Proving Liability for a Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania

As an expert in personal injury law, I have seen countless cases of car accidents and the challenges that come with proving liability. In Pennsylvania, like in many other states, the burden of proof falls on the victim to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This can be a daunting task, but with the right evidence and legal support, it is possible to successfully prove liability and receive the compensation you deserve. When it comes to proving liability in a car accident claim, evidence is key. This can include a variety of documents and testimonies, such as business records, eyewitness accounts, photographs, bills, and even expert witness testimony.

The goal is to show the impact that the accident had on your physical and emotional health, as well as any other ways in which your injury has affected your life. The most straightforward aspects of proving damages are typically medical bills, medications, physical therapy costs, mobility equipment expenses (such as wheelchairs or crutches), lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, demonstrating pain and suffering can be more abstract and subjective. This is why it's important to keep track of your physical, emotional, and mental progress each day of your recovery. It's also helpful to take pictures of your injuries at different stages of recovery and to gather testimonials from mental health professionals about your long-term prognosis and how the injury will affect your life in the future. One common misconception about car accidents is that they only involve two vehicles and two drivers.

In reality, there can be multiple parties involved in a car accident and multiple defendants in a subsequent lawsuit. This is why it's crucial to have strong evidence to prove liability.

Reporting an Accident in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the law requires that any accident resulting in injury or death, or any accident where the car is so damaged that it cannot be driven off site, must be reported to the police. This is an important step in gathering evidence and establishing liability. It's also important to note that some injuries may not manifest until days or even months after the accident. These late symptoms can include internal bleeding, headaches or neck pain, and psychological changes.

This is why it's crucial to seek medical attention immediately after an accident and to continue monitoring your health in the following weeks and months.

No-Fault Insurance in Pennsylvania

For drivers who have no-fault insurance coverage in Pennsylvania, there is often no need for the insurance company to investigate who was at fault after a car accident. This is because no-fault insurance allows for quicker payments to be made to injured parties, rather than waiting for lawyers and insurance companies to determine liability. However, if the car accident results in someone's death, both years start from the day that person dies, which may be a different date than the original accident. The idea behind no-fault insurance came from the fact that many states wanted people who were injured in car accidents to receive their payments more quickly, rather than waiting for lawyers and insurance companies to decide who was responsible.

Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania

Determining liability in a typical car accident is already a challenge, but determining liability in multi-vehicle accidents is even more complex. According to 42 PA Cons Stat § 7102, Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule.

This means that your reward can be reduced by the percentage by which you are found guilty of the accident.

Proving Negligence

In cases of car accidents, it is the duty of all drivers to operate their vehicles with reasonable safety under the circumstances and to obey traffic laws. This is why it's important to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you build a strong case. Whether you're suing your insurance company, suing another driver, or arguing that you are not responsible for a car accident, an attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and present a compelling argument. For example, if the driver who hit you claims that your brake lights were faulty and that's why they couldn't stop in time, your lawyer may argue that the other driver should have left enough distance between their car and yours regardless of the situation. This is just one example of how an attorney can help prove negligence and establish liability.

The Importance of Evidence

As mentioned earlier, evidence is crucial in proving liability for a car accident claim.

This is why it's important to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident. If you are able, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles, any injuries sustained, and the surrounding area. If there are any witnesses, be sure to get their contact information. In addition, many cars now come equipped with dash cams or other recording devices. These can be extremely helpful in proving that you were not at fault for the accident.

If you have one of these devices, be sure to save the footage and provide it to your attorney. When police are called to the scene of a car accident, they will ask both drivers for their interpretation of how the accident occurred. It's important to provide an accurate account of what happened and to stick to the facts. Any discrepancies or false information can be used against you in court.

Benjamín Bélanger
Benjamín Bélanger

Avid coffee fanatic. General creator. Passionate twitter fanatic. Certified coffee evangelist. Subtly charming music enthusiast. Unapologetic music buff.

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