The most common car crash most Pennsylvanians will experience are rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions can be minor, causing little if any property damage and no injuries. Unfortunately, an alarming number of rear-end accidents are responsible for severe and long-term injuries.
Why You Need a Lawyer
About nine out of every ten rear-end accidents are the fault of the driver who collides with a car in front. It is no surprise that overwhelmingly, these accidents happen because of distracted drivers. Insurance companies handle these types of claims all the time. They are frequently open-and-shut cases of determining fault and assigning damages.
In Pennsylvania, very unique rules apply as a result of our limited-tort and full-tort automobile insurance plans. The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky know these laws forward and back, but so do the insurance companies. Our decades of experience keep the insurance company from using the laws to reduce your compensation.
Injuries are common in rear-end accidents, and often it is the not-at-fault driver who is injured. Most common injuries are head, neck, and spine injuries. In some cases, the true severity of an injury from a rear-end collision may not be fully known for weeks or months. Some insurance companies will try and get you to settle your claim for the amount of your property damage or minor medical bills before the symptoms of an injury are easily identifiable.
Our personal injury lawyers will make sure that you get the medical care, physical therapy, and financial compensation when you are involved in a rear-end collision that is not your fault. We negotiate with the insurance companies so you don’t have to. Our reputation for winning is well-known, and we know how to beat all the tricks. We win, or it’s free.
When Should You Contact a Lawyer
Our Philadelphia offices help with a lot of rear-end collisions. These accidents are more likely in urban environments, and they occur all to often. The good news is that most urban rear-end collisions are not fatal, but most involve injuries. There are specific steps you should take before calling our rear-end accident attorneys.
The first step following a rear-end crash is to seek immediate medical care if you, your passengers, or other drivers or pedestrians are injured. If you are seriously injured, it is imperative that you go to the hospital.
Do not admit to any fault for a rear-end accident. You may unintentionally harm your case.
Car accidents that cause more than $1,000 in damage must be reported to the police. Virtually all rear-end accidents will cause at least $1,000 in damage to a modern vehicle. A police report will help to establish the facts of your accident. Philadelphia Police may not respond if there are no injuries, but a police report will still be filed.
At the Scene of the Accident
It is not always possible to document the scene of an accident due to injuries. If it is safe and possible to do so, it is a good idea to photograph the lanes of travel, any visible road signs, obstructions or other things that may have contributed to the accident, and pictures showing the damage to both vehicles.
You should exchange your automobile insurance information with the other driver, if possible. Take notes of the time of day, things the driver of the other vehicle may have said to you, and any other noteworthy facts. If there were witnesses to the accident, ask for a phone number so you can contact them later.
Answer any questions from the police about the facts, but do not admit to any mistakes or to any fault. Doing so may jeopardize your claim.
After the Accident
In order to establish a claim of personal injury, you must be injured. If you are injured, you will need to seek medical care and establish medical records documenting your injuries. Without this documentation, it is virtually impossible to demonstrate losses for which our attorneys would recover on your behalf.
It is a good idea to contact the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky as soon as possible after a rear-end accident. The sooner our staff and attorneys can begin gathering evidence and establishing the facts of your claim, the better the outcome of your claim will be. Don’t wait until it is too late to contact us.
Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision
It is rare for the driver of a vehicle who is struck from behind to be found completely at fault for causing the accident. What we see at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky is more often attempts by insurance companies to establish partial fault on the part of the driver who was struck. This tactic may seem futile, but can be surprisingly effective at reducing the amount of compensation an insurance company must pay out to an injured driver. Common Reasons for Partial Fault Findings
The most common scenario in which a lead driver may be partially at fault for causing a rear-end collision is when the lead driver makes sudden, unexpected decisions. Most often, this happens when a driver suddenly realizes they must make a turn and brake hard. Frequently, we see drivers who are involved in rear-end collisions because they waited to long to slow for a turn and are struck from behind.
Drivers that pull out into traffic and are struck from behind are also often found to be partially at fault for the accident. This is because the driver who hit the vehicle may not have had an opportunity to avoid the accident due to the lead driver entering traffic. Similarly, drivers that make sudden lane changes while braking to make a turn may be found partially at fault for causing an accident.
Another situation that we have seen involves drivers who are operating recklessly. In some cases, road rage can contribute to an accident involving a rear-end collision. These cases can be particularly difficult to negotiate due to the nature of the accident. It is always a bad idea to express anger at other drivers by driving recklessly. You jeopardize any chance of being compensated for damages and injuries when you drive dangerously.
Distracted driving has become a serious issue in the last few decades. An insurance company may argue partial fault on the part of the driver who was struck because they were using their cellphone while driving and where not paying attention to traffic signals. The distracted driver who did not obey traffic laws may even be found partially at fault for collisions that happen several cars behind as a result of not paying attention.
A Word on Car Insurance
Pennsylvania has some of the most unique laws concerning car insurance in the nation. We have the choice between an insurance plan that covers us regardless of fault called limited tort and full-tort coverage. Limited tort plans are often significantly less expensive, but can severely restrict your ability to recover damages in an accident. This is because a limited tort policy prevents you from suing the at-fault driver in almost all circumstances. You are eligible for coverage up to your limits for medical and property losses, but you can’t seek pain and suffering damages.
While full-tort policies are more expensive, we always recommend that you choose this type of coverage. A full-tort policy allows you to recover more in damages and grants you more rights to seek damages from the at-fault driver.
Our attorneys have decades of experience working with the unique insurance laws of Pennsylvania. We know how to handle claims involving limited-tort and full-tort policies, even when one driver is covered by a type of plan and the other is not. We can even win your claim when you were involved in a rear-end collision that was not your fault with a driver from out of state where different rules for car insurance apply.
The personal injury lawyers with the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky want to make sure you or your injured family member receives medical attention, physical therapy, and financial compensation you will need to recover from a rear-end car accident. Don’t let insurance companies bully you into a settlement that doesn’t make sure your losses are covered. Our free consultation is designed to provide a risk-free opportunity to discuss the facts of your claim. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky can let you know what the best way to proceed with your case might be and what your claim could be worth.