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Philly and Pittsburgh Car Accident: At-Fault vs. No-Fault State

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Every year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) releases an annual Crash Facts & Statistics Report that includes Pittsburgh car accident statistics for Allegheny County, as well as Philadelphia. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of total crashes every year for Allegheny County have continued on a downward trend, resulting in a record low number of accidents in 2020 at 9,818 compared to 12,470 in 2017. Philadelphia is similar with 12,190 car crashes in 2017 and 10,108 in 2020. However, this drop in accidents doesn’t necessarily make the cities or counties any safer to drive in.

Anyone who has spent the day trying to navigate their way to downtown Pittsburgh, for example, will quickly learn why it’s known as the City of Bridges. With more than 400 bridges (a world record), steep hills and a city known for icy winters, it’s not exactly a driver-friendly city. And, the way the state regulates car insurance adds an extra level of complexity when you or a loved one is involved in a traffic accident. It’s important to know where to contact the best legal advice from a car accident attorney near Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or any other city in the state.

Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

When it comes to at-fault and no-fault insurance, Pennsylvania is one of the rare states that uses both. It’s important to understand the legal options for both types of insurance when you or a loved one is injured in a car accident. Both types of insurance may entitle you to additional compensation beyond what the insurance broker considers appropriate. Make sure you have a Pennsylvania injury lawyer that understands the complexity of the state’s car insurance laws.

No-fault insurance is just as it sounds. No matter who is at fault for causing the car accident, both parties are required to file a claim with their insurance companies and pay the deductible based on their premium package. All no-fault insurance policies are legally required to include personal injury protection (also known as PIP), and have strict guidelines when filing lawsuits for additional damages. Also, the person who caused the accident is the one responsible for paying any property damage through their insurance company.

Since Pennsylvania also has at-fault insurance, drivers can purchase insurance policies that include limited tort and full tort coverage. Limited tort coverage is often the cheapest type of car insurance, meeting the minimal requirements to be considered financially responsible to drive under Pennsylvania law, and you can claim medical expenses caused by a traffic accident. However, it limits your options when it comes to filing a lawsuit against the other driver in order to recover specific damages relating to pain and suffering. Full tort coverage means that you have unrestricted rights to suing another driver for any and all damages caused by the car accident.

When do Most Car Accidents Happen?

Woman on a phone call after a crash, potentially contacting a lawyer for a Pittsburgh car accident

Although traffic accidents occur at any time of day, knowing when a Pittsburgh car accident — for example — is most likely to occur can help mitigate risk and lower the chances of you getting in a car accident yourself. According to PennDot, more fatalities occurred at night (13.7 fatalities per 1,000 crashes) compared to the day (9.0 fatalities per 1,000 crashes). However, there were far more car accidents during the daylight hours accounting for 61.6% of all traffic accidents. When you look at the time of day when most accidents occur, the same report found that 3 p.m. had the highest crashes (7,647) and fatalities (81).

What time of year do most car accidents happen? January has the highest level of car crashes at 9.9%, but only accounts for 7.3% of fatalities throughout the year. Pennsylvania winters are notorious for freeze thaw cycles where it can be snowing in the morning and then raining later in the afternoon only to freeze again at night adding a fresh coat of ice on the roadways. Combine that with a city’s geography like Pittsburgh — full of hills, bridges and tunnels — and you have a high risk for fender benders.

June and July, however, have a relatively low number of car crashes at just 7.8% and 8.8%, but they have the highest fatality rate at 11.3% and 11.9%, respectively. This is the time of year that the American Automobile Association calls “The 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers.” Summer holidays mean more people are out on the road drinking and driving, storms can occur without warning, and traffic patterns can become unpredictable.

Find a Car Accident Lawyer in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Philadelphia or Pittsburgh car accident, you may be entitled to compensation no matter your type of insurance, especially if the injury is considered serious. Don’t settle for just any lawyer in the state – speak to the best personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, or the rest of the state.

Avrek Law has a team of experts ready to hear about your case. The consultation is free and you’ll get advice from a law firm with more than $1 billion recovered in more than 25,000 cases. View one of our locations or contact us for a free consultation – we’re here to help!

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