Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are an unfortunate reality for many Americans. Car accidents kill or injure tens of thousands of people each year, and sometimes these accidents are unavoidable. However, sometimes negligent or reckless drivers cause these accidents and harm others. Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons and under many conditions. It’s important to realize, however, that if another person or persons was responsible for causing you injury and damages, we can hold them liable for their actions.
Car-related accidents and injuries are all too common in Pennsylvania, especially in Pittsburgh with its’ bustling streets of drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, delivery drivers, and others which can make for a difficult driving environment. Since 2005, the state of Pennsylvania saw a steady decline of car collisions and related injuries, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. It wasn’t until 2015 that we saw an uptick in both tragedies, with and increase of almost 6,000 collisions and 3,000 related injuries.
An increase of distractions like cell phones have dramatically increased in popularity since 2005 – a large contributor to the increase of collision rates. Whether it was distracted driving or another factor that led to a negligent driver hitting you, its important for you to know your options and rights in order to get the compensation you need and deserve.
Know Your Options
Many car accidents are fatal, especially multiple-car collisions and crashes at high speeds. Those people who survive often suffer broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage, lacerations, burns and blunt force trauma. Cars often receive severe damage. The belongings inside the vehicles can be broken or destroyed as well. In cases of a fatality, the victim’s surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death suit against the responsible party. Those who survive their injuries must file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation. When you file a personal injury suit for a car accident, you first need to determine the responsible party.
Reckless driving and driving at excessive speeds are leading causes of car accidents. Additionally, people who are driving in an unfamiliar area may fail to exercise the appropriate level of caution and will not be ready for sudden changes on the road. Distracted driving and drunk driving also are commonly cited causes.
If you receive injuries in a car accident, the first thing you should do, if able, is check to see if everyone involved is okay. Try to take pictures of the scene as thoroughly as possible. Even minute details may have a bearing on a future case. Move your car off the road or away from the flow of traffic, if possible, and contact the police to file a report.
Winning Your Case
Personal injury claims are filed against parties who harm others through negligence. To win a personal injury case, you must prove that the other party – the defendant – was negligent in his or her actions and caused your injuries. Proving negligence involves three factors:
- You must establish that the driver had a duty to act with reasonable care. This means operating the vehicle at a safe and reasonable speed while adhering to traffic laws and signals in the area.
- Then, you must prove that the driver violated this duty of care in some way.
- Finally, you must show the court that your injuries and damages were the direct results of the driver’s negligence.
If a manufacturer built a part incorrectly or a service station did not service the vehicle properly, you may need to file a product liability claim for your personal injury. A product liability suit revolves around proving that the manufacturer (the defendant) provided you with a defective product. You do not necessarily need to prove that the defendant was negligent in a product liability case – only that the product was defective in one of three ways:
- Defective by design. There was a flaw in the design of the product that made it inherently unsafe.
- Defective by manufacture. There was a flaw during production of the product that created a hazard.
- Failure to warn. The defendant did not adequately provide instructions for use or clear warnings about potential hazards associated with using the product.
Every car accident is different, so it’s vital that you connect with an established and knowledgeable attorney to handle your case. The Pittsburgh injury lawyers at Ronald J. Bua & Associates have served clients in western Pennsylvania for more than 30 years and has vast experience with all types of automotive accident personal injury claims. If you receive injuries in a car accident, contact our team as soon as you are able for a free consultation. We’ll discuss the details of your case and let you know what kind of compensation you may be able to collect.