Female passenger in the backseat of a rideshare vehicle

What To Do If You Are In A Rideshare Accident

In today’s environment, rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft offer individuals a convenient way to get to and from places where they cannot drive themselves or would prefer not to do so.  It has proven to be an invaluable service for all ages.  However, it is just as likely that you could be a victim of an Uber car accident as your own car.

Protect Your Rights After a Rideshare Accident

Suppose you get into a rideshare accident in Pennsylvania. In that case, following a series of steps is essential to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights even if you believe you did not suffer any injuries. You might not feel any of the effects of the accident until a few days later. You may be eligible for compensation through the claims process. You should make sure to take the following measures:

  • Ensure Safety: Check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Ensure you are in a safe location away from traffic.
  • Contact Police: Even if the accident seems minor, it’s important to call the police. A police report can be vital in documenting the accident, which is crucial for insurance and legal processes.
  • Exchange Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the rideshare driver and any other drivers involved in the accident. Remember to get the rideshare driver’s personal information and information related to their rideshare company (e.g., are they driving for Uber or Lyft).
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and any relevant road conditions or traffic signs. Also, if there are witnesses, try to get their contact information.
  • Report the Accident to the Rideshare Company and File A Claim: Use the Rideshare app to report the accident. Both Uber and Lyft, for example, have options in their apps for reporting accidents. You will want to do this as soon as possible. You can file a claim using a simple online claims form located on the Uber app. After you submit your claim, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your claim number, the claim adjuster’s contact information, and a list of additional documents you may need to process your claim.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you do not think you have been injured, seeing a doctor after an accident is a good idea. Some injuries, like whiplash, might not be immediately apparent.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company But Do Not Accept Immediate Settlement Offers: Report the accident to your insurance company. However, be cautious about discussing fault or details of the accident until you have consulted with an attorney. Be careful if the rideshare company or insurance adjusters offer a quick settlement. Contact an attorney before accepting any offers, as they may not fully cover your expenses or losses.
  • Consult with an Attorney: Consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in rideshare accidents. They can advise you on how to proceed, help you understand your rights and laws specific to Pennsylvania, and ensure you receive any compensation you’re entitled to.
  • Follow-up: Keep track of any medical treatments and contact your attorney. Respond promptly to any requests from your insurance company or the rideshare company.

Each state has different laws and procedures, so knowing Pennsylvania’s specific regulations regarding rideshare accidents is essential. This can impact insurance claims, liability, and compensation.


Your attorney will work with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement. They will assess your injuries and expenses that you incurred throughout the process in order to determine an appropriate compensation amount.  If negotiations do not lead to a satisfactory settlement, it may be time to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident, with the advice of your attorney. The attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy can help you if you have been involved in an Uber or other rideshare accident. Contact our office for an initial complimentary consultation.

Dash cam in a car

The Role of Dash Cams in Car Accident Lawsuits

In Philadelphia and throughout the country, the advent of dash cams (dashboard cameras) has revolutionized how car accidents are documented, analyzed, and litigated. Cooper Schall & Levy, a leading personal injury law firm in Philadelphia, is well aware of the significant role dash cams can play in car accident lawsuits. If you have suffered a serious injury in a traffic collision, contact our offices to discuss your options with a knowledgeable professional.

What Is a Dash Cam?

A dash cam is a small, onboard camera mounted inside a vehicle, typically on the dashboard or windshield, designed to record the driver’s view in a continuous loop. It captures video and audio footage while the car is in motion and, in some cases, even when it’s parked. Dash cams have gained popularity for their ability to provide real-time, objective evidence of road incidents, providing a clear picture of the events leading up to, during, and after a car accident.

What Can a Dash Cam Help To Prove?

Dash cams can be pivotal in personal injury lawsuits stemming from car accidents, serving several critical functions:

  • Determining fault and liability by providing undeniable evidence.
  • Recording traffic law violations, road conditions, and traffic signals. 
  • Showing severity of impact in terms of vehicle damage and personal injuries.
  • Contradicting false or exaggerated claims from other parties involved in the accident.

Benefits of Owning a Dash Cam Go Beyond Its Role in Accident Reconstruction

Having a dash cam in your car also provides:

  • Objective evidence for insurance claims, potentially speeding up the claims process.
  • Protection against staged accidents designed to extort money from innocent drivers.
  • Precise information in the face of hit-and-run accidents.

Potential Disadvantages of Owning a Dash Cam

While the advantages of having a dash cam on your car if you are involved in an accident are many, there are also potential drawbacks for drivers to consider:

  • Privacy concerns 
  • The need to manage and securely store footage, which may require regular attention to ensure the device is recording as intended.
  • Legal restrictions on the use of dash cams in some jurisdictions.
  • Irrefutable evidence of your liability if you are at fault.

PA Dash Cams Laws

In Pennsylvania, the use of dash cams is generally permitted, but it’s essential for drivers to adhere to the specific legal guidelines below to ensure that their footage is admissible in court and does not violate state laws:

Windshield Placement — Cameras should not obstruct the driver’s view, so they must not be mounted on your drivers’ windows or windshields. Instead, dash cams in Pennsylvania must be true to their name and only be installed on your dashboard to meet to state regulations and avoid penalties. Also, dash cams screens in the state must not distract drivers, so to be legal, they must either not have screens or have screens that can be put to sleep.

Audio Recording — In Pennsylvania, consent of all parties is required for audio recording to take place. Therefore, drivers should be cautious when recording conversations. If your dash cam records audio, you must get consent from everyone in the vehicle (including employees and customers) before recording their voices.

The Takeaway

Dash cam evidence can significantly influence the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit, providing as it does an undeniable record of events in a split-second, stressful situation. Nonetheless, it must be remembered that, like other technological advances, dash cams must be used carefully to align with state laws and respect the privacy of all parties. At Cooper Schall & Levy, our attorneys are dedicated to using dash cam footage, like all other evidentiary tools at our disposal, to build the strongest possible case for our deserving clients. 

Damaged road with potholes

How Is Responsibility For An Accident Due To Road Damage Determined?

Roads are an essential part of our daily lives, and as a result, their condition can significantly impact the safety and efficiency of travel. Damaged roads, characterized by potholes, uneven surfaces, and lack of proper signs, pose a substantial risk to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. The issue of responsibility for accidents on these damaged roads is complex because there is an interplay of maintenance by the municipalities, driver awareness, as well as the condition of the vehicle. As accidents occur, the question arises: Who is truly at fault when a car swerves to avoid a pothole or loses control on an uneven surface? 

Considerations When Determining Responsibility Due To Road Damage

Some key points to consider when determining responsibility for personal injury cases due to road damage in Pennsylvania are as follows: 

  • Nature of Road Damage: The type of road damage can influence who is responsible should an accident occur as a result of the damage. The specifics of the damage can indicate if it was a state, county, or city responsibility.

Damage to roads can significantly contribute to accidents in several ways:

  • 1) Potholes and Uneven Surfaces: Potholes and uneven road surfaces can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, especially at high speeds. This can lead to skidding, swerving, and collisions with other vehicles or objects.
  • 2) Reduced Traction: Damaged roads can reduce the traction between the tire and the road surface, increasing the risk of accidents. This is particularly hazardous in wet or icy conditions, where the grip on the road is already compromised.
  • 3) Unexpected Obstacles: Damage such as cracks, holes, or loose debris can create unexpected obstacles for drivers. Swerving to avoid these can lead to accidents, particularly if the maneuver is sudden or if it takes the vehicle into another lane.
  • 4) Increased Wear and Tear on Vehicles: Consistent driving on damaged roads can lead to increased wear and tear on vehicles, potentially causing mechanical failures that can result in accidents. For example, a damaged suspension system or tire blowouts can make a vehicle difficult to control.
  • 5) Distraction and Stress for Drivers: Navigating through damaged roads requires more attention and can be stressful for drivers. This added stress can lead to distraction and a reduced ability to react to other road hazards or changes in traffic conditions.
  • 6) Impaired Visibility: In some cases, road damage can impair visibility – for instance, water pooling in potholes can splash onto windshields, or debris can obstruct a driver’s view.
  • 7) Increased Braking Distance: Damage to the road surface can also affect the braking distance of a vehicle. If a driver is not aware of the road’s condition, they may not brake in time to avoid an obstacle or a sudden stop in traffic.
  • 8) Cycling and Motorcycling Hazards: For cyclists and motorcyclists, road damage poses an even greater risk due to the smaller size and less stable nature of these vehicles. A pothole or a patch of gravel can easily cause a cyclist or motorcyclist to fall, potentially leading to serious injuries.

In order to reduce the risks of accidents occurring due to road conditions, regular road maintenance and prompt repairs of any damage are crucial. Additionally, drivers should be aware of the condition of the roads they are using and adjust their driving style accordingly.  An example of a driver’s adjustment would be slowing down and allowing more distance between vehicles.

  • Governmental Responsibility: Roads are usually maintained by different levels of government (state, county, or local). In Pennsylvania, entities like PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) could be responsible for state-maintained roads. Local municipalities are responsible for local roads.
  • Notice of the Hazard: A critical factor is whether the responsible entity knew or should have known about the road damage. If it can be proven that they were aware of the hazard and did not take reasonable steps to fix it, they might be held liable.
  • Sovereign Immunity: Government entities in Pennsylvania, as in many states, enjoy sovereign immunity, which can limit or exempt them from liability in certain situations. However, there are exceptions, particularly if gross negligence is involved.
  • Statute of Limitations: In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years. However, the time limit for filing claims against governmental entities is generally shorter than for other personal injury claims. If your claim involves a city, county, or state government agency in Pennsylvania, you have just six (6) months from the date of injury to file a notice of intent to sue. You would then have two years from the date of your injury to file your personal injury lawsuit against the government. Failing to send the required notice of intent would likely result in your lawsuit being dismissed.
  • Contributory Negligence: In some cases, the injured party’s actions might also be considered. If the injured party’s negligence contributed to the accident, it could affect the claim.
  • Evidence and Documentation: Collecting evidence such as photographs of the road damage, accident reports, and witness statements can be crucial in establishing responsibility.

Consulting with a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about Pennsylvania laws and precedents is important. The law firm of Cooper, Schall & Levy can provide guidance on the viability of a claim, the appropriate entity to sue, and the legal process. We can offer skilled advice tailored to your particular case.

Multiple cars in an intersection accident

What Causes Intersection Accidents?

Intersection accidents, which can involve vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, are among the most common and dangerous types of traffic collisions. Despite advances in traffic management and vehicle safety features, these accidents remain challenging, often resulting from an interplay of the following factors:

  • Driver Error: The leading cause of intersection accidents is driver error, which includes: 1) failure to to yield the right-of-way, 2) misjudging another vehicle’s speed or distance, 3) illegal maneuvers, such as running a red light or stop sign, and 4) incorrectly assuming what another driver will do.
  • Distracted Driving: Activities that divert attention from driving, such as: 1) texting or using a phone, 2) eating or drinking, and 3) using in-car systems like navigation or entertainment.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed can reduce a driver’s ability to stop or react in time to avoid a collision.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction times.
  • Weather Conditions: Poor weather can reduce visibility and make roads slippery, which can lead to drivers losing control at intersections.
  • Traffic Flow Issues: Poorly designed or overly complex intersections can confuse drivers or create points of congestion and conflict.
  • Inadequate Signage or Signal Timing: Lack of proper signs or poorly timed traffic signals can contribute to collisions.
  • Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven road surfaces, or debris can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
  • Visibility Issues: Obstructions like overgrown vegetation or poorly placed billboards can hide signs and signals or block a driver’s view of oncoming traffic.
  • Turning Across Lanes: Accidents often occur when drivers make left-hand turns across oncoming traffic, sometimes misjudging the speed of oncoming vehicles or not seeing them at all.
  • Aggressive Driving: Behaviors such as tailgating, weaving through traffic, or not respecting traffic signs can lead to accidents at intersections.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Interactions: Intersections can be particularly dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, who may be struck by turning vehicles or when drivers fail to yield. Sometimes the cyclists are the ones who cause the accident if they fail to adhere to the bike lanes designated for them in metropolitan areas. For example, New York City faces mounting problems from cyclists making food deliveries throughout the city.  
  • Vehicle Malfunctions: Brake failures, steering problems, or other mechanical issues can lead to intersection crashes if a vehicle becomes uncontrollable.
  • Lack of Experience: Inexperienced drivers may not be adept at judging gaps in traffic, proper yielding techniques, or the dynamics of a busy intersection.

To mitigate these risks, traffic engineers and city planners can employ a variety of safety measures at intersections, such as installing roundabouts, adding dedicated turning lanes, improving lighting, optimizing signal timing, increasing enforcement of traffic laws, and implementing public awareness campaigns about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. Despite this though, accidents at intersections remain very common.  If you find yourself the victim of an intersection accident, contact Cooper, Schall and Levy for an initial consultation.  We will help you determine your rights and remedies as a result of the intersection accident that you were involved in.

Two men exchanging insurances after accident

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured by an Uninsured Motorist

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, it is your legal right to pursue compensation for your damages from the party that caused the accident. Oftentimes, the compensation comes from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance carrier. What happens, however, if the at-fault driver does not have insurance? Finding out you have been injured by an uninsured motorist can be stressful, particularly considering the steep expenses, such as medical bills, that can pile up after an accident. Let’s take a look at what you should do in this case.

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured by an Uninsured Motorist

If you have been injured by anyone, you should contact your insurance company to notify them as soon as possible. This is very important and probably even more so in the case of being injured by an uninsured motorist. While you may be able to go after the personal assets of the uninsured motorist in order to pursue compensation from them, it is unlikely that an uninsured driver has sufficient assets to cover you. As such, pursuing a personal judgment against the uninsured driver will likely be a frustrating, lengthy, and unsuccessful endeavor.

So, what are your options? After being injured by an uninsured motorist, you should be sure to contact your own insurance carrier. This is not only a contractual obligation but will help ensure you have access to any available benefits under your own insurance. For instance, if you opted for no-fault insurance coverage, this would help cover things like your medical bills and lost wages. You may also have medical pay coverage to help with medical bills.

If you selected uninsured motorist coverage for your auto insurance policy, this is the time that you will be thankful you did so. Uninsured motorist coverage will help cover the damages you incurred in the accident caused by the uninsured motorist. To make sure you are fully and properly compensated under your uninsured motorist coverage, there are certain steps you are going to need to take to ensure that your claim is supported.

For instance, you will need proof that the accident was caused by an uninsured motorist. Pictures of the accident scene, the official accident report, and the other driver’s information will help with this. You will also need proof that you were injured in the accident and that you incurred compensable expenses as a result. The proof of this will largely come from your medical records and resulting medical bills. This means that, after you have been injured by an uninsured motorist, you need to get immediate medical treatment and comply with doctor-recommended follow-up care in a consistent manner. If your injuries are not properly documented in medical records, it is unlikely that you will be able to pursue compensation through your uninsured motorist carrier.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Whether you were hit by an insured motorist, an underinsured motorist, or an uninsured motorist, the personal injury team at Cooper, Schall & Levy is here for you!  Contact us today.

Car speeding down the road

Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Hit and Run Accident

Being in an accident is scary. It is stressful. It is overwhelming. Being left behind at the scene of an accident as the other driver speeds away can bring a whole new level of anxiety to an already difficult situation. If you ever find yourself as the victim of a hit and run accident, take a deep breath, and remember the steps we are going to go over here.

Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Hit and Run Accident

If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, it is important to first remember not to go after the driver who is fleeing the scene. This decision is only likely to make things worse, put others in danger, and put yourself in even more danger. Stay put at the scene of the hit and run accident. Move your vehicle to a safe place at the accident scene to avoid further damage.

Make sure that everyone who was potentially injured in the accident is okay or if anyone may need emergency medical treatment. Call 911 so that law enforcement is dispatched to the accident scene. If anyone is injured, emergency medical assistant can also be dispatched to the scene. Having the police at the accident scene may be even more important in hit and run accidents as they will create an accident report documenting the details of the accident scene and begin their investigation into the driver who fled the scene.

As soon as you can, be sure to write down any accident details you may remember. Do this while your memory is the freshest as details can fade fast as time goes by. Do you remember anything about the driver of the vehicle that left the scene? Do you remember the make, model, or license plate (even partially) of their vehicle? You should also document the scene by taking pictures of the damage you sustained and any other relevant details of the accident scene. Write down the contact information of any witnesses to the crash.

You should also be sure to contact your insurance provider. This will begin the process of accessing any available benefits you may have to help cover the expenses incurred due to the hit and run accident. If the other driver is not located and, therefore, you cannot bring a claim against heir insurer, you will be able to access your own UM/UIM benefits to provide compensation for the harm you sustained due to the hit and run accident.

To help ensure that you are properly compensated for your losses and that you heal as best as possible from your injuries, be sure to seek immediate medical evaluation following the accident. Get checked out by a doctor just to be sure you are fully evaluated for the extent of the injuries you may have sustained. Comply with doctor recommended follow-up care. Your medical records will be important pieces of supporting evidence for any insurance claim you bring later on.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Injured by a hit and run driver? You do not have to go it alone! Reach out to the dedicated personal injury team at Cooper, Schall & Levy.  Contact us today.

blue car in accident

Accidents Caused By Vehicle Defects

Manufacturers, designers, and distributors of all consumer products owe consumers a duty to provide safe products. If anyone in the supply chain fails in this duty, and someone is hurt as a result, they may be held legally responsible for compensating that injured person pursuant to a product liability claim.

Some of the most devastating product liability claims involve motor vehicle defects. These defects can injure vehicle passengers in and of themselves. Alternatively, and commonly, vehicle defects lead to tragic accidents where vehicle occupants sustain serious and lasting injuries.

Accidents Caused By Vehicle Defects

Unfortunately, there are a number of fairly common vehicle defects that can cause motor vehicle accidents leading to injuries, cause injuries themselves, or lead to the exacerbation of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Some of the common vehicle defects that can cause or contribute to passenger injuries include:

  • Airbag defects: Defective airbags can fail to deploy when needed or deploy when they are not needed. When airbags fail to deploy, accident injuries can be much worse, causing a vehicle passenger to be pushed forward into the dashboard, steering column, or windshield without the cushion barrier of the airbag. Alternatively, airbags deploying when they should not deploy can also be dangerous. Airbag deployment can prevent injuries in some cases, but they can also cause burns and bruising.


  • Seatbelt defects: Seatbelts are a fundamental vehicle safety feature. It is proven that they keep people in cars safer and can prevent serious injury in the event of an accident. Sometimes, however, seatbelts fail and there have been cases where seatbelts have come unbuckled in an accident.


  • Tire defects: Tire defects can lead to things such as blowouts on the road. As a result, a driver can easily lose control of the vehicle. Improper treatment is another tire defect that can lead to loss of vehicle control.

In the event of an accident that may be caused by a vehicle defect, or one where a vehicle defect contributed to accident injuries, it is important to take the proper steps to protect any claim you may later bring. To help preserve your claim, you will need to take steps to preserve evidence that would support your claim. This means doing things like keeping track of where your vehicle is. It may be at an impound lot or a service station. Either way, it is crucial that you know where your vehicle is located and preserve it for evaluation. Do not have any repairs made until you have consulted legal counsel. Additionally, if you can safely do so, it can be important to take pictures at the accident scene. Make it a priority to seek out immediate medical treatment and comply with doctor-recommended follow-up treatment. This is important to not only your claim, but your health and well-being.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Do you suspect a vehicle defect may have played a role in the accident? Talk to the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy about your options for recovering compensation for your losses.  Contact us today.

Multiple cars on highway

The Most Dangerous Times to Be on the Road

Did you know that there are more dangerous times to drive than others? Most of the time, we don’t really think about this. We need to get somewhere and we pick a time that works best for us and our schedule. Taking into account when it is more dangerous to be out driving, however, can be a great way to avoid trouble on the road and keep yourself safe. Let’s take a look at some of the most dangerous times to be on the road.

The Most Dangerous Times to Be on the Road

Time of day can be a significant factor in increasing the risks of the road. Did you know, for instance, that our bodies experience natural drowsy times throughout the day? This is regardless of sleep and health. Your body tends to experience natural times of drowsiness between 12 am and 6 am and again between 2 pm and 4 pm. If you can avoid being on the road between these hours, you may avoid the roads being filled with fatigued drivers, yourself included. Fatigued drivers often have slowed reaction times and impaired judgment.

Times of the week also ebb and flow with more dangerous times to drive. Did you know that the weekend proves to have more fatal accidents occurring, but the days leading up to the weekend tend to have more accidents with non-fatal injuries? When you think about it, the increase in accidents leading up to the weekend and on the weekend makes sense. There are likely to be more people off of work traveling to other places for a long weekend vacation. The increase in travelers and the increase in the number of people driving in unfamiliar areas can make for more dangerous driving conditions.

Times of the year can also impact the level of danger on the roadways. Winter, for example, is a notoriously dangerous time to be on the road, particularly in cold climate areas. This is due, in large part, to the snowy and icy conditions that dominate the season. Snow and ice make for slick roads and low visibility. The summertime, however, is also a peak season for motor vehicle accidents. The weather may be better, but summer rains can be difficult to navigate. Furthermore, there are more people on the roads as school is out and more people are getting out to enjoy the great weather. There is also an increase in the amount of roadway construction, which can make things more difficult to navigate safely. There are also more bikes and pedestrians out and about.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

The truth is that it can be dangerous to drive at any time of the day, week, or year. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another, you can count on the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy to tirelessly represent you and pursue your right to be fully compensated for your injuries. Contact us today.

Car speeding down the road

Stay Safe Against the Rise in Personal Injury Risks this Summer

Schools out for summer! Yes, the joy of summer is the stuff of classic songs and treasured memories. The weather is beautiful. People are taking vacations and celebrating. It really is a magical time. This summer season, make sure that the good times keep rolling by being aware of those common summertime personal injury dangers and how to minimize risk of injuries.

Stay Safe Against the Rise in Personal Injury Risks this Summer

While summertime is associated with beaches, barbecues, and travel, did you also know that the summer season traditionally proves to show steep increases in the occurrences of personal injury incidences and claims? Yes, nothing can cut your summertime fun short like being injured in an accident, but it happens all too often. Here are some of the most commonly occurring summertime accidents and how you can help you and your loved ones stay safe this season.

First of all, car accidents tend to be a big problem in the summertime. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents tend to be a bigger problem in the summertime than at any other time of year with the timeframe between Memorial Day and Labor Day showing a peak in automobile accidents across the U.S. The increase in car accidents during the summer is likely due to a number of factors, including:

  • Increase in road congestion
  • Increase in the number of teen drivers
  • Increase in construction
  • Increase in number of those impaired by alcohol on the road
  • Increase in the number of drivers on vacation and unfamiliar with the area
  • Excessive heat leading to driver dehydration and fatigue

While you are out and about this summer, remember to stay hydrated, never drink and drive, and become as familiar with your driving plans as possible. Also, be sure that your car is properly maintained. Good tires and windshield wipers, for instance, can be critical in safely navigating in summer storms.

There are also increases in the number of bike and pedestrian accidents. Of course, with the nice weather, more people will be out walking and riding their bikes. Overall, the increase in the number of people that are out and about on foot, on bike, or in their car, is likely to be a big part of the increase in the number of accidents occurring. If you are going out for a walk or a bike ride this summer, be sure to remain mindful of your surroundings. Avoid looking at your phone and engaging in other distractions, like listening to music as you go. Being able to see and hear around you can be critical in avoiding accidents. Also, be sure you are equipped with proper safety gear when you are on your bike. Helmets, for instance, can help prevent serious head injuries if you are involved in a crash.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

If your summer fun has been cut short by being injured in an accident, you can count on the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy to help you pursue monetary compensation for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.

cars stuck really close to each other in traffic

Determining Fault in a Rear-End Accident

In a personal injury auto accident claim, determining fault is a critical element to establish. After all, the party who is found to be at fault for causing the accident can legally be held responsible for compensating the injured party for the harm they suffered as a result of the accident. This means the at-fault party, or, more likely, their insurance company, will compensate the injured party for things such as medical expenses, lost wages and more. Some accidents are straight forward regarding the fault determination. Others can be more complicated. Take rear-end accidents, for instance. While most may point the finger at the driver who hit the other car from behind as the person at-fault, these kinds of accidents, like all accidents, require a fact-specific inquiry to really determine who was at fault.

Determining Fault in a Rear-End Accident

In many cases, the rear driver will be found at fault for a rear-end collision. The fact remains, however, that fault is determined based on which driver engaged in negligent driving behavior leading to the accident. What the drivers were doing leading up to the collision is a critical element of the fault-determining analysis. For instance, when a rear-driver is found at-fault in a rear-end accident, it is not simply because they were the rear-driver. In fact, the rear-driver is often found at fault for a rear-end accident because they were engaged in aggressive or distracted driving.

Aggressive driver behaviors that would lead the rear-driver to be at-fault for a rear-end collision would include things such as speeding or tailgating. Speeding makes it more difficult for a driver to effectively stop in time should the driver in front of them hit the brakes. Tailgating and failing to leave enough room between a driver in front of you also makes it more difficult to effectively stop in time to avoid a collision.

Distracted driving on the rear-driver’s part can also be found to be the root cause of a rear-end accident. When a driver is eating, texting, or otherwise messing with car settings or electronic devices, they can miss things like cars in front of them coming to a stop or slowing down. Distracted driving can all too easily prevent a driver from having enough time to avoid a collision.

To be clear though, there are many times when the front driver is found to be at fault for an accident. How can this be? Well, there are a number of scenarios where this might be the case. For starters, the front driver may have reversed into the car behind them. This is often the case in parking lots. Other times, the front driver’s aggressive driving may have been the root cause of the accident. Consider, for instance, a driver that is weaving in and out of traffic lanes. If this driver cuts someone off or fails to adequately signal, the driver behind them may not have the space or time to react to this dangerous driving behavior. If an accident results, then the front driver may be found at fault.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Gathering evidence and looking at the specific circumstances of an accident will be critical in any personal injury claim. The team at Cooper, Schall & Levy knows what evidence needs to be gathered and preserved in order for you to have the strongest possible claim. Contact us today.