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Car accidents are scary, and can sometimes occur through no fault of your own. The injuries car accident victims sustain can range from minor scratches and bruises to life-threatening conditions. As work injury lawyers, we see thousands of clients who come to us looking for car accident compensation.
Yet, not all car accident injuries can be claimed as work-related accidents. In this article, we will suggest the best course of action you take if you or a loved one ever gets into a car accident in Philadelphia.
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Take pictures of the accident site, damaged cars, and the surrounding area to start documenting the scene. Also record your injuries via picture or video. If you are unable to record the accident yourself, ask people around you to do that for you. Exchange insurance information with the other party in the accident and ask witnesses if you can take their contact details.
Please know that reporting the injury, if it’s work-related, will be vital. You cannot seek wage loss benefits under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act until notice is given to the employer, and the deadline for notice is 120 days or the claim is forever barred. Pennsylvania also has a waiting period — you must be out of work for 7 days or more due to your injury to trigger a wage loss claim.
Therefore, what you record now will help your PA work injury lawyers immensely to start legal proceedings on solid grounds and look for maximum accident compensation.
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One of the first things to do immediately after a car accident is to call the police. The police will want to take their own account of the incident, talk to the witnesses and take statements from all parties involved.
They may also take pictures, and what they record will serve as a testament to what you have documented yourself. Needless to say, it makes your legal case that much stronger.
If you call 911, the dispatch will send an ambulance as well as a police car. However, if your injuries aren’t critical and you don’t want an ambulance right away, we highly recommend you visit an ER at your earliest. Common injuries we see with car accidents in the Philadelphia area are wrist injuries, head injuries, spine injuries, and injuries to the legs/knees. So, even if your injuries don’t seem life threatening right now, it’s smart to go to the ER — sometimes adrenaline from the accident and excitement can mask real injuries.
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To claim coverage under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, the car accident needs to be work-related.
Our expert PA work injury lawyers will need to show that you were not commuting, but actually engaged in the furtherance of your job duties at the time of the accident. This is because commuting is not considered in the course or scope of employment. But that doesn’t apply in all cases.
For example, if you are a traveling employee, your car accident injuries can be termed as work-related accidents. Therefore, it’s ideal to talk to a professional work comp lawyer to look at your options.
Furthermore, for Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases, we do not need to prove fault. Even if the accident was your fault, we will likely achieve a work comp settlement since fault isn’t relevant. (With some exceptions — such as self-inflicted injuries).
Sometimes a claim will be defended under the theory that you were not employed when you were in the car accident, but instead, an independent contractor. There are many factors the court will analyze to determine whether you were an employee or an independent contractor. The key element is control, and who had control over the manner and type of work being performed at the time of accident. Just because you were called an “independent contractor” doesn’t mean you were in fact one, legally. Let us analyze this issue for you to determine our chances at success.
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Philadelphia area car accidents are very common. So many drivers are speeding or tailgating, or on their phone, or otherwise distracted, or driving emotionally. Accidents in the winter are also very common, given the ice, sleet, and snow.
To avoid accidents, do your best to drive within the speed limit and keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you. When determining a third-party case, your legal team will need to prove that you were the victim in the case, not the reckless driver. Authorities will investigate which car was rear-ended to figure out who is at fault.
If it was you that was rear-ended, there is a high probability you will win a third-party case against that driver. Conversely, if you rear end someone else, the chances are extremely high that you will be found negligent as you need to be in control of your vehicle and a safe distance away, such that if the driver ahead of you slams on their brakes, you have enough time and distance to slow down.
If the investigation discovers that the accident was in fact your fault, you won’t have a viable third-party case. To explore your legal options and to protect your rights, call our law offices so we can analyze your situation and advise you about which cases to pursue: none or both.
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You will want to strongly consider having full tort insurance also. It’s much easier to recover the non-economic damages/pain and suffering with full tort insurance compared to limited tort. Sure, you may save a few dollars with limited tort but it really comes back to haunt many people who are in car accidents. It’s worth the few extra bucks for protection.
Cardamone Law is your go-to law firm if you need a Philadelphia car accident lawyer. If the case is a work-related car accident, our firm will handle it superbly. We have a track record of hundreds of successful outcomes and settlements.
If the car accident wasn’t on the job, we will refer you to our esteemed colleague who is a top Philadelphia car accident lawyer. Cardamone Law, LLC has tremendous results in Philadelphia and other areas of Pennsylvania, with respect to car accident cases, whether Workers’ Comp, or with referrals.
Call us any time at (215) 206-9068 for FREE and PROMPT consults! Or email Michael@CardamoneLaw.com and get in touch with the man himself.