News

July 5, 2012

Several people, entities and forces come into play when there is an auto accident involving two drivers. Those numbers are multiplied when more than two cars are involved in the accident. On top of that, there may be parties who were not even driving a vehicle who may be totally or partially responsible for the accident.

In the simplest case, the players are the two drivers, and their insurance companies. The required exchange of information at the scene may be enough to protect the interests of the innocent party. But, NOT SO FAST! Were there witnesses to the accident? Is the other driver a local resident, or is he or she from another state or another country? Did that driver give you his real name and address? Does that driver own the vehicle he or she is driving? Was it a rental vehicle? Was the negligent driver in the course of his or her employment when the accident occurred? Is the victim driving a car owned by someone else? Did the police investigate?

Experience tells us at Abes Baumann that even the most straightforward-seeming case can be made unduly complicated, or even lost if a prompt and thorough investigation is not completed. In one case we filed suit immediately because the negligent driver was a resident of a foreign country and was probably in this country illegally. If that person had returned to his native land before he was served with the lawsuit we may never have located him, and the victim could have been left without a remedy. CALL US EARLY! 800-344-3090.

In another case we handled the negligent driver was a college student with no permanent connections to Pennsylvania, driving a rental vehicle. In addition, he moved two or three times for his education and employment by the time the case came to us. To secure our clients’ rights and remedies in most auto accidents we must not only file suit within two(2) years, but we must also achieve personal service of the legal papers upon the negligent driver within a reasonable time thereafter. We got our man on this occasion, but not without much work and worry. It is a needless hassle and potential nightmare to have a valid claim threatened or lost on technical grounds that could be easily avoided by prompt investigation, and, as is needed in certain cases, immediate litigation. CALL US EARLY! (800) 344-3090.

There are also many auto accident cases in which the federal, state or local government, or a nearby landowner, may have some responsibility. Special rules apply to cases against governmental agencies. In particular, prompt, written notice of the potential claim must be given to the appropriate governmental unit well before the normal two(2) year limit or the case may be void. CALL US EARLY! (800) 344-4090.

Most fundamentally, prompt investigations secure information from witnesses who may be unavailable at a later date, and document the conditions existing at the time of the accident. Roads are paved, vegetation is cut or dies out, etc. We are involved in a case in which a driver’s view of the road was impaired by weeds growing in the berm of the highway. They were cut down right after the accident, but through prompt investigation we located a witness who could verify the existence of the existence and height of the weeds at the time of the accident. In another case, we took photos a dangerous condition on a parking lot days before the landowner came in and paved it over. TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED! WE DON’T. CALL US EARLY! (800)344-3090.