Pennsylvania and New Jersey Traffic Laws
All motorists in Pennsylvania must follow the laws in the PA Vehicle Code. Likewise, motorists in New Jersey are required to follow the state’s motor vehicle laws, most of which are in Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes. These state laws cover the full scope of motor vehicle ownership and rules of the road. Failure to abide by the traffic laws in the Pennsylvania vehicle code is illegal and can cause accidents on the roadways.
Each state has its own time limits by law, called the statute of limitations, for injured victims to take legal action. Failure to file a claim within these time frames could forever bar a person from seeking compensation and justice for his or her injuries.
In New Jersey, the time limit to file a personal injury claim (including automobile crash claims) is two years from the date the injury occurred.
Common Causes of Automobile Crashes
Following traffic laws can help avoid collisions. When motorists disregard safe driving practices, crashes can happen, causing injuries and fatalities.
Common causes of pedestrian injury accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired or drowsy driving
- Hazardous road conditions
- Driving in low visibility, such as at night or in bad weather
- Failing to yield to other vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians before proceeding or turning
After an accident that causes injuries or wrongful death, seeking the help of an attorney is advisable.
Injuries from Vehicle Crashes
Injuries from a motor vehicle accident can vary depending on the severity of the crash and the vehicles involved. Some common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head injury
- Spinal cord, back, and neck injuries
- Broken bones and bone bruising
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
Victims’ injuries can be so severe that they are fatal at the accident scene or later in the hospital. If they are not fatal, they could cause permanent disfigurement and disability.
Not all injuries are physical. Some individuals suffer emotional effects after a vehicle crash, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- Flashbacks or intrusive memories of the incident
- Avoiding talking about the crash
- Avoiding places, people, or activities who remind the victim of the crash
- Negative changes in thinking and mood
- Emotional changes
It’s important for victims who believe they may be suffering from PTSD to seek psychological care right away.
Regardless of the injuries you’ve suffered in a vehicle accident, the insurance companies involved with still likely try to minimize your payout. That’s why it’s helpful to get the assistance of an experienced auto accident attorney who practices in your state. Your lawyer can handle the insurance companies and ensure that you can maximize your financial recovery.
Injured Victims with Limited Tort Insurance
Vehicle owners have a choice of full tort and limited tort coverage when they start their car insurance policy. Selecting limited tort puts certain limitations on the type of compensation a person may recover in the event he or she suffers injuries in a crash. More specifically, people with limited tort insurance are barred from collecting non-economic damages like pain and suffering. However, all is not lost for these victims. They may qualify for one of several exceptions that will allow them to still collect full compensation under Pennsylvania law.
If you suffered injuries in a crash and you have limited tort on your policy, an experienced attorney can help. Our firm can review your case for free and determine whether you qualify for one of these exceptions and can recover fully for your losses.
Left-hand Turn Accidents
One case involved a client who was traveling in the right outside lane of traffic when another motorist negligently turned left in front of his vehicle and caused a collision. Our client suffered severe injuries to his shoulder, arm, and neck.
Hit from Behind
One client was rear-ended while at a Pennsylvania Turnpike exit ramp. The defendant had pushed his car into another car, causing our client to suffer injuries to his ribs, abdomen, chest, diaphragm, and back injuries that required epidural injections.
In one case, a diesel fuel tank fell from a truck and spilled onto Interstate 95. Our client pulled his vehicle over on the shoulder. The driver of an oncoming vehicle lost control after hitting the fuel slick and struck him. Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, which led to amnesia. After multiple surgeries and therapies, he was declared disabled in terms of employment and not medically cleared to drive. Gay & Chacker obtained $16.5 million from the insurance companies of the two defendants, a produce wholesaler and a trailer repair company, whose negligence had led to the fuel tank spill.
SUV Accidents and Rollovers
One client was a passenger of an SUV traveling in Philadelphia when another motorist made a left turn from the outside lane and struck the vehicle. The crash led our client to suffer severe back injuries that prevent him from working and taking on daily tasks.
Gay & Chacker has also successfully handled cases involving:
- Drunk drivers
- Uninsured or underinsured motorists
- Motorcycle collisions
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Claims for motorists with limited tort insurance
- Defective auto parts, such as defective tires, seatbelts, and airbags
If you have been in an accident in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or a nearby state, call us immediately. It does not matter what kind of accident you have been in. We can give you a free consultation to find out what happened and discuss how we can help with your accident case. There is no risk or obligation. We’ll charge you no legal fees unless we recover compensation for your damages. Call us today at (215) 720-1117 for a free consultation and start getting your life back.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping people who lose loved ones in fatal car accidents. Of course, no amount of recompense can ever replace a life lost, but grieving families deserve answers as well as compensation when suffering due to wrongful death.
If your loved one was killed in a car accident that involved someone else’s negligence, it may be possible to obtain compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses incurred before death
- Lost financial support
- Psychological and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
After a fatal auto accident, no lawyer can guarantee you a specific financial award. At Gay & Chacker, our experienced attorneys can fight to get your questions answers, hold negligent parties accountable, and pursue compensation for you.
We know that legal concerns are probably the last thing on your mind if you’ve lost a loved one. Filing a lawsuit and dealing with the legal process is something that no one wants to do while grieving. Our goal would be to handle the legal issues for you so that you can focus on your well-being at this difficult time. Wrongful death claims involve a strict statute of limitations. After a fatal car accident, it is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to begin the process if appropriate.
Call (215) 720-1117 or fill out our online form to schedule a free legal consultation with a lawyer at our firm. There is no obligation to hire us during or after the consultation. If you do retain our firm for your wrongful death claim, we will charge no legal fees unless we recover money for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some common questions about auto accidents and obtaining compensation for victims’ injuries.
Can’t I handle my auto accident claim on my own?
After suffering injuries in an automobile accident, it is possible to file an insurance claim on your own. However, insurers look for ways to pay you as little as possible without a lawyer on your side – regardless of the strength of your claim. You could lose thousands of dollars you might have received if you had had an experienced attorney guiding the process for you. Our attorneys work on contingency fees, which means that we do not collect a fee unless we recover compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.
In terms of auto insurance, what is the difference between full tort and limited tort in Pennsylvania?
Limited tort insurance generally prevents you from getting money for any pain and suffering you experience after an accident. Full tort allows you to recover money for your pain and suffering. But there are many exceptions to this rule. Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can often get you fair compensation for your injuries, even if you don’t have full tort insurance.
I have limited tort on my Pennsylvania car insurance policy. Can I still obtain compensation for pain and suffering?
Limited tort does not allow an injured person to recover for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or loss of the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures or take on daily tasks as before the crash. However, Pennsylvania law provides several exceptions that allow injured victims to recover for their full range of damages, even when they have limited tort coverage. In situations that meet one of these exceptions, victims can still obtain compensation for applicable non-economic damages. We list those exceptions on our limited tort page.
What is uninsured motorist coverage in Pennsylvania?
Adding uninsured motorist coverage to your insurance policy means that the insurance company must pay your medical costs if you are injured in an accident where the other driver is uninsured.
What is underinsured motorist coverage in Pennsylvania?
With underinsured motorist insurance coverage, the insurance company must pay your medical costs if you are injured in an accident where the other driver has some insurance coverage, but not enough to pay for your medical expenses and other losses.
The insurance company already offered me a settlement, so why do I need a lawyer?
Insurance companies are expert at paying out the lowest amount possible—or nothing—to those who apply for compensation. They exist to earn large profits, not to help you or your family. The insurance adjuster may seem very friendly and helpful, and might even provide a lot of detail about the compensation they say their company will pay you. But their main goal is to pay out as small an amount as possible. When they say they will pay for medical care, for example, they may only be referring to your first doctor’s appointment, not weeks or months of appointments. Keep in mind that adjusters are usually rewarded and/or promoted for resolving claims for little or nothing, as quickly as possible. Do not allow an insurance company to cheat you. Get an attorney who has the legal skills, knowledge and experience you need to settle your claim for the highest amount possible.
What kind of compensation can I recover by filing an auto accident lawsuit?
Compensation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey can cover many areas, including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages and benefits now and in the future,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of participation in family life,
- End-of-life expenses (if a loved one was struck and killed), and more.
Every case is different, so the type of compensation and how much you can recover will depend on the unique facts of your case. The best thing to do is to speak with an experienced lawyer for advice. Our firm offers free case evaluations to auto accident victims and their families.
Get Assistance from Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys
Founded in Philadelphia in 1965, Gay & Chacker has gained a powerful reputation by holding true to our founding mission for over half a century: to serve our clients with respect, honest legal advice, and outstanding case results.
Gay & Chacker has handled thousands of auto accident claims for people who were injured when someone else was at fault. We take on both big and small cases, from fender benders to serious accidents and wrongful death. Our attorneys can guide you through the complex process of filing a claim, returning your calls and keeping you informed on the status of your claim. When you hire us, we will work hard to get financial recovery for you, whether that means settling out of court or going to trial. We have gotten excellent money compensation for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who have been injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Our attorneys practice in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and surrounding states.
Contact Gay & Chacker to learn more about how we can help with your automobile accident case. There is no risk or obligation. We charge you no legal fees unless we recover compensation for your damages. Call us today at (215) 720-1117 for a free consultation and start getting your life back.