Philadelphia Fatal Car Accident Attorney

fatal car accident statisticsThe untimely death of a loved one is always a deeply painful and shocking event. When the death was caused by the careless, irresponsible actions of another person, it is even more difficult for the victim’s surviving family members to cope. After learning a child, parent, spouse, or other loved one has been killed in a car accident, the survivors are left wondering why it happened, how it happened, and what they can do. Contact a Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney with extensive experience representing the surviving family of fatal auto accident victims.

The Wieand Law Firm, LLC provides compassionate, caring assistance to your family if you wish to pursue a claim or lawsuit. For a free consultation concerning your legal options, contact us at (215) 666-7777.

Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer Handling Fatal Car Accident Lawsuits

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Philadelphia and other parts of Pennsylvania. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that over 32,000 Americans die annually from fatal car crashes. Crashes can happen on any type of road, from quiet suburban streets to busy interstate highways like I-95 and I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway).

All types of crashes can result in fatal injury to passengers, drivers, cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians, and a thorough investigation is necessary to discover how and why the collision occurred.

The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is selective in the cases we accept, enabling us to devote extensive resources to investigating each accident and aggressively pursuing the maximum compensation. We handle auto accident claims and wrongful death lawsuits involving many different types of fatal accidents in Philadelphia, including:

  • Accidents caused by drivers who were under the influence of marijuana, prescription pills, or other drugs
  • Accidents caused by text messaging or other types of distracted driving
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Fatal hit and run accidents
  • Fatal motorcycle crashes
  • Fatal SEPTA accidents
  • Fatal taxi accidents
  • Fatal truck accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Highway accidents
  • Intersection accidents
  • Lane change accidents
  • Left turn accidents
  • Parking garage and parking lot accidents
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Side-impact collisions (“T-bone” accidents)
  • Sideswipe accidents

The personal injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm have worked on cases involving numerous types of fatal injuries. We understand which details to search for and emphasize when presenting a case or negotiating toward a settlement agreement. Fatal injuries that frequently result from vehicle accidents in Philadelphia include:

  • Amputation and loss of limb
  • Chest and lung injuries
  • Head and brain injuries, such as skull fractures or fatal concussions
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ failure
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis

Proving Liability for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

To establish a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the negligent party directly caused the injuries and death of your loved one. These cases are often incredibly complex and take the skills of an experienced attorney. A Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney at the Wieand Law Firm will investigate your claim. Evidence that is often used in a lawsuit for negligence include:

  • Ensuring a complete investigation into the accident to determine liability
  • Hiring accident reconstruction specialists and medical expert witnesses to review the case and provide testimony
  • Using experts in manufacturing or design to determine whether a defect in the automobile caused the car accident.

Proving a wrongful death lawsuit requires significant time and expertise. If your loved one died as the result of a fatal car accident due to another party’s negligence, speak with a Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney to protect your legal rights and seek justice for your loss.

car accident negligenceExamples of Car Accident Negligence

When another driver acts negligently and causes a fatal car accident, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Reach out to a Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney to investigate and determine if a negligent act caused your loved one’s death. Examples of driver negligence may include:

  • Tailgating – following too closely behind another driver can result in a rear-end collision.
  • Driving too fast for weather conditions – drivers have the responsibility to take weather into account when they are behind the wheel. Drivers who fail to reduce their speed to account for fog, rain or snow may be negligent.
  • Texting While Driving – Taking eyes off the road to send a text message has proven to be extremely dangerous and is illegal in most states.
  • Driving Under the Influence – Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an example of negligence.
  • Road Rage –Drivers who commit road rage act negligently and may also be liable for recklessness or intentional misconduct.
  • Driving Against Medical Advice – drivers who have been instructed by a physician to give up driving may be negligent if they continue to operate a motor vehicle and cause an accident during a medical event

Confer with a Wrongful Death Attorney Before Negotiating with Insurance Companies

After a fatal car accident, the insurance company for the negligent party will attempt to meet with the family of the deceased. The insurance company will often attempt to steer the conversation and use deceptive tactics to coerce the family to accept a low-ball settlement. Keep the following in mind before you speak with an insurance company:

  • Insurance companies will request to record your conversations. A Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney strongly recommends denying permission to record conversations, as these conversations can be used later to rationalize a less than adequate settlement offer.
  • Only provide your loved one’s medical records as directly related to the accident to the insurance company. Do not provide a full and complete medical history.
  • Do not accept and cash a check from the insurance company without speaking with your attorney. Some insurance companies will claim that cashing a check means that the victim has agreed that the check satisfies the full settlement.

Take advantage of a free consultation with a Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney to negotiate with the insurance companies and help you achieve the maximum compensation possible.

Compensation for Surviving Spouses and Family Members

Unlike most states, Pennsylvania is a no-fault state with regard to auto accidents. As a result, the first step for spouses and family members will generally be to file “first-party” claims with their own insurer. Benefits are available through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, regardless of who was at fault for the fatal car crash. PIP coverage will pay a minimum of $5,000 toward medical bills in the event of injury or death.

If, as is often the case, accident-related expenses exceed the PIP coverage limits, the survivors may then wish to pursue additional compensation from the negligent party.
A car accident lawyer can help even the playing field when negotiating with an auto insurance company. These negotiations may take months or possibly years, depending on the complexity of the accident, the amount being sought, the insurance company’s willingness to extend a reasonable settlement offer, and other factors.

Increasingly often, insurance companies are denying valid claims and making “low ball” offers which do not fairly compensate the injured party. For this reason, we begin preparing your case for trial from day one. If the insurance company doesn’t negotiate in good faith, we won’t hesitate to try your case in front of a jury.

Wrongful Death Car Accident Compensation

Calculating the financial value of the damages for a fatal car accident is a complex task that can require the expertise of multiple professionals, including economists, financial professionals, and personal injury attorneys. Philadelphia fatal car accident lawyers will consider a multitude of factors to determine what your case might be worth. These factors may include:

  • The Damages Suffered by the Deceased and Their Dependents – your case value may depend on the number of plaintiffs involved and the extent of their irrecoverable losses. For example, one claim might involve a surviving spouse and multiple children who all required compensation. This compensation may not be equally divided; for example, an older spouse near retirement age may not receive as much compensation as a dependent infant who would require years of financial support.
  • The Soundness of Witness Statements to Support Your Case – Sympathetic and reliable witness testimony can help secure a larger jury verdict or award.
  • Payout Limits of the Insurance Coverage – The compensation you can expect to receive may be closely linked to the insurance policy limits. Jury awards above that amount may face collection challenges.
  • Proof of the Defendant’s Fault – proving that the defendant was grossly negligent, such as texting while driving, may result in a jury holding them responsible for compensatory damages. In some cases, juries may award punitive damages to punish a defendant for egregious actions.
  • The Jurisdiction Where You Case is Heard – Wrongful death lawsuits are heard in county court houses, and the jurisdiction where the case is held that can influence the results.
  • Your Attorney’s Effectiveness – Wrongful death lawsuits are complex and demand the skill and expertise of a qualified personal injury attorney. Securing the counsel of a Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney can help give your case the best chance of obtaining maximum compensation for your claim.

Philadelphia car accident lawyerFull Tort vs. Limited Tort Auto Insurance

Unlike full tort insurance, limited tort insurance precludes claimants from seeking certain “damages” (compensation) in cases of minor injury. However, the death of a driver or passenger meets Pennsylvania’s serious injury threshold, enabling the claimant to pursue compensation for pain and suffering. In addition, compensation may also be recoverable for:

  • Funeral and Burial Expenses
  • Loss of Consortium (Marital Relationship)
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Lost Benefits
  • Lost Income
  • Medical Bills
  • Property Damage

Car Accident LawyerHow Long Will It Take to Settle My Case?

Building a compelling case requires time to properly investigate and support the claim. It’s fairly typical for cases to be resolved in court within two to four years if the case goes to trial. Cases that are resolved through negotiated settlements outside of court may be settled sooner than taking a case to trial.

Contingency Fee Agreement

The attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm believe that all individuals should be able to access the services of a qualified Philadelphia fatal car accident attorney. Our attorneys work on a contingence fee basis, meaning that they don’t earn a fee unless they win money for your claim. You owe no money out of pocket for our services, and our only fees come from a percentage of the amount that we earn for your claim.

Contact a Philadelphia Lawyer Who Handles Auto Accident Claims

If you lost a loved one in a fatal vehicle accident that was caused by another driver’s actions, an automotive defect, or a defect in the road, traffic signs, or traffic lights, you may have grounds to pursue legal action against the negligent party. Though filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit cannot undo what has already occurred, the resulting compensation can make it significantly easier to pay for medical bills, funeral bills, and other expenses. Perhaps even more significantly, taking legal action can help to give you and your loved ones a stronger sense of closure and a greater ability to heal.

Contact Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Brent WieandCall the Wieand Law Firm for a Free Consultation

We understand that wrongful death cases are deeply painful for the people involved, and will handle your case with sensitivity, compassion, and care. We know that you are probably going through a chaotic and disorienting time right now, and our attorneys can travel to your location to make the process easier on you. Whenever you are ready, we will be there to answer your questions and provide assistance.

To learn more about filing a lawsuit or claim for the death of your spouse or family member, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (215) 666-7777.


To learn more about filing a lawsuit or claim for the death of your spouse or family member, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (215) 666-7777.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*

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