It's difficult to think of an invention more intrinsically linked to American independence and innovation as the automobile.
From the early 20th century, when cars replaced horse-drawn carriages and at the same time expanded individual opportunities, to the potential of today's cutting-edge electric cars to reduce environmental pollutants, the car accident attorneys at Kline & Specter, PC, recognize the pivotal role that motor vehicles of all kinds have played in the American economy as well as popular culture.
Our lawyers are well-versed in car accident casework. Consider:
- Roughly 35,000 people are killed each year in car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents and motorcycle accidents in the United States.
- Nearly 3 million people suffer injuries from auto accidents each year.
- Auto crashes cause very serious traumas that are complicated and expensive to treat including brain damage and spinal cord injuries.
- Of all the spinal cord injuries in the United States each year, 45 percent, or roughly 5,000, are the result of car and truck accidents.
- School bus accidents specifically account for 17,000 emergency room injuries and 20 deaths each year in the United States.
Our lawyers also are intimately familiar with the havoc that a serious car accident can wreak on a person's life. We know that after you or a loved one is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, your life changes in an instant, and we are here to help.
A capable, experienced auto accident attorney provides valuable assistance and insight in the aftermath of a car accident. You can count on that when you reach out to one of the auto accident lawyers at Kline & Specter in Philadelphia online or by telephone: 800-243-1100. Our accident lawyers, five of whom also are physicians, proudly safeguard the rights of accident victims in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and nationwide.
We Know Auto Injury Accidents
Kline & Specter is one the country's preeminent motor vehicle accident law firms. Our team includes more than 40 attorneys who understand that car, truck and motorcycle accidents happen due to a variety of reasons that may not be your fault.
Here are the most common causes of auto accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Driver error — These crashes are often caused by driving distractions such as texting, eating, personal grooming or talking to passengers; failure to follow the rules of the road; misjudging traffic conditions; falling asleep behind the wheel; or simply failing to pay adequate attention to one's driving.
- Vehicle malfunction — In addition to well-known vehicle defects such as the faulty Ford parking brakes that led our attorneys to secure multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf on an injured victim, other common vehicle failures that have caused crashes include faulty tires, bad steering columns, and transmission or engine problems.
- Environmental factors — Slick roads in the winter and glare in the summer are both frequent causes of car accidents, in addition to road construction, obstructed views, poor traffic planning, and negligent road design.
Preparing for Your Consultation With one of Our Auto Injury Accident Attorneys
From the immediate aftermath of your auto accident through any possible litigation, our motor vehicle accident attorneys and staff remain committed to achieving justice on your behalf.
With that in mind, here is some general advice about what you should do immediately after a crash.
- Get medical attention. Not only is this step vital to ensure that your health and wellness hasn't been compromised, any records associated with your medical care after an accident will help with your attorney's analysis of your claim as well as any potential car accident lawsuit.
- Avoid admitting fault. Instead, quickly and politely seek out the other driver, and call the police. Secure the other driver's insurance and contact information. Remain calm.
- Document everything. Photograph your vehicle, the accident scene and any environmental factors such as street signage or road conditions. If there are witnesses, collect their names and contact information. Also, find out the names and contact information for any police officers or EMTs who responded to your crash.
- Don’t sign anything. Some insurance adjusters may try to quickly secure a statement or even a settlement agreement without properly investigating your crash.
- Consult an experienced car accident lawyer. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your crash, it pays to have someone with your best interests at heart when it comes to dealing with insurance companies investigating your accident to determine fault and evaluating the merits of your lawsuit or potential settlement.
Auto Accident Verdicts
The auto accident lawsuits litigated by Kline & Specter attorneys have resulted in scores of noteworthy verdicts and settlements.
Here are a just handful of the motor vehicle accident cases handled by our attorneys that resulted in significant awards for our clients:
- Auto Accident Case Study No. 1: $153 million — As part of The White Case, Shanin Specter secured this major verdict and a later $52 million verdict in a defective parking brake case. In a subsequent parking brake case against Ford, our law firm also won an $8.75 million verdict.
- Auto Accident Case Study No. 2: $38.2 million — Attorney Andrew Stern won this verdict against the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and a Delaware County town on behalf of a girl who was severely injured in an auto accident at a notoriously dangerous intersection.
- Auto Accident Case Study No. 3: $30 million — Our attorneys won this settlement for a Philadelphia girl left paralyzed from the chest down after she was injured by a lap belt in an auto accident.
- Auto Accident Case Study No. 4: $14 million — Founding partner Tom Kline won this verdict for Ashley Zauflik, a teenager seriously injured in a school bus accident at Pennsbury High School.
- Auto Accident Case Study No. 5: $19.1 million — In Luzerne County, Shanin Specter secured this verdict for a roadside worker struck by a vehicle.
Defectively Designed Motor Vehicles
Many auto accidents occur because of human error. Others happen due to defective parts or inadequate safety mechanisms.
Here are three types of defective motor vehicle parts cases successfully argued by the Philadelphia-based attorneys at Kline & Specter:
- Faulty Parts Example No. 1: A number of vehicles also have been found to have roofs that cannot withstand rollover accidents, which is a lethal hazard to both drivers and passengers. Federal officials, seeking to reduce the number of such roof crush accidents, have proposed toughening the current 30-year-old standard to mandate stronger auto roofs.
- Faulty Parts Example No. 2: Airbags can cause severe injuries in auto accidents. Sometimes the devices deploy when they should not, or open with too much force, or open too slowly. In other cases, airbags fail to deploy at all.
- Additional devices that have caused car accident injuries or death include lap belts found in older vehicles and defective parking brakes.
If you or a loved one needs our help, call 800-243-1100 to schedule a free case evaluation. We proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and nationwide.
- Missouri has become ground zero for a national debate about whether the widely-used ET-Plus highway guardrail system is safe. A study that was funded in part by the state found that the system is much more likely to be involved in fatal auto accidents than an earlier version. In October, the Texas company that makes the system was ordered to pay $525 million for purportedly defrauding the federal government by secretly changing the design specifications in 2005 without notifying the Federal Highway Administration. (Full story)
- Don’t let the auto industry kill you, by Shanin Specter, CNN Opinion, 7/31/14
- Officials in a city have reached a $2 million auto injury accident injury settlement with a man who suffered head injuries after being hit by a water department truck. The man was crossing the street when he was struck by the truck as it made a left turn. The impact threw the man several feet, he suffered extensive brain damage and was in a coma for nine days. (Full story)
- A jury has awarded a $15.7 million auto accident injury verdict in a deadly interstate crash. The award goes to three people who were injured and to the families of two who were killed after a tanker truck jumped the median and crashed into an oncoming tractor-trailer. The collision caused a pileup that involved several cars. The driver of the tanker truck was also killed. (Full story)
- A man who suffered severe brain injuries has reached a $7 million auto accident injury settlement with a tractor-trailer driver and several companies. The man was driving late in the evening when a tractor-trailer that was traveling in the opposite direction turned in front of him, ignoring specific driving instructions for delivery. Police testified that the driver would not have been able to see the trailer until it was too late for him to react, causing his vehicle to strike the rig. The man was rendered unconscious, remained in a coma for 30 days and is now left disabled for life. (Full story)