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February 24, 2017

5 Things To Do After a Philadelphia Auto Accident

 

Car Accident Lawyers in PA

 

Even minor car accidents can be traumatizing due to the suddenness and the unexpectedness of the event. An impact can cause a lot of tension in your body that can remain for hours and it is normal to feel a bit disoriented. Many car accident victims are also upset at the driver they believe caused the crash.

It is important to remain calm after a collision, however, as what you do and say in the aftermath can have an effect on your legal rights as an accident victim – both positively or adversely. The following are some of the most important things you can do to preserve your legal rights and best interests after an auto accident.

Be Evaluated by Emergency Personnel

Some people can walk away from car accidents relatively unscathed while others sustain life-threatening injuries in a matter of seconds. In some cases, it will be obvious that a victim needs to be immediately taken to the hospital in an ambulance for emergency treatment and stabilization. However, other victims may need medical attention as soon as possible and may not realize how bad their injuries may be.

Allowing an emergency medical technician (EMT) to evaluate you can let you know whether you should remain at the scene of the accident or whether you need to be taken to the hospital. If the EMT thinks your injuries are serious enough to warrant an ambulance ride, you should heed their advice to best protect your physical health.

Talk to the Police

It is always wise to call the police when you believe someone else was at fault for your accident. In some cases, Pennsylvania law1 may even require police notification, such as in the case of severe injuries. When you give your version of what happened to the police, they should put it in their police report. This report can then be used in settlement negotiations and also can be used to refresh the officer’s memory if they testify at trial.

Furthermore, an officer will determine whether the other driver broke the law, including reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI),2 or other traffic violations. If a ticket is issued or if the driver is charged with a crime, it can make your legal claim significantly easier.

Document the Accident

There is much information you can gather that will help your case at the scene of an accident, including:

  • Names and contact information of others involved in the crash
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Pictures of the conditions at the scene, damage to vehicles, and visible injuries

When you get home and have the chance, you should always make notes about what you remember happening before, during, and after the crash. Your memory of specific details or observation can easily fade by the time your legal case begins or a trial occurs, and your notes can refresh your memory.

See a Doctor

If you did not need an ambulance ride, you should still head to the emergency department or schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. First, this will make sure you receive any treatment that you didn’t know you needed. Even minor injuries can escalate and have complications, so it is better to seek treatment from the start.

In addition, it is important to have a diagnosis or all of your injuries documented in your medical records so you can prove your losses in a legal claim. Having a timely diagnosis also serves to connect your injuries with the accident so the other party cannot claim that you sustained your injuries at a later date.

Call an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible

Once your physical health is stabilized, if you have incurred any losses from the accident, you should call to discuss your options with a skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as you can. Even if your case can be resolved through an insurance claim, it is important to have a lawyer review any settlement offers you receive before you accept them. This is important for two reasons:

  • You may have miscalculated the value of your losses and may not realize the offer is inadequate; and
  • Once you accept an offer, you waive the right to file a legal claim or to seek additional compensation once you realize the offer was inadequate.

An attorney will protect your rights throughout this process and will negotiate for a fair offer whenever possible or help you file a legal claim.

If you have been in an auto accident, please call The Levin Firm at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation today.

1http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/75/00.037.044.000..HTM

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February 20, 2017

Can Social Media Companies be Liable for Distracted Driving?

Distracted Driving Lawyers in Philadelphia

Distracted driving is an epidemic in the United States, in part due to the rise of smartphones and mobile apps. We are constantly connected to our friends and family, our email, and our social media accounts and this constant connectivity brings about a sense of urgency for many people when it comes to communication. For example, when someone sends a text message, they often expect almost an instantaneous response, otherwise, they may get upset. Even if some drivers know how dangerous it is to use their phones while they are behind the wheel, they may not be able to resist reading or sending a text or updating a social media profile at that very moment.

Many accidents have occurred in recent years because drivers were distracted by social media. When a crash happens, any injured victims can file a claim against the distracted driver to recover for their personal injuries and losses. The question can then arise: can the social media company also be held liable for someone using their app while driving? While this may seem far-fetched, a recent case examined this exact issue.

Recent Court Decision

This case revolves around a quite controversial filter on the app Snapchat. When the “speed filter” is used while you are moving, Snapchat will track your speed and will display it on your “snap.” One driver has been accused of using the speed filter while she was driving1 to try to get it to read over 100 miles per hour. The alleged combination of distraction and dangerous speed caused her to crash into another operated by an Uber driver. The car accident victim suffered brain damage and was in a coma for five weeks.

The victim then sued the distracted driver, who admits to speeding but denies using Snapchat at that time. Snapchat also denies that the app was being used on her phone at the time of the crash. Despite these claims, the case against the driver is pending and she is facing felony charges of causing serious injury by a vehicle and reckless driving, among others.

The plaintiff also filed a lawsuit against Snapchat, claiming that the company was negligent in providing the potentially dangerous speed filter. However, the judge hearing the case recently dismissed the claim against Snapchat.2 While the app does seem to encourage speeding, the company does have a warning on the filter advising people not to use it for this purpose while driving. This case sets one of the first precedents that social media companies will not be found liable for users engaging in distracted driving while using their apps.

Social Media can still Serve as Important Evidence in Your Case

Even if social media companies may not have to compensate car accident victims, social media can help serve as evidence in a personal injury case against a driver. In order to recover for your injuries, you must sufficiently prove that the driver was engaging in some type of negligent behavior that caused the crash – such as distracted driving. To prove negligence, you must provide evidence to the court of the driver’s actions.

It can be challenging to prove distracted driving because distraction is a mental state. Unless a driver readily admits to using a phone or otherwise being distracted – which is not surprisingly very rare – you must find another way to prove their mental state at the time of a crash.

An experienced car accident lawyer will know how to conduct a thorough investigation to collect any possible evidence of distraction. This can include researching any texts that were received or sent or any updates to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or other social media sites just before the crash occurs. If such evidence can be obtained, it can be very persuasive to a jury and may result in a favorable settlement offer.

Discuss Your Rights with a Skilled Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

Holding distracted drivers responsible for your injury-related losses is not always an easy task. At The Levin Firm, we regularly represent clients in distracted driving cases and have many resources to prove your claim. Please call (215) 825-5183 for a free consultation today.

1https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/04/28/lawsuit-blames-snapchat-for-107-mph-crash-in-mercedes-caused-by-teen-girl-using-speed-filter/?utm_term=.2ff7689387dc

2http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/01/23/snapchat-speed-filter-case-dismissed/

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October 27, 2016

How Distracted Walking Leads to Accidents

Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Philadelphia

Everyone with a driver’s license should be well aware of the extreme dangers of texting or engage in other types of distractions while driving. However, in this day and age of extreme multitasking, driving is not the only time that using a smartphone can be dangerously distracting. Another very serious activity is distracted walking.

Whenever you walk near traffic, you are inherently at risk for injuries should a pedestrian accident occur. When you are not paying attention to where you are walking or to your surroundings, you can literally walk right into a dangerous situation – such as into the pathway of traffic or into an obstacle that may cause you to trip and fall on the road.

Recent studies have demonstrated the actual risks of distracted walking and have resulted in experts calling the trend a “public health concern.1 Specifically, the rise of smartphones has led to the public health risks of distracted walking. Some of the causes of distracted walking that involve a smartphone can include:

  • Texting, emailing, or other messaging apps
  • Browsing Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites
  • Searching for directions or information on the Internet
  • Playing games such as Pokemon Go

Pedestrians who are looking down at their phones may not notice changing traffic signals or may not be able to react to cars that may be heading in their direction. Some pedestrians may be under the mistaken impression that they always have the right-of-way and can simply walk into the street and expect traffic to stop, however, this is simply not the case. This attitude is one that results in serious accidents and pedestrians should always be aware of the rules of crossing the street and following traffic signals. The problem has become so serious as of late that legislators in some states have considered issuing tickets and fines for distracted walking.2

Pedestrian Accidents can Cause Severe Injuries

Whether a pedestrian accident involves getting hit by a car, walking into a pole, or slipping, tripping, and falling,3 the potential for serious injuries exists. Some examples of common injuries that can result in the need for extensive medical care for pedestrians can include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Face and jaw fractures
  • Head injuries

The above injuries can result in the need for emergency trauma care, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, home health care, assisted living, medical equipment, and more. As you can imagine, pedestrian injuries can be very costly due to medical expenses, lost wages because of the inability to work, long-term disabilities, and more.

Drivers can Suffer Injuries Because of Distracted Pedestrians, Too

Pedestrians are not the only ones who can sustain serious injuries due to distracted walking. In some cases, drivers may see a distracted pedestrian step out into the road and they may swerve to avoid hitting the pedestrian, which can often cause them to collide with another vehicle. Such collisions can result in head and brain injuries, injuries from airbags or seat belts, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, and more. In such cases, even though the pedestrian may not have been involved in the collision, they may have been the catalyst for the collision because of their distracted walking. In such cases, injured drivers may be able to file a legal claim against the distracted pedestrian.

Shared Responsibility for a Pedestrian Accident

In many pedestrian accidents, the liability may not be black and white. Instead, both the pedestrian and the driver may share responsibility for causing the accident. For example, imagine that a pedestrian is distracted by their smartphone and walks into a crosswalk when they should not have done so. However, a driver approaching the intersection would have had plenty of time to stop and avoid a collision – except, the driver was also looking down at their smartphone and, therefore, did not see the pedestrian until it was too late. In such a case, both the distracted driver and the distracted pedestrian may be partially liable. Pennsylvania law allows certain accident victims to recover partially for their losses even if they were partially at fault. For this reason, you should always discuss your rights with an experienced attorney following an accident.

Call an Experienced Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Help Today

If you have been injured in an accident, you should call our skilled pedestrian accident lawyer at The Levin Firm for assistance as soon as possible. We can evaluate your rights and help you through the legal process, so please call us at 215-825-5183 for free today.

1http://www.popsci.com/distracted-walking-is-an-actual-public-health-concern

2https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/03/26/d24651a4-f389-11e5-89c3-a647fcce95e0_story.html

3http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Slips-Trips-and-Falls.pdf

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July 28, 2016

Pokemon Go Accident Highlights the Dangers Associated with Apps and Driving

Dangers of Pokemon Go

If you watched the news or been online in the past few week, you have like heard of a new game that is being played by millions of people around the world known as Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a new and wildly popular app that was designed to be used with people’s smartphones and utilizes augmented reality, a technology that augments the real world with computer-generated enhancements. The app broke the Apple App Store’s record for the number of downloads during the first week it was available and has some 9.5 million active daily users according to some estimates.1

How the App Works

If you have not tried Pokemon Go, this all may sound very confusing. For the uninitiated, here is a brief explanation of the way in which the app operates. Users control an avatar in the game by moving around the real world. The app uses the locational tracking functionality of smartphones to place the avatar on a map that is analogous to the player’s real world location. The player goes through the real world looking for Pokemon, which are fictional creatures that they can capture and train. When they are in range of a Pokemon, their phone uses the camera function to superimpose an image of the Pokemon character on an image of the real world, which they can then capture by throwing Pokeballs at it. Furthermore, players can visit “Pokestops” and “Gyms” in order to collect game-related items and battle with other players.

Playing Pokemon Go Requires a Significant Amount of Attention

Because taking your avatar through the Pokemon Go world requires you to move through the real world, many players look down at their phones as they are walking from place to place in order to make sure they are heading in the direction of the Pokemon they are trying to catch. If you have noticed people in the area looking at their phones more than normal and then stopping to flick their screen repeatedly, it is very likely that you are watching someone playing the game.

Whenever a person is looking at his or her phone, it is taking their attention away from their surroundings. Recognizing this fact, the game’s maker has placed a conspicuous warning on the game’s startup screen reminding players to be careful and to always be aware of their surrounds, but not all players are heeding this advice.

The First Pokemon-Go Related Car Accident Occurred in Less than a Week

Pokemon Go was released on July 6th of this year. According to a report published on CNET, not a week later, a man in Auburn, New York crashed into a tree while playing the game, marking perhaps the first accident caused by a driver distracted by Pokemon Go. While no one was injured in that accident, so long as drivers are using the app, there is a risk of a serious injury-causing accident occurring due to distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Often Entitles Victims to Compensation

Fortunately for people who are injured by distracted drivers, the fact that a driver was distracted and caused an accident is usually sufficient to recover compensation. While Pokemon Go and other smartphone-based activities can certainly result in significant distractions, distractions can also occur in much less high-tech ways. Some of the more common examples of driver distractions that can lead to accidents include the following:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Grooming
  • Applying makeup
  • Reading
  • Talking on the phone
  • Looking at scenery
  • Searching for objects in the car
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Using a GPS device

People who were distracted when an accident occurred may be reluctant to admit that fact to law enforcement or the other parties involved in the accident. For this reason, it is critical for victims to retain an attorney in order to make sure that their legal rights are protected.

Call a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been injured by a driver who was using their smartphone or otherwise distracted, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. At the Levin Law Firm, we are committed to helping people who have been injured by the negligence of another person to recover for their losses. Best of all, we offer free consultations and will charge you nothing in legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free case evaluation with a skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer, call our office today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.

1 http://www.recode.net/2016/7/13/12181614/pokemon-go-number-active-users

2 http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/that-didnt-take-long-first-car-crash-attributed-to-pokemon-go-in-new-york/

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June 24, 2016

Whiplash can be Surprisingly Serious

Whiplash can be Surprisingly Serious

If you were to accept the way that television and movies portray whiplash injuries,1 you would believe that they were simply a way for accident victims to scam insurance companies. It has become a common trope for the “injured” victim to claim serious injuries, chronic pain, and an inability to work, only to be later discovered by an investigator taking off his or her neck brace to go dancing or have a workout at the gym.

This portrayal is unfortunate because whiplash injuries can often be extremely serious and have a significant impact on victims’ ability to engage in everyday tasks and their overall quality of life. In addition, the idea that whiplash injuries are somehow “fake” has become pervasive, and many insurance companies view claims involving whiplash with suspicion, often making it difficult for injured victims to get the compensation they deserve. Fortunately, the assistance of an experienced lawyer can often help victims get the help they need as quickly as possible.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs as the result of a forceful and sudden movement of the head back and forth on the neck, as often occurs when a person suddenly accelerates or deceleration. It can often result in serious medical problems, including stiffness, headaches, neck pain, a sensation of pins and needles in the limbs, radiating pain to the neck and shoulders, and back pain.

It is important to note that “whiplash” is not an official medical diagnosis, and may be described by physicians as a neck sprain, hyperextension, hyperflexion, soft-tissue injury, or other names.

What Kinds of Accidents can Cause Whiplash?

Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, particularly rear-end accidents. In a typical whiplash case, the occupants in the front vehicle are unprepared for an impact, so when it occurs the neck muscles are relaxed. As a result, their bodies are suddenly thrust forward while their heads stay in place, causing the head to snap backward and forward violently. Other kinds of accidents can cause whiplash as well, however, including the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents that do not involve a rear-end impact
  • Bicycle accidents2
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Snowboarding and skiing accidents
  • Roller coaster and other amusement park rides
  • Intentional assaults
  • Sports accidents
  • Boating accidents

Proving Whiplash

As mentioned above, many insurance companies are suspicious of claims involving whiplash, making it essential for victims to adequately document and address the injuries they have sustained. Compounding this problem is the fact is that while whiplash is a very real injury, it is not possible to directly observe whiplash, which means that others must rely on the victim’s own description of their pain to determine its severity.

Because of these issues, it is often difficult for people who have sustained a whiplash injury to establish the existence of their injury and its severity. Fortunately, there are certain steps that victims can take to protect their legal rights and ensure that they are able to recover. These include the following:

See a Physician as Soon as Possible after Your Accident – Many people make the mistake of thinking that their injuries are not that serious and will heal on their own after being involved in an accident. In addition, many whiplash injuries do not become symptomatic for a significant period of time after an accident occurs. As a result, victims may wait for a few days or even weeks to see a doctor after an accident has occurred. When you see a physician immediately, you can make sure that there is a medical record connecting your injuries to your accident and also that your injuries are properly identified and treated.

Take Notes on How Your Injury has Affected You – As discussed earlier, unlike a laceration or bruise, whiplash is not an injury that you can typically see. For this reason, establishing the severity of a whiplash injury can be difficult. One thing victims can do to help establish the severity of their injury is take notes on how it has affected them. For example, take notes of any pain you experience, activities you choose to forgo due to your injury, headaches you have, sleep disturbances you experience, or any other ways in which the injury has affected you.

Call a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have sustained a neck or spine injury in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, you should call an experienced lawyer immediately. Attorney Gabriel Levin is a skilled Philadelphia personal injury attorney who is committed to getting the largest settlement or award for each client he represents. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call The Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.

1 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/basics/definition/con-20033090

2 http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/bicycle/

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June 10, 2016

Auto Collisions and Chest Injuries

chest injuries after a car accident

Chest injuries after a Philadelphia car crash are common and can be severe or even life threatening.  While seatbelt use certainly saves lives, they can also cause chest injuries to people who are involved in auto collisions.  In an accident, the seat belt tightens in order to forcefully hold the person in place. This can cause several different types of injuries, including abrasions, bruising, fractures to the rib and sternum, injuries to the organs and intestinal injuries. It is important to seek medical help when a chest injury from a seat belt is suspected. While these injury types may appear to heal fairly quickly, they can indicate much more severe issues including internal bleeding or torn cartilage, muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Seat Belts and Chest Injuries

The most common symptoms of chest injuries from seat belts[1] include bruising and tenderness at the injury site. There may also be visible bruising and abrasions. If there is a seat belt mark across the abdomen, the person may have also suffered abdominal or intestinal injuries, which should be addressed as these injury types could be fatal if not addressed.

Symptoms of a Minor Chest Injury Caused by an Auto Collision

With more minor chest injuries, people may experience pain in their chest wall when they try to move their shoulder, arm, trunk or rib cage. For days afterwards, the person may feel chest pain when they breathe deeply, lie on the area, sneeze or cough. While a minor chest injury may not need medical treatment, it is still a good idea for people to see their doctor to make certain the injury they suffered is not something more serious than the person might think.

Symptoms of a Major Chest Injury

If the person who suffered a chest injury is having trouble breathing and is experiencing severe pain, they may have suffered serious injuries, including damage to the lungs, blood vessels or heart. They may also demonstrate symptoms of shock or extreme shortness of breath. This can happen when a person has experienced a blunt force trauma to their sternum or a sternum fracture[2] in their accident. Blows to the front of the chest can also cause injuries to the lungs or trachea. If the impact is lower or to the side of the chest, the person may also have injuries to their liver or spleen.

Fractured Ribs and Sternums Caused by Safety Belts

Fractured ribs and fractured sternums are quite common with seatbelt injuries in car accidents. Rib fractures may be very painful and take weeks to heal. The connective tissue and cartilage between the ribs may also be torn. The symptoms of a rib fracture include severe and sharp pain in the injured area, pain that worsens when the person coughs or breathes deeply and sharper pain when lying on the area.

Sternal fractures may cause tenderness and severe pain over the injury site. People may have trouble breathing deeply and may experience increased pain when they try to do so. Sternal fractures may also cause injuries to organs underneath the sternum. In some cases, a fractured sternum is also associated with fractures to the ribs or injuries to the spinal cord as well.

Contact a Philadelphia Chest Injury Lawyer

When a person is involved in a car accident and suffers a chest injury, it is very important for them to seek immediate medical attention. A doctor can provide a thorough medical examination in order to determine exactly what injuries were caused and then to provide appropriate treatment. Failing to get immediate care may make injuries worse. In some cases, some injury types may be fatal if not treated. If the person’s accident was caused by another driver’s negligent operation of their vehicle, the injured victim may then want to get help from a car accident attorney after they have received help from medical professionals. An experienced auto collision attorney at the Levin Firm can review your case and determine what individual or business entity may be responsible for your injuries, damages and even lost wages.  Call 215-825-5183 today to schedule a free consultation or call our toll free number at 877-825-8542.

References

[1] http://www.dmv.org/pa-pennsylvania/safety-laws.php

[2] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/826169-overview

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May 27, 2016

Discussing Auto Accidents with an Insurance Adjuster

How to talk to an auto adjuster

 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation [1], there were 121,317 reportable traffic crashes in 2014. These crashes claimed the lives of 1,195 people and injured another 79,758 people. Nevertheless, many drivers may not know what steps to take or basic information to share, or not share, after an accident. Individuals may even put their identities and safety at risk by sharing too much personal information. Consumers generally need only share their names and correct vehicle insurance information, which should include the phone numbers of insurance providers. Sharing additional personal information, such as driver’s license numbers and home addresses, can place consumers, their property and their safety at risk.

Conversations with an Insurance Adjuster

After an automobile accident, you will likely be contacted by an automobile insurance adjuster. There are several things to keep in mind before and during that conversation:

  • Personal Information: Provide your name, address and telephone number as well as your employer’s address, but it is not necessary for you to provide any additional private information regarding your income, medical history and the like.
  • Identify the Caller: Be sure to obtain the name and telephone number of the person to whom you are speaking as well as the name and address of their employer; the insurance company.
  • Injuries: Even if the adjuster inquires as to your injuries, refrain from providing a detailed description. You may inadvertently leave out a detail or discover later that an injury has worsened or that you have suffered an additional injury.
  • Accident Details: Do not provide a formal statement or engage in an informal conversation with the adjuster regarding the automobile accident. You can provide the date and time of the accident and identify the make and models of any vehicles that were involved, but are not required to discuss any further specifics with the adjuster.
  • Remain Calm: Although you may be upset about the accident and your injuries, taking out your anger on the insurance adjuster does not help your case or allow you to receive compensation. It is important to stay as calm and polite when speaking with a Philadelphia insurance adjuster.
  • Settlement Offer: Insurance adjusters sometimes offer a settlement during the first one or two phone calls. Quick settlements can save the insurance company work. More significantly, the insurance adjuster may try to get you to settle for a small amount before you know fully what your injuries are and how much your claim is worth. Agreeing may seem like a simple way to get compensation without having to go through the claims process, and a quick settlement is often tempting, but it will almost certainly cost you money, perhaps quite a bit. Be sure to speak with a Philadelphia automobile accident attorney to review any suggested settlement in order to determine if it fully compensates you for your losses.
  • Avoid Recorded Calls: Many claims adjusters immediately push victims to give a tape-recorded statement, or casually ask if they may record the phone conversation, claiming that a recording will protect the victim later. It is important that you do NOT agree to have any conversation recorded. There is no legal obligation to be recorded, and it is against the law for an adjuster to record without the victim’s permission. The reason you should refuse is that most people tense up when they know they are being recorded, and forget to say important things or describe things clumsily or incompletely. A verbal statement or conversation is almost never as precise and thorough as the written correspondence you will later send the insurance company. Also, recordings take on far more importance than they deserve as evidence of what happened. It can be nearly impossible later to correct or expand on what you have said in a recording. Politely but firmly decline an adjuster’s request to record your statements.

Call a Philadelphia Automobile Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love is injured in an automobile accident, it is important to speak to an auto collision attorney as soon as possible. You may even wish to discuss speaking to an attorney prior to communicating with the insurance adjuster from the other side. The experienced automobile accident attorneys at the Levin Firm understand the legal issues that may arise in a vehicle accident and will always strive to ensure you recover any losses you may have incurred as a result. Our skilled single vehicle accident attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Pennsylvania law to make sure you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled. Call 215-825-5183 today to schedule a free consultation or call our toll free number at 877-825-8542.

References

[1] http://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/Safety/Documents/2014_CFB_linked.pdf

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May 13, 2016

What to Expect Following a Car Accident

Philly car accident

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, you are probably wondering what the best way to proceed will be.  Immediately following an auto accident, your safety and the safety of your passengers is critical.  Below are some additional steps to take immediately following a car accident.

Information Gathering

It is critical to gather certain information while you’re still at the scene of the accident, including the name and contact information for the following:

  • The other driver
  • The other driver’s insurance company
  • Any witnesses to the accident, and
  • Any law enforcement officers the come to the scene

While it is likely that the other driver may have caused the accident, you will usually be dealing with the insurance company instead of the dealing directly with the other driver.  This makes it even more important to have an experienced auto accident attorney advocating for you.

Take Pictures

Taking photographs while you are still at the accident scene is very important, especially now that technology is widely available, and most people carry cell phones with camera capabilities. While you are at the accident scene, take pictures of the following:

  • The locations of the vehicles
  • Areas of physical damage on each vehicle
  • The license plates of each vehicle.

Remember, the insurance company is NOT on your side. They are in the business of making money, and that happens when it pays out less money to you on a claim than it otherwise has to. The insurance company tries to accomplish this by arguing:

  • The accident was completely or partially your fault.
  • You should only be paid a reduced amount on your claim.
  • You haven’t provided sufficient documentation to support your claims of loss.

As a general rule, the more information and documentation you provide to the insurance company, the more likely you are to receive fair compensation from the insurance company for all of your damages. Remember, the insurance company is not required to reach a settlement agreement with you.

How Much Will I Get for Damages?

If you are making a claim for property damage you may be entitled to some of the following damages:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Personal property damage
  • Car rental
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

The insurance company will extend a settlement offer to you based on the information and documentation you provide. Generally, the insurance company will enter a settlement agreement only if it’s the company’s best interests to do so. However, on the whole, the insurance company knows that settling a claim is in its best interests.

How Much Will I Get if I am Injured?

First, and most importantly, sometimes the symptoms of injuries don’t appear until weeks, even months, after a car accident. So even if you feel ok after a car accident, seek medication attention as soon as possible.  Another reason why this is important is if you enter into a quick settlement with the insurance company, and then find out that you need more medical treatment for your injuries, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for additional compensation.  You may very well be entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses or lost wages. You may also claim compensation for your mental and physical pain and suffering stemming from the accident.

Contact The Levin Firm

Because some car accidents can result in serious injuries and exceed the normal “fender bender” many people may experience, the legal issues involved can become much more complicated.  Representing individuals involved in car accidents requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients.

At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.

If you have suffered injury in a Philadelphia auto accident, your main concern should always be on your physical and mental recovery and you should not have to constantly worry about your legal case. For this reason, we make certain to regularly communicate with clients and will keep you up to date on any new developments in your case. We provide careful attention to each individual auto accident case and will always zealously advocate on your behalf. If you have suffered injury, please do not hesitate to call 877-825-8542 to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Levin Firm today.

Sources:

1.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/tips-protect-legal-claim-after-car-accident.html

2.      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/resolving-car-accident-claim

3.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/calculator.html

4.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/settling-car-accident-case.html

5.      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/tips-settling-car-accident-claim.html

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April 29, 2016

Most Common Auto Accident Injuries

Philly Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents are a leading cause of injuries. Over 5.6 million car accidents were reported in the United States in 2012. Of these, over 30,000 of were fatal and another 1.6 million involved other injuries. The damage they leave behind can be immense. The economic cost of car accidents is estimated to be $277 billion each year – or around $897 for every person living in the United States.

While car accident injuries can vary from person to person and from crash to crash, there are some fairly common ones. Below you will find an overview of common car accident injuries.

Head and Back Injuries

  • Head injuries are among the most serious car accident injuries. Seated drivers and passengers involved in high-speed collisions can strike their heads against steering wheels, dashboards, or windows. This can cause traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to comas and lasting cognitive problems. Often extensive medical treatment and long-term medical care are required after such injuries. Head injuries can also lead to skull fractures, hearing loss, and vision problems.
  • Back injuries are also common. Any damage to the spinal cord can cause significant nerve damage. Patients may experience reduced sensation of and control over their arms, hands, legs, feet, and other body parts. More serious forms of spinal damage can leave patients permanently paralyzed. Another common car accident injury is a herniated disk. This tends to be less severe than spinal damage or head injuries, but can still cause significant problems. Patients often experience numb or tingling sensations, muscle weakness, and arm or leg pain.

Neck and Chest Injuries

  • Whiplash: Probably the most well known car accident injury is whiplash. Sudden movement of the head and neck (such as from a rear-end collision) can cause serious neck muscle and ligament damage. Whiplash injuries can differ from person to person, depending on the accident and the health of the person involved in it. Generalized neck pain and swelling is also fairly common. It is also not unheard of for patients to suffer temporary vocal cord paralysis after a car accident.
  • Chest: Many serious injuries are related to trauma affecting the chest area. Blunt force trauma from car accidents can cause broken ribs and collapsed lungs. People with heart problems can go into traumatic cardiac arrest from an accident. Internal bleeding in the chest area can be an immediate problem following an accident. Damage to internal organs, the pelvis, and the abdomen can also occur. These kinds of injuries require immediate medical attention.

Other Injuries

  • Legs, arms, hands and feet: Injuries to the arms, legs, hands and feet can be common. Accidents involving pedestrians can see leg and foot damages in addition to all those mentioned above. Motorcyclists involved in car accidents can suffer significantly more serious and more numerous injuries. These can include broken bones, ligament damage such as a torn ACL, and even severed limbs. The fatality rate for motorcyclists is also significantly higher than that for drivers and passengers in cars.
  • Emotional distress following a car accident is also common. People most often drive or ride in a car with friends and family members. Serious car crashes can leave emotional scars on those who suffered serious injuries as well as those who witnessed them. Counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and similar psychological injuries is fairly common.

Contact The Levin Firm

Because some car accidents can result in serious injuries and exceed the normal “fender bender” many people may experience, the legal issues involved can become much more complicated.  Representing individuals involved in car accidents requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients.

At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.

If you have suffered injury in a Philadelphia auto accident, your main concern should always be on your physical and mental recovery and you should not have to constantly worry about your legal case. For this reason, we make certain to regularly communicate with clients and will keep you up to date on any new developments in your case. We provide careful attention to each individual auto accident case and will always zealously advocate on your behalf. If you have suffered injury, please do not hesitate to call 877-825-8542 to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Levin Firm today.

Sources:

1.      http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/fault-and-liability-for-motor-vehicle-accidents.html

2.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/tips-protect-legal-claim-after-car-accident.html

3.      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/resolving-car-accident-claim

4.      http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/take-notes-about-car-accident-injuries.html

5.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/calculator.html

6.      https://www.hg.org/car-accident.html

7.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/settling-car-accident-case.html

8.      http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/types-of-car-accident-injuries.html

9.      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/tips-settling-car-accident-claim.html

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February 9, 2016

I was a passenger in a car accident – can I file a personal injury claim?

Philly Passenger car injury

If you were a passenger involved in a car accident, you generally have an easier case to prove than the driver does.  Why?  Because as a passenger, you do not have to worry about proving liability because one of the drivers will likely be liable.

Filing a Passenger Injury Claim

Generally, if you are a passenger injured in a car accident, your personal injury claim will proceed just like any other type of car accident claim, except if it was a two car accident, then the passenger would make the claim against both drivers.

Passenger Injury Claim in a No-Fault State

In the event that your accident took place in a no fault state, the passenger would file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No Fault claim against that driver for the passenger’s medical bills or lost earnings.  Additionally, you, as the passenger, would want to get the insurance information for each driver, and file claims with each driver’s insurance company.

Once you have been treated for any injuries, your case may be ready to settle.  This is one of the many reasons why it is critical to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.  Your attorney can help you evaluate your legal options, which may include settling your claim.

Passenger Injury Case in a Two-Car Accident

In this instance, there may be some disagreement over liability between the two insurance companies, which can unnecessarily delay the passenger’s settlement.

Multiple Passenger Injury Claims

In the event that a car with three passengers is rear-ended, all four occupants of the car are injured.  Each of the injured parties will file claims against the negligent driver. If the total value of the injury cases exceeds the driver’s insurance, each injured person will have to settle with the negligent driver for less than what their case may be worth.

What this essentially means is that all of the injured people have to take their money from the same small pot.   In the event that the injured parties cannot come to an agreement with each other regarding how much each should get, the insurer will usually not settle with any of them.  At that point, the injured passengers will have to file suit in order to settle the issue of how much each of them will get.

If you are a passenger who was injured in a car accident, and have any questions about your legal rights, you may want to discuss your options with a car accident lawyer.  The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at The Levin Firm have a thorough understanding of how the Philadelphia civil justice system works, including all relevant court rules and procedures, and we are committed to fully protecting the rights of injured auto accident victims through every stage of the legal process.

If you have suffered injury in a Philadelphia auto accident, your main concern should always be on your physical and mental recovery and you should not have to constantly worry about your legal case. For this reason, we make certain to regularly communicate with clients and will keep you up to date on any new developments in your case. We provide careful attention to each individual auto accident case and will always zealously advocate on your behalf. If you have suffered injury, please do not hesitate to call 877-825-8542 to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Levin Firm today.

Sources

1.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/workers-compensation/why-claim-denied.html

2.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/passenger-injury-claims.html

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