful for all parties involved. However, if we can’t reach an acceptable deal in this way, we’ll bring our arguments before a judge and jury. 

Why Should You Choose Us?

When it comes to single-vehicle accidents in Philadelphia, our lawyers have seen it all. We’re comfortable securing high-value settlements for our clients both in and out of the courtroom. 

Robert S. Miller, our principal attorney, has a wealth of experience when it comes to single-vehicle accident claims and other types of personal injury work. His past clients have praised his attention to detail and his diligent preparation. 

As well as his work for the Cochran Firm, Robert previously served as the chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Arbitration Committee, and he has also given lectures on personal injury litigation for schools and professional organizations. 

Common Causes of Single-Vehicle Accidents in Philadelphia

Single-vehicle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common ones we see include:

  • Distracted driving: Texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio are all activities that can take a driver’s focus away from the road, potentially causing an accident. 
  • Speeding: When drivers exceed the posted speed limit or drive too fast for the road and weather conditions, they increase their risk of losing control of their vehicle and causing an accident.
  • Intoxication: Drugs and alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time.
  • Poor road conditions: Potholes and other road hazards can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
  • Mechanical failures: This includes problems with a vehicle’s brakes, steering, or tires, which can lead to accidents.
  • Fatigue: Driving while tired can negatively affect a driver’s judgment and reaction time, and increase their risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Poor weather conditions: Rain, snow, and ice can make it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles.
  • Driver inexperience: New or inexperienced drivers may lack the skills and experience needed to handle difficult driving situations, increasing their risk of causing a single-vehicle accident.

What Happens If I Was Partially at Fault for My Accident?

In Pennsylvania, the legal principle of comparative negligence applies in personal injury cases, including single-vehicle accidents. This means that your compensation will be reduced in line with the percentage of fault assigned to you for the accident. 

So, if you’re found to be 20% at fault for an accident where the total amount of compensation would otherwise be $100,000, you’ll be entitled to $80,000. 

It’s important to note that this rule only applies as long as you were not primarily responsible for the accident. If a court rules that your share of the fault is 51% or greater, you will not be entitled to any compensation.

What Kinds of Damages Are Recoverable in A Single-Vehicle Accident Lawsuit?

Should you decide to file a lawsuit following a single-vehicle accident in Philadelphia, the damages you will seek will usually fall into two categories: general damages, and special damages. In some cases, a third category, punitive damages, may also be available. 

General Damages

General damages compensate you for the noneconomic losses that you may have suffered as a result of the accident, including physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the accident, your injuries, and the knock-on effects on your life. 

These damages are often more difficult to quantify than special damages. If your case makes it as far as the jury trial stage, it will be up to the judge and jury to calculate how much you should get based on the severity of your health issues and your personal circumstances, such as your age, your family situation, and your work life. Considering these factors together allows courts to determine how much your accident affected you as an individual. 

Special Damages

Special damages, on the other hand, provide compensation for measurable economic losses, such as medical bills, time out of work, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses. These damages are typically much easier to quantify, as courts can rely on receipts, invoices, wage slips, and other such sources to calculate how much you should get.  

Punitive Damages

In some cases, courts award damages that do not relate to a loss the plaintiff has suffered; instead, the damages are designed to punish the behavior of a defendant and deter others from doing the same thing in the future. These are called punitive damages. 

You should be aware that punitive damages are only available in Philadelphia single-vehicle accidents in limited circumstances. Courts generally only award them in cases where defendants act with a deliberate disregard for the safety of others. 

Brain Injuries Following Single-Vehicle Accidents

Brain injuries are among the most common, and most devastating, health issues that arise after single-vehicle accidents. Even mild impacts to your head can cause lasting damage that brings about highly debilitating symptoms. 

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 1.5 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) every year. Of these, 50,000 lose their lives, and 80,000-90,000 must deal with lasting disabilities.

The symptoms of brain injuries make them uniquely difficult to deal with. Even in cases where they’re not apparent all the time like some physical injuries, their impact on your emotional well-being, your memory, and your ability to carry out normal daily tasks can be substantial. 

If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury because of a road accident, you should seek the help of an attorney who specializes in the area. At the Cochran Firm in Philadelphia, our lawyers have dealt with plenty of single-vehicle accidents causing brain injuries. 

How Do Car Accident Lawsuits Work?

The first step in a single-vehicle accident lawsuit is a court filing by you, the plaintiff, against the defendant in local or state court. Your filing outlines the details of the accident, the injuries you sustained, and the damages you’re seeking. The defendant then has an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

From here, both parties engage in a process known as discovery, during which they exchange information and evidence related to the case. This may include witness statements, police reports, medical records, and other documents. Both parties may also depose witnesses and experts as part of this process.

Before the dispute reaches the courtroom, you may get another chance to resolve it by negotiation. Many plaintiffs and defendants come to terms out-of-court, as it saves significant amounts of time and stress. 

If this proves impossible, the time comes to make your case in front of a judge and jury. 

The Role of Insurance Companies in Single-Vehicle Accident Claims

In many cases, insurance companies are responsible for compensating injured parties for their losses. This means these companies can be involved in legal disputes following a single-vehicle accident. Because large insurers often have teams of expensive lawyers at their disposal, this situation can pose a unique challenge. 

However, at Philadelphia’s Cochran Firm, we have ample experience in dealing with these difficult cases. We know what it takes to counteract the negotiating and litigating strategies of insurance companies and emerge with positive results for our clients. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We will always answer your questions before moving forward, and some of the most common questions people ask us include:

Do You Need a Police Report to File a Single-Vehicle Accident Claim in Philadelphia? 

Though it’s not absolutely necessary to have a police report of your single-vehicle accident in order to file a claim, police reports are useful in this situation for a number of reasons. They can help to establish liability and strengthen your position in negotiations with insurance companies. 

Can I Still File a Claim If the Single-Vehicle Accident Was Caused by a Road Defect? 

If a single-vehicle accident was caused by a road defect, such as a pothole, you may be able to file a claim for damages against the city of Philadelphia. However, pursuing a claim against the local government can be complex, and there are specific procedures and deadlines you must adhere to.

Can I Recover Damages If I Was a Passenger in a Single-Vehicle Accident? 

If you were a passenger in a car that had an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to file a lawsuit. You could sue the driver of the car for negligent driving, or the seller or manufacturer of the vehicle if it had some kind of dangerous mechanical fault. 

What If the Driver of the Vehicle that Caused the Single-Vehicle Accident Was Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol? 

If the driver of the car involved in a single-vehicle accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be considered negligent per se, which means that their actions were inherently reckless or careless. This makes it easier to establish liability, and it may make a judge more likely to grant punitive damages.

Can There be Multiple Defendants in a Single-Vehicle Accident Claim? 

Yes, there can be multiple defendants in a single-vehicle accident claim. For example, if a defect in the vehicle caused the accident, you may have a product liability claim against the retailer of the car, the manufacturer of the vehicle, and the manufacturer of the defective part.

We hope that these answers help you to better understand single-vehicle accident claims in Philadelphia. We recognize that this list is not comprehensive, and you probably have a lot more questions. 

Hiring The Philadelphia Single-Vehicle Accident Attorney Who Will Secure The Result You Need

Road accidents are traumatic enough in their own right; you shouldn’t have to contend with financial ruin as a knock-on effect if you weren’t the one at fault. Hiring a top-class single-vehicle accident lawyer is the best way to ensure you’re protecting your interests.

Contact the Cochran firm in Philadelphia today to request a free initial consultation about your case. Use the contact form on our website or reach us by phone at 800-969-4400.