Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accident Lawyers in the Pittsburg Area for Over 30 Years
Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) are a bad experience for anyone unfortunate enough to be involved in one. Sometimes a car accident is simply unavoidable, but in other circumstances the negligence or carelessness of other drivers causes accidents and injures others. If another person or persons were responsible for an MVC resulting in extensive injury and/or damages, they deserve to be held accountable for their actions. Under these circumstances, the Pittsburgh car accident attorneys at Ronald J. Bua & Associates are exactly who you should call.
With over 50 years of experience on our legal team, the accident lawyers at Ronald J. Bua & Associates have the necessary legal skills and strategic knowledge to successfully handle your case. We know the personal injury laws and procedural rules by heart and can manage the complex components of your case while acting as your personal advocate throughout the entire process.
Working with you side-by-side, our team will evaluate your situation, organize the crucial evidence, and confer with medical personnel as needed in order to build your case. Whether we reach a settlement or take your claim to trial, our team is dedicated to fight aggressively on your behalf for the maximum compensation for which you are eligible.
Fortunately, most automobile accidents are not lethal. In 2016, there were 1,188 fatal crashes in Pennsylvania, which is the lowest number on record since 1950. However, most car collisions do result in some type of injury. Even though the number of crashes causing fatalities declined by 1.0% in 2016, the number of recorded accidents increased by 1.8% over 2015, while the number of injuries caused by automobile accidents grew by 1.2%.
According to the five-year trends, the total number of injuries resulting from car crashes has remained relatively consistent, ranging from the highest number of 86,846 in 2012 to a low point of 79,758 in 2014. In addition, the 82,971 total injuries due to crashes in 2016 is consistent with injuries of the past five years.
Though the causes of these car accidents cannot be affirmed with the same precision as the above statistics, what we do know is that some type of driver error is a determining factor in most crashes. In fact, alcohol and speeding are the major factors associated with causing fatal crashes.
Five-year trends that have also remained steady for crashes caused by driver errors are:
- Overall carelessness
No matter what the conditions of your vehicle accident may be, it is essential for you to understand your rights in order to receive the justice you deserve.
Why Do I Need a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer?
If someone is clearly at fault for causing the crash resulting in your injury, you may feel that the case is simple enough for you to take on yourself. But the law is complicated, and even the clearest cases involve elements that can remain hidden if not carefully examined by a practiced car accident lawyer. Another reason to always hire an accident attorney is that they know of many more avenues of compensation that can be explored.
Common Pittsburgh Car Accident Injuries
Over 37,000 people are killed in automobile accidents every year in the U.S., while about 2.4 million injuries are sustained in those same accidents. There are various kinds of injuries that result from automobile accidents, and the car accident attorneys at Ronald J. Bua & Associates handle a wide range of impairments including:
- Brain injuries
- Wrongful death
- Herniated disk
- Torn ACL
- Mild to severe concussions
- Traumatic cardiac arrest
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck pain and swelling
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Hearing loss
- Vision problems
- Skull fractures
How Allegheny County Compares to Pennsylvania’s Average
In 2016, Allegheny County was the region with the highest number of reported car crashes. Topping the list with a whopping 12,901 reported traffic crashes, the county accounted for 9.9% of the reported crashes in the entire state.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws
- Statute of limitations. If you are a victim of a car accident, it is essential to be aware of the time limits for filing civil charges against a careless or negligent driver. According to Pennsylvania state law, the statute of limitations is two years for the majority of property damages and personal injury losses. If you file a claim after that time limit, it will probably be dismissed even if it has merit.
- Restrictions of losses. While the Pennsylvania state constitution prevents fiscal limitations on the majority of losses, there is a $500,000 limit on damages for any case made against a regional government or for cases against the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance Laws
- Choice no-fault Law. When it comes to auto insurance laws, Pennsylvania adheres to the “choice no fault” law, which allows drivers to carry either no-fault or conventional insurance. With “no-fault” insurance, your insurance company will reimburse you for monetary damages caused by an accident without considering who was at fault. This decreases accountability and increases the scope of coverage, but it also hinders your capacity to press charges against a reckless or negligent driver.
- Modified comparative negligence. In situations where you are allowed to file a claim, the state of Pennsylvania permits drivers to receive compensation for collision losses regardless if they were somewhat liable for the accident in question. The only stipulation here is that you cannot be more than 50% at fault for the accident in question. Modified comparative negligence rules also affirm that any damages must be reduced in accordance with the extent of your fault. So, if you were only 20% at fault for an accident, you are able to recover damages from the other driver who is 80% at fault. As an example, if damages awarded were $10,000 they would be reduced by 20%, and the amount of compensation you receive would be $8,000.
The choice no-fault and comparative negligence laws can make maneuvering the minefield of compensation and insurance claims all the more confusing and challenging. After a collision, it is important for you to understand how these rules can influence your capacity to receive compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained. With years of experience navigating the technicalities of Pennsylvania’s car accident compensation rules, the car accident attorneys at Ronald J. Bua & Associates can help you make sense of the specifics.
Top 3 Types of Car Accidents in Allegheny County
- Rear-end collisions: Being the most common type of automobile accidents, rear-end collisions can cause serious damage. Even if it appears as though the cars involved were not seriously damaged, it is important to recognize that they can still cause serious injuries, such as whiplash, back problems, airbag-related injuries, spinal cord issues, facial disfigurement, arm and/or wrist problems, and brain injuries.
- T-bone car accidents, also known as side-impact collisions: A side-impact crash can often seem as if it came out of nowhere. Even if you are adhering to the rules of the road, another driver could be speeding or ignoring traffic lights and stop signs, which could cause them to slam into the side of your car. Unlike rear-end collisions, the primary danger of a side-collision is the fact that when you are hit from the side, unless you are lucky enough to have a side impact airbag, there is little to no cushion to protect you from the force of the impact. Some of the injuries often associated with side-collisions include, soft-tissue, back, neck, chest and abdominal injuries.
- Head-on collisions: Widely recognized as the most dangerous type of car crash, head-on collisions occur when the front end of your car smashes directly into another entity, such as a stop sign, a tree, or another car. The risk of a head-on collision increases substantially anytime it rains or snows, and when the roads are icy. Common injuries associated with head-on collisions can be very severe, ranging from major internal damages and concussions to broken bones and brain injuries.
Types of Recoverable Compensation in a Car Accident Lawsuit
There are conventionally two categories of damages to consider after you’ve been in a car accident. Monetary damages are the economic costs you have been subjected to as a direct consequence of an injury or property damage. Non-monetary damages are the more emotional and personal costs of an accident, such as pain and suffering resulting from the consequences of injuries or the loss of a loved one. The car accident attorneys at Ronald J. Bua & Associates can assist you in winning compensation for:
Monetary damages including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Property damage, including car restoration or replacement costs
- Past and future lost wages
Non-monetary damages including:
- Emotional Suffering
- Physical Pain
- Loss of a loved one
What to Do After a Car Accident
- Call emergency help if necessary. Your safety is the first priority, so be sure that you are in a safe condition after an accident. If you or anyone else is injured at the site of automobile crash, call 911 immediately. An officer will make a report of the accident. You should document the number of the report so you can retrieve a copy later on.
- Take photos. Be sure to take photos of the accident at the scene. If possible, highlight all of the following elements in your photographs: damage, vehicle location, license plate numbers, the make and the model of all vehicles involved, and the location of the accident. Take photos of any landmarks that may have contributed to the accident.
- Take notes. If photos are not an option for you, take detailed notes about all injuries and damages caused by a collision as soon as possible. Be sure to include license plate numbers, make and model of all cars, as well as information and accurate descriptions of any damages sustained in the crash. Names and insurance information of other drivers are also important details.
- Monitor conversations. Obtain information from any available witnesses. Record information you gather about the accident while it is fresh. These records may come in handy later in your case, and they can help increase the validity of your account of the accident. Remember to document the time, date, and place of each conversation as well as the name of the person or persons involved.
- Get checked out by a doctor. Even if you think your injuries are not serious, it is a good idea to go to a doctor, explain the accident, and communicate to the practitioner any pain you may be experiencing. Some injuries don’t completely manifest for hours or days after an accident and it is better to let the doctor decide if you are injured. It will also help to have your injuries substantiated immediately in the event a personal injury claim is filed.
- Don’t talk to a claims adjuster until you speak to an attorney. Many people are under the impression that their insurance company works for them and is on their side. Conversely, they would like to offer you a quick settlement to close the case as quickly and inexpensively as possible. It’s a good idea to have an attorney look over any settlement the insurance company offers. It will most often be a low offer and an accident attorney will know whether you have grounds to seek more compensation.
Our car accident lawyers are here to listen to your concerns. If you or someone you love has been injured in an Allegheny county car accident due to the negligence and carelessness of another driver, contact our firm online or call us at 412-471-4244 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation. We handle almost all cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay us anything unless we win a settlement or judgment for you.