One of the most common situations that leads to a severe personal injury is a vehicle or transportation accident. Any time cars, trucks, buses, or taxis hit each other, or collide with other innocent bystanders, there is a high chance that someone will get seriously hurt. Unfortunately, the victim in such a crash is often not at fault, leaving them with terrible injuries that can take extensive medical treatment for a full recovery.
This is why the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian fight for the rights and interests of people who have been hurt in vehicle accidents in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
Motor Vehicle Accidents Are a Serious Problem
Accidents involving motor vehicles are a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 38,000 people were killed on the roads in the United States in 2014, alone. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), worldwide, car accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 29. In addition to those killed in motor vehicle accidents, the NSC estimates that another 4.4 million others were hurt in accidents involving cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles.
The cost of these accidents is not small. ASIRT estimates that vehicle accidents in the U.S. cost an estimated $230.6 billion, or roughly $820 per person, every year. Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) agree. They say that approximately 2.5 million emergency room visits happen every year from vehicle accidents every year, and that each one costs an average of $3,300. Whenever more extensive medical treatment is needed, though, that cost can increase to something closer to $57,000.
You can help to lower these numbers and, more importantly, keep yourself safe by taking some basic precautions when you are out driving. Not driving while you are drunk, distracted, or tired are common practices that can go a long way to ensuring you stay safe on the roads. However, using your vehicle's seat belts, and making sure that everyone else in your car uses them, too, can drastically reduce your chances of getting seriously hurt if a crash does happen.
What to Do After a Vehicle Accident
The Philadelphia area has a lot of busy highways and dangerous intersections. The number of miles traveled on our roadways and the volume of traffic and congestion both contribute to the high number of accidents we see on a daily basis.
If you are one of the people who is involved in a car accident, taking the following steps can ensure you preserve your rights and make it easier to get the compensation that you need to make a full recovery.
- Immediately after the collision, the first thing you need to do is determine if you are injured and how badly your injuries are. If you are hurt so badly that you are incapacitated, you need to wait, as calmly as possible, for emergency personnel to come to your help. Unless you are on some of the most isolated roads in the area, someone will come to your help and notify emergency crews of the crash.
- If you are not incapacitated from the crash, you need to call 911 to bring emergency crews to the scene of the crash. While making the call, giving the dispatcher enough information is important: Mention how many vehicles are involved, whether any people are unable to get out of the wreck, and whether any liquids are seeping into the roadway or the ground. This can ensure that enough personnel come to the scene and that the right ones are called.
- While emergency crews are en route, helping others that were hurt and directing traffic around the crash is more important than gathering evidence. If someone is trapped in their vehicle or has a neck or back injury, however, letting the professionals handle it is best if there is no imminent danger.
- After emergency crews start arriving, get the names, addresses, drivers' license and license plate numbers, and insurance information from all of the drivers who were involved in the crash. If there were passengers or witnesses, get their names and contact information, as well. It is important to gather this information politely, and without saying much else. With so much adrenaline running through your system, you could say something that you did not mean, and admit that you were at fault in the crash.
- If you have a camera on you, take pictures of the wreck and any injuries that you suffered.
- Contact a vehicle accident attorney, like those at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian.
Complications in Vehicle Accidents
Some vehicle accidents get resolved quickly and easily. Insurance companies pay up and everyone gets compensated as they deserve.
However, things can get complicated very quickly, especially when the cars that were involved in the wreck were not driven by the people who own them. This can be the case if the vehicle was a government or company car, a rental car, or a taxi or ridesharing vehicle, like one used by an Uber or a Lyft driver.
In these cases, there are many more parties involved, each with their own unique set of motivations and goals. This can drastically change how car accidents are resolved, as some of the parties come to the table wanting to maximize what they get, even if that means putting the blame or the cost onto someone else.
These cases are especially complicated, and often highlight the need for a quality car accident and personal injury attorney, like those at Gilman & Bedigian.
Vehicle Accidents Injuries to Passengers
If you are a passenger that gets involved in a car accident, things can also become complex. This is particularly true if the person who was driving caused the crash, and is a friend or a family member. You may have suffered serious injuries from the accident, but do not want to take legal action because you would be collecting from someone who is close to you.
It is important to remember in these circumstances that you are not taking money from the driver who caused the crash. Instead, you are making a claim against that person's insurance company to compensate you for the injuries that you suffered. It can still seem awkward, especially if the case gets contested because your friend's insurance company refuses your claim and the case goes to court. However, it is for these reasons why we have insurance companies – they are supposed to be on hand to ensure that everyone who gets hurt in an accident gets their just compensation.
Getting a car accident attorney who can diplomatically resolve the issue is important and can ensure that your case does not become a personal issue that impacts your personal life, while still fighting for your right to be compensated for your injuries.
Public Transportation Accidents in Philadelphia
With more and more people moving into downtown urban areas like Philadelphia, cars have started to lose some of their popularity of buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. With an annual ridership of nearly 330 million in 2014, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) carries a significant portion of workers on their commute and allows a lot of other people to run their errands without getting behind the wheel of a car.
However, with so many riders and so many routes, SEPTA is also involved in numerous vehicle accidents, as well. These crashes, because of the size of many of SEPTA's vehicles, are often severe, resulting in serious injuries to those involved.
Because SEPTA is a public transportation authority and therefore run by the government, if you get hurt in a vehicle accident with SEPTA, you will have to make your claim against the government to get the compensation that you need and deserve. These claims are far more intricate than those that deal with private parties, in part because any compensation you stand to gain would come from taxpayer money.
Vehicle and Transportation Accidents in Philadelphia
Getting hurt in a vehicle accident is never something that you want to go through. The recovery process can take lots of time, leading to missed time at work, lost wages, medical expenses, pain, and suffering. When you were not the one responsible for your injuries, this can seem especially unfair, particularly if there was nothing that you could have done to prevent the accident from happening, in the first place.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian represent those who have been hurt in vehicle and transportation accidents both in and around the city of Philadelphia. By fighting for your rights and interests in court, we can ensure that you get the compensation that you need to make a full recovery, from the people who were ultimately responsible for what you have had to go through.
You can contact Gilman & Bedigian online or at (800) 529-6162 for the legal representation that you need to get the compensation that you deserve.