Pottstown Car Accident Attorney
Any car accident, be it catastrophic or minor, can bring on feelings of fear, shock, or anxiety for anyone involved. In Pennsylvania, distracted or negligent drivers or drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are dangerous to anyone on the highways, streets, or roads.
Whether you’re a victim of another driver’s recklessness or at fault for an accident, our qualified Pottstown car accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process to help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
How Common Are Car Crashes in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, auto accidents are a significant problem. In 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reported 117,899 crashes, resulting in 1,230 fatalities and 69,599 injuries. This is a slight increase from 2020 when Pennsylvania reported 104,475 crashes, 1,129 deaths, and 61,248 injuries.
Research showed that Montgomery County had a 6.7% increase in crashes in 2021 compared to 2020. The county also had a 3.2% increase in fatalities from the previous year, and Montgomery’s engineering district had 4,219 crashes with 55 deaths and 2,156 injuries in 2021.
In and around Pottstown, there are several major highways and roads where accidents are a particular risk. These include:
- Route 422 – This highway runs east-west through the Pottstown area and is a major commuter route. It is known for heavy traffic and frequent accidents, particularly during rush hour.
- Route 100 – This north-south highway is also a major commuter route, intersecting with Route 422 in the Pottstown area. It is a common site of accidents, particularly at busy intersections.
- Interstate 76 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike) – This major east-west interstate runs north of Pottstown and is a standard route for commercial trucks. Accidents involving trucks can be severe due to their size and weight.
- High Street – This local road in Pottstown is known for being particularly dangerous, with many accidents occurring at its intersections and on its narrow lanes.
Auto accidents can occur for various reasons, and driver negligence is often a contributing factor. Some of the most common causes of crashes and driver negligence include:
This occurs when a driver is not paying full attention to the road due to using a mobile phone, eating, drinking, or other activities. Distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents, and you can easily avoid it by focusing on the road while driving.
Driving at an excessive speed can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle and can also reduce reaction time in the event of an emergency. Therefore, speeding is a major cause of accidents, and it is essential to obey posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and is a leading cause of accidents. It impairs judgment, slows reaction time, and reduces the ability to focus on the road.
This includes aggressive driving, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and ignoring traffic signals and signs. Reckless driving is a major cause of accidents that puts both the driver and other motorists at risk.
Driving while drowsy or fatigued can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, impairing judgment and slowing reaction time. Taking breaks when necessary and getting enough rest before driving are essential.
Inexperienced or Unlicensed Drivers
Young or inexperienced drivers, as well as those who do not have valid driver’s licenses, are more likely to be involved in accidents. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that drivers are properly licensed and trained before getting behind the wheel.
Pottstown Attorneys Fighting for Your Rights
Hiring a Pottstown car accident lawyer familiar with Pennsylvania laws can be extremely beneficial if you’ve been in an auto accident in Pennsylvania. An attorney can help you navigate the legal system, understand your rights and obligations, and provide guidance and support throughout the claims process.
In addition, with their experience and knowledge of the law, an attorney can help you negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. In short, hiring a Pottstown personal injury lawyer is essential for anyone involved in an auto accident, as it can help protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case.
After any car accident in Pennsylvania, you also want to get familiar with the state laws, whether you decide to retain a qualified Pottstown car accident attorney. The most important laws include the following:
Car Insurance Laws and Requirements
Pennsylvania requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance, including liability insurance, which covers damages and injuries to other parties in the event of an accident. The minimum liability insurance required in Pennsylvania is $15,000 per person for bodily injury, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $5,000 for property damage.
Additionally, Pennsylvania requires drivers to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which protects if the other driver involved in the accident is not insured or does not have enough insurance to cover damages and injuries.
Statute of Limitations
Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from auto accidents, which is two years from the date of the accident. This means that individuals who wish to file a lawsuit for damages resulting from an auto accident must do so within two years of the accident date. You can read more about it in 42 Pennsylvania Statutes section 5524.
However, you should note that the two-year timer starts at varying times, depending on whether there was a death from the accident. For a Pottstown personal injury lawsuit, the accident date starts the timer. If someone dies due to the accident, and the deceased’s representative wants to file a wrongful death suit, the timer starts at the date of the victim’s death. This can be a different date from the day the accident happened.
What Are Some Types of Car Accident Claims?
Our experienced auto accident attorneys in Pottstown can handle many car accidents claims. We have the knowledge and drive to fight for the compensation our clients deserve, and we can help you build a case with the following accident types:
- City Transit Accidents happen when a bus or other city vehicle is involved in an accident.
- Commercial Vehicle Collisions involve commercial trucks, buses, and other large vehicles, often resulting in serious injuries and property damage.
- Distracted Driver Accidents occur when a driver is not paying attention to the road, often due to mobile phone use, eating, or other activities.
- Drunk Driving is when a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Fatal Car Accidents involve the death of one or more individuals due to a car accident.
- Head-on Collisions are when two vehicles collide while traveling in opposite directions, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
- Highway Accidents occur on highways and interstates and often involve high speeds and serious injuries.
- Hit-and-Run is when a driver leaves the scene of an accident without stopping to exchange information or provide assistance.
- Intersection Accidents happen when two or more vehicles collide in an intersection, often due to one driver failing to stop at a stop sign or red light.
- Lane Crossovers are when a driver crosses over into another lane, often due to distracted driving or driver error.
- Limousine Collisions happen when a limousine is involved in an accident, often due to driver error or poor maintenance.
- Multi-Car Pile-Ups and Crashes involve three or more vehicles, often resulting in serious injuries and property damage.
- Pedestrian Injuries are when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, often due to a driver failing to yield or driving recklessly.
- Rear-End Accidents happen when one vehicle collides with the back of another car, often due to tailgating or distracted driving.
- Rollovers are when a vehicle rolls over onto its side or roof, often due to excessive speed or driver error.
- Sideswipes and Fender Benders involve minor collisions between two cars, often at low speeds.
- Speeding is when a driver exceeds the posted speed limit, causing them to lose control of their vehicle or experience a reduced reaction time.
- Taxi Accidents involve an accident with taxis and other vehicles used for commercial transportation.
- T-Bone Accidents are when a vehicle is hit on the side by another car, often at an intersection.
- Uber and Lyft Accidents are common, encompassing when a ride-sharing service driver or passenger is involved in an accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Accidents happen when a driver who does not have car insurance is involved in an accident.
- Wrong Way Accidents are accidents where a driver enters a road or highway in the wrong direction, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
What NOT to Do After an Auto Accident
Knowing what things you should avoid doing after you’re involved in a car accident can help prevent headaches down the road and delays in legal proceedings. You shouldn’t do the following:
- Leave the Accident Scene – This is a criminal offense and can result in penalties such as fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. It is crucial to stay at the scene of the accident until the authorities arrive.
- Forget to Call 911: Failing to call 911 can delay medical attention to those injured and can also prevent a proper investigation.
- Get Angry and Explode – Becoming angry or aggressive can escalate the situation and create unnecessary conflict. It’s essential to remain calm and cooperative with the other party and authorities involved.
- Forget to Photograph the Accident Scene – Failing to document the accident can make it challenging to prove fault or damages in the event of a legal dispute.
- Admit Fault – Admitting guilt can significantly impact your legal rights and ability to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
- Neglect Medical Treatment – Failing to seek medical attention or properly report the accident to the authorities and insurance companies can hurt your chances of receiving fair compensation.
- Talk to the Other Person’s Insurance Company on Your Own – Insurance companies may try to use your statements against you to minimize their liability. It’s important to consult with a auto accident lawyer in Pottstown before speaking to the other party’s insurance company.
- Accept an Unfair Settlement – Accepting a settlement offer without consulting a lawyer or fully understanding your legal rights and options can result in receiving less compensation than you deserve.
- File a Lawsuit Without a Lawyer – Filing a lawsuit without the guidance of a car accident lawyer in Pottstown can be risky and may result in an unfavorable outcome.
- Talk About the Accident With the Second Party – Talking about the accident with the other party can potentially harm your case and may lead to unnecessary conflict.
- Give Your Insurance Company a Written Statement – Insurance companies may use your statement against you to minimize liability. It’s important to consult a lawyer before providing statements to your insurance company.
- Grant Anyone Access to Your Medical Records – Allowing unauthorized access to your medical records can jeopardize your privacy and may be used against you by insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident.
- Post on Social Media About the Accident – Posting about the accident on social media can potentially harm your case. It may be used against you by insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident.
- Refuse to Hire a Lawyer – Hiring a Pottstown auto accident lawyer can help protect your legal rights, guide you through the legal process, and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws
Pennsylvania has specific laws and regulations for auto accidents that individuals should be aware of to protect their legal rights and seek compensation for their injuries and losses.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Under Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence system, if you are injured in an auto accident and are found to be partially at fault, the court will reduce your damages based on your percentage of fault. However, you can still recover damages if the court doesn’t find you more than 50% at fault for the accident.
For example, let’s say you were involved in a car accident where the other driver ran a red light and hit your car, but you were speeding at the time of the accident. If the court determines you were 30% at fault for the accident, they will reduce your damages by 30%. So, if your total compensation were $10,000, you could only recover $7,000 ($10,000 – 30% = $7,000).
Pennsylvania uses a modified comparative fault system to determine fault in auto accidents. This means if the court finds more than one party at fault for an accident, the judge will assign each party a percentage of fault. If the court finds the injured party to be less than 51% at fault for the accident, they may be able to recover damages from the other parties involved.
I Was in a Minor Car Crash, Do I Need a Lawyer?
Yes, you want to hire a lawyer after a minor car crash. Even minor accidents can result in hidden injuries, property damage, and other complications that may not be immediately apparent. Hiring a lawyer can help ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses and protect your legal rights. An experienced lawyer can also help navigate the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary.
Pottstown, PA, is a borough located in Montgomery County. It is a unique and charming town with a rich history and a vibrant community. One of the town’s main attractions is the Riverfront Park, which offers scenic views of the Schuylkill River, walking trails, and a playground for children. Visitors can also explore the Pottstown Downtown Historic District, which features beautiful architecture, unique shops, and delicious dining options.
For those interested in history and culture, Pottstown has several notable locations to visit, an essential is the Pottsgrove Manor, a historic mansion built in 1752. Other attractions to visit include the Schuylkill River Trail, which spans over 60 miles and offers beautiful views of the river and surrounding landscape, and the Carousel at Pottstown, a restored 1905 carousel that is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Auto Accident Attorneys in Pennsylvania
If you have been in an auto accident in Pennsylvania, Wilk Law is here to help. Tyler Wilk is committed to helping individuals navigate the complex legal system and obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses.
With a deep understanding of Pennsylvania’s laws and extensive experience handling these cases, our Pottstown car accident attorneys can offer the guidance and representation you need to protect your legal rights. So don’t wait to get the help you need — schedule a consultation today.
In addition to Pottstown, some of the locations our legal team serves includes West Chester, Coatesville, Downingtown, Philadelphia, Phoenixville, Berwyn, Devon, Exton, Frazer, and more. Contact us today to book a free consultation.