January 20, 2016
Seriously Injured in a Philadelphia Car Accident: What If I Am at Fault
If you are involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in Philadelphia, it is a traumatic event under the best of circumstances. You may be struggling with physical pain, anxiety, and serious financial challenges. The situation may become far more upsetting and complicated if you receive a traffic citation, or the police accident report indicates that you are at-fault. Unfortunately, many car accident victims suffer serious injuries that result in substantial medical expenses and lost income. The sudden awareness that you may be unable to obtain compensation for your injuries because you were at-fault can elicit justifiable panic.
Sadly, auto collision injury victims simply give up on making a car accident claim once they have received a traffic ticket or been informed by the police officer that they were the driver at-fault. This is a terrible mistake, especially if you have substantial injuries, which are usually accompanied by staggering medical costs and substantial pain and suffering. While a traffic citation or police report indicating that you are at-fault is never a welcome piece of evidence if you are involved in a traffic accident, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot recover for your injuries.
Although police officers are generally conscientious, they are human and make mistakes just like the rest of us. Sometimes, there are critical factors or evidence that law enforcement officers overlook when investigating a traffic accident, which may be critical to accurately determining the at-fault party. An experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney can re-evaluate the facts and circumstances of your car accident and might determine that the officer was mistaken about who was actually responsible for causing the collision.
Even if the law enforcement officer is correct in concluding that you are at-fault, this does not mean that you were the only party at-fault. Pennsylvania personal injury law frequently permits a driver to recover compensation for his or her injuries even if he was partially at-fault. Pennsylvania is a modified comparative fault state, which means that you can recover for your injuries as long as a judge or jury does not determine that your fault amounts to 51 percent or more. However, the amount you may recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is assigned to you. If a jury or judge were to determine that your damages were $100,000 but you were 20% at-fault, you would only recover $80,000.
There is yet another possibility available if the police officer has indicated through a traffic citation or police report that you were at-fault for your accident. A contributing factor in a significant number of car accidents is poorly designed or maintained roadways or intersections. Because the public entity in charge of building and maintaining a safe roadway is often the same public entity that signs the paychecks of the police officer, it is hardly surprising that the police rarely cite unsafe roads as the cause of a traffic accident. In reality, roadway design and maintenance plays a significant role in many motor vehicle accidents.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic collision, our experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at The Levin Firm zealously pursue the fullest financial recovery for injury victims. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your case and discuss your options. Call us today at (215) 825-5183 to schedule your free initial consultation.