The American economy and lifestyle centers around cars. In Altoona, it is nearly impossible to perform our daily tasks without one. With this in mind, it is no surprise that car accidents are a leading cause of personal injuries. A driver’s mere second of inattentiveness could cause a collision that results in catastrophic harm. If you were injured due to the negligence of another motorist, you may be entitled to make a recovery for your injuries and damages.
An Altoona car accident lawyer may be able to help you pursue that compensation. A personal injury attorney could work to protect your rights during every stage of your case, from filing an initial claim with an insurance company, to gathering the evidence needed to promote that claim, to accurately measuring your losses.
What are Typical Reasons for Car Accidents?
Car accidents are a common occurrence in the Altoona area. Although many overconfident drivers believe that they can multitask behind the wheel, the fact remains that responsible driving demands a person’s full attention at all times. A driver who takes their eyes or minds off the road to send a text message, to make a phone call, or to search for a water bottle places everyone on the road at serious risk of harm.
Many traffic accidents are also the result of drivers who break rules of the road. Traffic laws exist to protect the well-being of all people, not just drivers. Laws concerning speeding, the right-of-way, where a driver can make a legal U-turn, and proper signaling are all factors in maintaining public safety. It follows that a driver who chooses to ignore these laws is likely at fault for any resulting accident. An Altoona car accident attorney could help to pursue a claim where a common cause such as inattentiveness or a failure to follow traffic laws was the source of the collision.
Types of Accidents
Car accidents come in many forms. The most common type of collision between motor vehicles is a rear-end accident. These accidents often occur at stop signs, traffic lights, and on busy roads with stop-and-go traffic. Side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, are common in busy intersections. These accidents occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. Side-impact accidents are also common with vehicles pulling onto busy roadways from side streets or parking lots.
Front-end, or head-on, accidents are often the most devastating type of collision. These crashes occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide. Given the force of impact, these accidents routinely result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Finally, rollover accidents happen when a driver loses control resulting in the vehicle overturning or when an impact causes a vehicle to overturn. This can happen in both single and multi-car crashes.
Building a Negligence Case Against a Defendant
Insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims when they can avoid it. As a result, it is essential to prove that the insured defendant was negligent. The most effective way to accomplish this is to prove that a defendant broke a rule of the road.
However, plaintiffs should be aware of the Commonwealth’s rule concerning comparative negligence. Under 42 Pa.C.S. §7102, courts must evaluate the actions of all parties involved in car accidents. If it is determined that the plaintiff carried more than 50 percent of the blame for the incident, the court cannot award the plaintiff any compensation. Additionally, the court will reduce a plaintiff’s award by their percentage of fault if that percentage is less than 50 but more than zero. An Altoona car accident attorney could help to build a powerful negligence case against an at-fault defendant.
What is the Time Limit to File Suit in Pennsylvania?
As with every lawsuit in Altoona, a statute of limitations applies to car accident injury claims. This statute serves as the deadline for a plaintiff to file an injury lawsuit. Should a file their claim after the deadline expires, the court has the power to dismiss the case entirely. This is true no matter how strong a plaintiff’s underlying case is.
According to 42 P.S. §5524, the statute of limitations on an injury claim is two years. This two-year window begins to expire the day the accident occurs. While some limited exceptions exist to toll the statute of limitations, most plaintiffs do not qualify for additional time. An experienced attorney could explain those exceptions to you and determine if your case falls within an exception.
An Altoona Car Accident Lawyer May be Able to Help You
Car accidents are a leading cause of personal injuries in the Altoona area. Many people involved in these crashes suffer not just physical harm, but also economic losses and emotional anguish.
An Altoona car accident lawyer could help you to pursue a claim for the compensation needed to set things right. An experienced attorney will work to build a powerful case against negligent defendants while protecting your claim from aggressive insurance companies. Contact us at Marcus & Mack today.