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Personal Injury Lawyers
Philadelphia and Bucks County

Hit & Run Accidents Leave Families Struggling with Expenses

12
Apr 2013
By:

Recently in Philadelphia, two hit-and-run accidents occurred within three days of each other. These hit-and-run accidents were unique compared to the many other hit-and-runs that occur each year because they involved two sisters from the same family.

As Go Erie.com reported, a ten-year-old and a fourteen-year-old were both hit by drivers who fled the scene. This family is now facing large medical bills for the serious injuries their two children endured. Unfortunately, our Philadelphia accident attorneys know that many hit-and-run drivers are never caught. This leaves families to foot the bill for accident losses or to look for other sources of potential compensation that may be available to them.

Philadelphia Hit & Run Accidents Cause Serious Injury

The first of the two Philadelphia hit-and-run crashes occurred when the 10-year-old daughter was walking to her family’s home in the Kensington area. The young girl suffered a broken leg in the accident.

Three days later, the family received a call that their 14-year-old daughter had been hit while she was crossing the street near the family home. The 14-year-old suffered more serious injuries than her younger sister did, and her spleen had to be removed in an operation.

In both accident situations, the driver who hit the girls drove away from the accident scene. Under the laws in Pennsylvania, drivers are required to stay at the accident scene, provide their identifying information and  seek help for the people they may have potentially injured in a crash. Because it is a crime to flee the scene of a car accident, police are looking for the two hit-and-run drivers involved in the two collisions.

What Families Can Do After a Hit-and-Run

Unfortunately, until police are able to find the driver involved in causing the accidents, the family is not going to be able to take legal action against the driver who was responsible. The driver who caused the accident is supposed to pay for serious injuries he or she causes, but this cannot occur unless the driver’s identity is known.

Without knowing the driver’s identity, those who were hurt or whose loved ones were hurt by a hit-and-run may need to look for an alternate source of compensation to pay for medical bills and losses arising from the accident.

The types of compensation that can be obtained will vary depending upon the situation. Pennsylvania is a choice no fault state, which means drivers can opt to buy personal injury protection (PIP). If your policy includes PIP coverage, then your children who are injured in a hit-and-run as they are walking down the street should be covered for their injuries as well.  There is a cap on PIP benefits equal to the policy limits.

For those who did not opt into the state’s no fault system, it may still be possible to obtain compensation after a hit and run. If you had uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, then your own insurer can stand in for the driver who fled the scene. Your own insurance can pay for the damage costs, up to the policy limits of your uninsured coverage.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates today at 1-215-953-5200.

Flager & Associates is a Pennsylvania Law Firm. We cover cases across Philadelphia, Yardley, Bristol, Bensalem and Levittown/ Fairless Hills. Most of the cases we cover are auto accidents, slip and fall, and product liability related.

Flager & Associates

Editorial Argues For Banning Cell Phones in Cars to Avoid Crashes

1
Apr 2013
By:

On March 13, 2013, Philly.com published an editorial lamenting the fact that Philadelphia’s texting and driving ban doesn’t go far enough to make the roads safe from distracted drivers. The editorial indicates that there have been few tickets actually given statewide since the texting law passed. Further, the editorial writer argues that lawmakers did not go far enough with the texting ban since any phone use is dangerous.

Our Philadelphia, PA accident attorneys know that any type of distraction behind the wheel presents a hazard. While texting may be the riskiest behavior of all, using a cell phone to talk is dangerous too and can up the chances of a crash occurring. A statewide ban on cell phone use in cars, therefore, might potentially help to save lives if such a ban could ever make it through the legislative process.

Cell Phones in Cars Present Dangers

According to the article on Philly.com, Pennsylvania’s texting ban has proved relatively toothless, with just 243 citations in the city of Philadelphia and 1,302 tickets issued statewide last year. While this may not be a lot of people ticketed, however, if the ban prevented anyone from texting and driving then it at least helped to remove one of the most serious risks from the road. As Distraction.gov reports, a driver who is texting is 23 times as likely to crash his or her vehicle than any other driver.
The law, however, does not go far enough. First, the fact that there is only a texting ban and not a broader cell-phone restriction can make it harder for law enforcement to enforce. When pulling someone over for texting, for example, the driver could potentially argue that he or she was just entering a telephone number rather than sending or receiving a text. And texting and driving is not the only dangerous distracting behavior behind the wheel. Distraction.gov also indicated that someone using any type of hand-held wireless device was four times as likely to get hurt in a car accident. The danger thus extends to all cell phone use. Further, a GPS or MP3 player, might be distracting too and a driver using such a device might not be able to concentrate fully on the roads, thus upping the chances of an accident happening.
Even when a driver uses a headset and keeps his cell phone hands-free, this is still not enough to make the driver safe or to reduce the dangers presented by distraction. For example, as Distraction.gov indicates, a person talking on a cell phone devotes 37 percent less of his brain to paying attention to driving than someone who isn’t chatting away on a wireless device.  With your attention span diverted, it is easy to miss what other drivers around you are doing and to get hurt as a result.
As these statistics show, the editorial is correct. A texting and driving ban is not enough to prevent distracted driving accidents in Philadelphia or in the state of Pennsylvania. Drivers who use any type of cell phone or handheld device endanger themselves and others and strict laws banning cell phone use could help to make the roads a lot safer for everyone.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Philadelphia, Bucks County or anywhere in Pennsylvania, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates. Call us at 1-215-953-5200.

Flager & Associates is a Pennsylvania Law Firm. We cover cases across Philadelphia, Yardley, Bristol, Bensalem and Levittown/ Fairless Hills. Most of the cases we cover are auto accidents, slip and fall, and product liability related.

Flager & Associates