Car accidents, especially those involving multiple vehicles, are often a scene of chaos. Sometimes, it’s clear which driver was at fault, while others aren’t so obvious. Determining fault after car accidents can be a tricky subject, but Philadelphia laws serve as a guideline. Keep reading to learn more about how liability is determined in Philadelphia and what you should do if you were injured in a car accident.

car accident liability

How to Determine Liability in a Philadelphia Car Accident

Pennsylvania law uses comparative negligence to assign fault in a car accident. As long as you were determined to be less than 51% at fault for a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or damages. That means that, even if you are found to be partially at fault for a collision, you can sue the other driver (or his or her insurance company) for compensation. However, the amount that you can sue for must be reduced by your percentage of fault. Let’s say that you were found to be 20% at fault for an accident, resulting in $100,000 in damages. That means that you can only be compensated a total of $80,000 because of the part you played in the accident. 

Who Determines Fault After a Car Accident?

It might surprise you to learn that a police report doesn’t assign fault in car accidents. Police only report the facts, but the report itself will serve as a piece of evidence in your case. Instead, insurance companies are the ones to assign fault. Typically, insurance will do an investigation after an accident. They will ask you for certain documents to serve as evidence, including police reports, medical records, and witness statements. The more evidence of the facts you have, the better your chances are of receiving fair compensation. Following an accident, the insurance companies use Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws to determine the amount of compensation they will offer. 

Once liability is determined, you will be offered a settlement amount from the other driver’s insurance company, your own, or both. You can be compensated for damages like:

  • Medical bills, physical therapy, and surgery
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages or earning capacity
  • Property damage

Be mindful that the other driver’s insurance company may try to assign more fault to you in order to lower the amount of compensation you’re entitled to seek. It’s crucial that you keep records of everything involving the accident and consider hiring a lawyer. 

How Can a Lawyer Help With Determining Liability in a Car Accident?

After a car accident, you may be facing medical bills on top caused by the crash. You need an expert on your side that can help you navigate the complex world of insurance negotiation. A Philadelphia car accident attorney knows the law and how to get you everything that you deserve in compensation. Your lawyer can negotiate with insurance on your behalf while assisting with every aspect of your case, including taking the case to court if necessary. At the Jason Javie Law Office, we cover you in every aspect of your case to fight for you. If you have questions about a car accident liability case, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation with a member of our law team.