One of the more common injuries in a car accident, whiplash can heal quickly or it can end up having long-lasting effects that plague you for the rest of your life. If you suffer whiplash injury in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the treatment of your injuries.
Our whiplash accident lawyers serving Philadelphia, PA, and the surrounding areas will work tirelessly for the damages you deserve. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 959-1444 to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney today.
Comparative Negligence Rule: What You Need to Know
In Philadelphia and other areas of Pennsylvania, the plaintiff in a civil personal injury case will need to prove negligence on the part of the other driver in order to obtain any damages, but simply proving negligence may not be enough. The state of Pennsylvania operates under the rule of modified comparative negligence, per 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 7102.
This means that the damages awarded to you could be reduced by a certain percentage if the jury determines you had any negligence in the accident. You will then need to show that you were less at fault for the accident than the defendant.
For example, if the other driver can prove that your brake lights were out and they, in turn, could not reasonably see that you had stopped, thus hitting your car from behind, you may have negligence assigned to you in this case. However, if the other driver was texting or distracted in some way so they were not watching the road and hit you from behind, you will more than likely not be deemed negligent.
If you are assigned some blame in the case, say 30 percent, and you are awarded $100,000, then your total award would be reduced to $70,000. If you have a higher percentage of fault, your award will be reduced even further, until it reaches 50 percent. At that point, you will not receive anything since you and the other driver were determined to be equally at fault.
Regardless of your percentage of fault, you can consider hiring a whiplash accident attorney from Ben Crump Law, PLLC to see what your legal options may be in any case. A Philadelphia whiplash accident lawyer attorney will have knowledge of how the state courts determine negligence and will fight for you to get the maximum award possible.
For a free legal consultation with a whiplash accidents lawyer serving Philadelphia, call (800) 959-1444
Types of Damages You May Be Able to Recover
Once you have proven that the other driver was negligent in this case and the jury agrees with you, there are some types of damages that you may be able to recover in your case. In Pennsylvania, you can claim the following:
- Medical bills: This may apply to doctor visits, hospital bills, surgeries, or medical costs estimated in the future related to your whiplash injury.
- Lost wages: Being in a car accident may cause you to miss work while you recover from your injuries. You can also miss work for doctor appointments or other issues related to the accident and can claim those lost wages. If your whiplash injury is severe enough to create circumstances where you cannot return to your job, you could be entitled to future lost wages as well.
- Pain and suffering: This amount can be awarded based on the amount of pain and suffering you had as a result of the accident and is not included in medical bills.
In Pennsylvania, there is no cap on the amount of compensation you may receive unless the defendant is the local government or the state government. Local governments have a cap of $500,000 (per 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8553), while the state’s cap is $250,000 (per 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8528).
Philadelphia Whiplash Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 959-1444
Evidence You Will Need for Your Case
You will need certain types of evidence on your side to prove someone else’s negligence in a car accident. An attorney can help you gather evidence and figure out what can help your case. Types of evidence that can benefit you include:
- Witness statements: If a witness saw the entire accident and can vouch for you, that will help your case.
- Security camera footage: If it is possible to obtain security camera footage from any nearby residents or businesses showing how the accident happened, the courts can view it and use it to determine negligence.
- Initial police report: When the police arrived on the scene, they more than likely attributed fault at that time. Their report can aid your case.
- Photos of the accident scene: Any photos of damage can show the courts what happened and how much damage your vehicle received at the time of the accident.
Reasons to Hire a Whiplash Accident Lawyer
After a whiplash accident, you will more than likely be in a lot of pain and will not want the extra headache of trying to file a personal injury case. A Philadelphia whiplash accident lawyer can help you handle the complexities of the law and intricacies in filing a case. A lawyer understands how to compile evidence and build arguments to fight for a fair award.
In Pennsylvania, 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 5524 sets a statute of limitations of two years on personal injury lawsuits, which means you will not have a lot of time to get everything together for your case. An attorney will know the proper steps to take to ensure a timely filing of your suit to avoid the statute of limitations expiring.
Once you begin working with a lawyer, they will also take over communications with your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company. Know that your lawyer will be fully on your side, while the insurance companies will be looking out for themselves. The lawyer will know the exact terminology to use with both companies to negotiate on your behalf.
When the case goes to the courts, your lawyer will compile the documentation needed to ensure that the case goes smoothly and that you are compensated for your injuries and time.
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Call Today to Schedule a Consultation with One of Our Attorneys
Philadelphia whiplash accident lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC represent victims of whiplash accidents. If you have suffered injuries from an accident, call us today at (800) 959-1444 to schedule a no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.