Philadelphia, PA- Traffic accidents are an everyday occurrence in Pennsylvania and fortunately most of them are minor fender benders with no injuries involved. Sadly, plenty of traffic accidents have tragic consequences. At least, 1,195 people were killed and over 79,000 Pennsylvania residents were killed in traffic accidents in 2014, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Philadelphia County accounted for 8.6 percent of those crashes. If you have been severely injured in a traffic accident and plan on filing a claim there are things you need to know about the state’s personal injury laws.
First, it is important to understand that the state handles traffic accident injury claims differently than other personal injury claims such as nursing home abuse or medical malpractice actions. In regards to traffic accidents, Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state which means car accident claims are handled by each party’s insurer, no matter who is at fault. That means if you are injured you must first file a claim with your insurer to recoup your medical and property repair costs. Your injuries have to be severe in order for you to pursue a personal injury claim to cover your medical expenses and damages for your emotional distress. The “severe” standard is somewhat vague and confusing, but that can work to an accident victim’s benefit.
If you are unsure if you can file a personal injury suit, USAttorneys suggests you speak with an accident lawyer in Philadelphia for their advice. An attorney will be able to determine what course of action you need to take in your case and what types of compensation you are entitled to for your accident. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, loss of wages and emotional distress. If the at-fault driver was grossly negligent, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Another thing you need to know about your Pennsylvania accident claim is that you have a limited time to file, referred to the statute of limitations. For car accident claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the accident occurred.
Traffic accidents aren’t always cut and dry and sometimes the injury victim also played a role in a collision. If you were in partly at-fault for an accident you can still recover compensation but the amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of liability. Say, for instance, you were assigned 15 percent responsibility for an accident then the settlement amount you receive would 85 percent of the final settlement.
Another important thing to note about Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws is that there isn’t a cap on damages for injuries or death. Punitive damages however are capped at two times the amount of compensatory damages.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, we encourage you to contact an accident lawyer in Philadelphia to talk about your injuries and your rights. You can rely on our attorneys to be honest and upfront about your case and help you make sound decisions about how to proceed. Their goal is to get justice for you and your loved ones.

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