Easton Car Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in an automobile accident in Easton that is the result of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct? You may be entitled to damages as compensation for your injuries. Call 610-258-9493 to get connected with an Easton car accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC today. We look forward to speaking with you.
When you are involved in a car crash, you can’t control the type of injuries you sustain nor the amount of insurance coverage available to you. Our team of attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis cannot cause your physical injures to be any less severe, but we can navigate through the hoops of the insurance industry, in order to maximize the insurance coverages available to compensate you fully and fairly for your loss. You always need to remember that the insurance company for the party that caused your collision is not looking out for your best interests. It is trying to close its file as quickly as possible and protect the interest of its insured. If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision in Easton or throughout the Lehigh Valley you need an accident attorney, familiar with the area, the courthouse and insurance “system”.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Easton
Car accidents in Easton occur for a variety of different reasons. Like most areas of Pennsylvania, the vast majority of accidents in Easton result from driver negligence. This includes common forms of negligence such as:
Dangerous Driving in Bad Weather
When it rains, sleets or snows in Easton, drivers are supposed to slow down, be patient, and leave plenty of space between their cars and the cars in front of them. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t seem to respect the hazards that come with driving in bad weather. Whether they are being reckless or lack experience driving in hazardous conditions, drivers who cause car accidents in bad weather can be held fully accountable.
Distracted driving has been a growing concern in Easton for several years. It is now commonplace to see local drivers on their phones behind the wheel. This is true even though Pennsylvania law makes it illegal to “send, read or write a text-based communication” while driving. Along with texting and sending emails, various other types of distractions frequently lead to accidents as well. These include talking on the phone, setting GPS directions, talking to passengers and rubbernecking.
Drunk driving continues to be a major concern in Easton as well. Drunk drivers cause far too many serious and fatal accidents each year. Regardless of whether a drunk driver is charged with (or ultimately convicted of) DUI, accident victims can—and should—hire an Eason car accident lawyer to help them recover just compensation.
Failure to Check Blind Spots
Whether changing lanes or merging onto the highway, drivers always need to check their blind spots before getting over. Failure to check blind spots is a common cause of accidents on roads and highways across Easton. If you got hit by a driver who didn’t look before getting over, you will have a strong claim for financial compensation under Pennsylvania law.
Reckless and Aggressive Driving
Easton has more than its fair share of reckless drivers. Aggressive driving is a major problem as well. All drivers should be courteous on the road, and all drivers should prioritize safety over getting to their destination as quickly as possible. When drivers make poor and selfish decisions, they will frequently end up causing accidents that were easily avoidable.
Tailgating, or following too closely, is another common cause of car accidents in Easton. Whether on the highways or the local roads, tailgating significantly increases the risk of rear-end accidents. There is no excuse for tailgating, and all drivers should leave a comfortable buffer regardless of the speed at which they are traveling.
Traffic Law Violations
Many car accidents in Easton involve traffic law violations. When an accident involves a traffic law violation, this can help establish victims’ rights to financial compensation. At Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, we have significant experience helping accident victims and their families recover just compensation in cases involving violations such as:
- Dangerous Passing
- Failure to Yield
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
- Weaving Through Traffic
What Your Easton Car Accident Lawyer Will Have to Prove
Motor vehicle accident litigation can vary substantially, depending on the circumstances of the accident. As a result, it’s important to hire an experienced Easton car accident attorney to ensure that you have the best evidence for your claim.
Nature of the Defendant
Though it is an uncontrollable feature of litigation, the nature of the defendant can significantly influence your legal strategy. For example, if the defendant is an uninsured motorist, then you will have to file a claim with your insurer (on the basis of your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage), or alternatively, you’ll have to identify potentially negligent third-party who you can sue for damages. If the defendant is an employee, then your Easton car accident lawyer may be able to argue that the employer vicariously liable for the damages you suffered.
Potential Damages Your Easton Accident Attorney Will Pursue
Damages can be affected by the circumstances of the case, too. In the large majority of motor vehicle accident lawsuits in Pennsylvania, the plaintiff is only entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages to compensate them for their various losses. In some cases, however, where the defendant has acted egregiously or maliciously, then the court may award punitive damages, which multiply the compensatory damages and can lead to multi-million dollar payouts. When you contact an Easton car accident lawyer at our firm, we’ll be prepared to fight for your maximum compensation.
What is Negligence Per Se in Easton Auto Accidents?
Negligence per se is presumed negligence associated with the violation of statutory law or some other codified ordinance or rule. In other words, if you can show that the defendant-driver violated some law (and in doing so, caused you to suffer injuries), then you may not have to prove that they acted negligently — the court will presume negligence.
Courts in Pennsylvania have long clarified the requirements necessary for application of negligence per se. Simply put, negligence per se requires the following:
- That the defendant violated a statute or other regulation;
- That the purpose of the statute is (at least in part) to protect the interest of a particular group of individuals, as opposed to the general public;
- That the statute or regulation must apply to the conduct of the defendant; and
- That the defendant’s violation of said statute or regulation must have proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Now, that’s quite a bit of legalese and though it may seem complicated at first glance, it’s actually very simple. We’ll use an example to clarify.
Suppose that you are injured in a drunk driving accident. Section 3802 of the Pennsylvania Statutes clearly prohibits driving when an individual is intoxicated (or has sufficiently imbibed enough alcohol to be impaired). Going by the elements necessary for negligence per se, your Easton accident lawyer would be able to show that you are a member of the group intended to be protected (other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the roadway) and that the defendant violated the statute, causing harm.
Easton, a Common Place for Accidents
Easton and the Lehigh Valley have some challenging roadways for drivers. Cemetery Curve on Route 22 has been a particularly dangerous ever since Route 22 was opened as the Lehigh Valley Thruway. Route 611 both below and above Easton has been challenging for drivers as well, especially in the area of Three Church Hill and along the curve near Terry’s Italian Restaurant. Given the amount of traffic on Interstate 78 and the Route 33 Corridor, including large trucks transporting goods from the big-box warehouses to New Jersey and New York, these roadways are also a challenge for drivers. Hardly a day goes by when there is not an accident on Route 22 or Interstate 78 causing traffic to come to halt.
Stop-and-go traffic can be particularly problematic for drivers on Route 78 and Route 22. As Easton accident attorneys serving clients injured on these roadways, some of the most common causes for accidents have been the failure of others to pay attention to the flow of traffic. If you are involved in a car accident in Easton or in the surrounding Lehigh Valley, an Easton car accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis is prepared to handle all aspects of your case.
10 Tips for What to Do After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania
Some accident victims say or do things at the scene that harm their case. Some become belligerent with the other party or the police officer. They may say they feel fine, even if they are badly shaken or in a state of shock. Some have been known to jump out of their car and direct traffic! They may refuse medical assistance or an ambulance (even when they really need such help). Many accident victims realize they are hurt but act as if they are not. The problem is, such behavior at the scene of the accident may seriously jeopardize any later recovery. Insurance companies and jurors expect people who claim that they were seriously injured in an accident, to have reported their injuries at the scene and to have sought immediate trauma care.
Here are our 10 rules for what to do if you are in a car accident:
- Stay at the scene. By law all parties to an accident must stay at the scene and exchange insurance information.
- Stay in your car until help arrives unless it would be dangerous to do so especially if you are hurt or if the impact was severe. You may need to pull your car over to the side of the road, if possible. Safety always comes first.
- Get help. If you or anyone else is injured, make sure someone calls 911 immediately. Then allow emergency personnel do their job. Don’t needlessly try to be a hero.
- Don’t worry about property damage. Resist the natural desire all accident victims have to check the damage to their vehicle. Whatever the damage is, it can be taken care of later.
- Be a good patient if you are injured. If an ambulance crew is called, allow them to take you to the emergency room. Fully report all of your complaints to emergency personnel. Be cooperative with the police, but if you are hurt, they understand that your medical care must take priority over their investigation.
- Report the accident. Make sure the police officer accurately records your version of the accident. The police report becomes gospel and it is hard to change once it is completed. The officer should give you an accident report form at the scene with basic information about the accident and the other party. Report the claim to your insurance company and get a claim number.
- Be careful what you say to the other driver. He or she may wind up in court as your adversary. It amazes us how even seriously injured people supposedly tell the driver that injured them that they are okay. Avoid admitting fault or saying I’m sorry. Don’t be rude. If the other driver asks how you are feeling, or whether you were injured, you may want to limit your comments to the fact that you are feeling shook up. Many people with serious spinal injuries do not have symptoms right away. We won a $1.5 million verdict for a client who did not report any symptoms at the scene of the accident, but later that day developed back pain that ended up being a disabling injury.
- See your family doctor (or go to the hospital) as soon as you experience any symptoms. A delay in reporting your symptoms will hurt your valid claim. Many people don’t like to go to the doctor, or think their symptoms will simply go away. Unfortunately, if your injury is not documented soon after the accident, it will be hard to prove it is accident-related.
- Don’t give a recorded statement until you have spoken to your Easton car accident attorney. A seemingly kind adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company will call you, offering to help. However, that adjuster will be writing down every word you say. What you tell that adjuster may be used against you later.
- Keep your receipts and documents from auto repairs and doctor visits. This will help your accident lawyer show just how much you suffered as a result of your car accident.
FAQs: Protecting Your Legal Rights After a Car Accident in Easton
What are My Legal Rights if I was Partially at Fault in a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?
No matter what happened, you should never assume that you are to blame—or even partially to blame—for a car accident. Determining fault requires a thorough investigation; and, even if you think you played a role in causing your crash, an investigation may reveal otherwise.
But, let’s say you were partially at fault. What does this mean for your insurance claim? In Pennsylvania, you can still seek compensation as long as you were not primarily at fault in your collision. To make sure you are able to recover the compensation you deserve, you will want to get help from an experienced Easton accident attorney.
Whose Insurance Company Should I Call after a Car Accident?
Typically, you should call your own insurance company after a car accident. When you call your insurance company, you should provide the other driver’s vehicle and insurance information, and you should report only the basic details of the accident. Any additional information you provide will only be used against you. If you are uncomfortable talking to an insurance adjuster, our Easton car accident lawyer will be happy to report your accident for you.
Should I Hire an Eaton Car Accident Lawyer to Deal with My Insurance Company?
Yes, it is strongly in your best interests to hire an Easton car accident lawyer to handle your insurance claim. This is especially true if you were injured in the crash. In addition to reporting your accident, your lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis will also:
- Conduct an independent investigation to determine who was at fault in your accident
- Collect the evidence needed to prove your right to insurance coverage
- Accurately calculate the current and future costs of your accident-related injuries
- Accurately calculate just compensation for your pain and suffering (and other non-financial losses)
- Negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf and take your insurance claim to court if necessary
What if I Crashed Because of an Issue with the Road?
While recovering financial compensation after a car accident in Easton usually involves filing an auto insurance claim, this isn’t the only option. In many cases, accidents happen because of issues with the road. If you hit a pothole, if you lost control when you were forced onto a low shoulder, if the road was missing signs or guardrails, or if any other issue with the road is to blame for your accident, our accident lawyers can seek to hold the appropriate government agency or government contractor accountable.
What if I Crashed (or Got Injured) Because of an Issue with My Car?
If you crashed or got injured because of an issue with your car, you may have a claim against your vehicle’s manufacturer, the dealership where you bought your car or a shop that serviced your vehicle. Vehicle defects are not uncommon, and faulty maintenance and repair jobs are to blame for many car accidents as well.
Let an Easton Accident Attorney Help You Pursue Compensation
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an Easton-area car accident, contact us at 610-433-3910 or complete the contact information to the right of your screen. We understand that accidents can happen at all times of the day and as such we have a 24-hour answering service. Once we have spoken to you, and determined that you have a case, we will set-up a free consultation meeting where we will answer any additional questions you have. In representing you, there is never a fee or charge for our service until we receive a recovery or award for you. We have been helping your neighbors for 30 years. An Easton car accident attorney is ready to help you.