Even a seemingly minor car accident can leave you injured and confronted with sudden physical, emotional and financial challenges. But don’t expect an insurance provider to offer you a fair settlement that covers medical costs and other damages. This is why having experienced accident attorneys on your side is imperative after an accident.
The car accident attorneys at the Pisanchyn Law Firm can help victims pursue the financial security they need to recover from their injuries and move forward with their lives.
If you were hurt in an motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, please call 1-800-444-5309 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys.
Car Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents cause a wide range of injuries, and some injuries are not always evident immediately following the collision. It’s a good idea to receive a thorough medical exam after a collision of any significant impact, even if you don’t feel hurt.
Many car accidents result in recoverable—yet costly—bone, ligament and disc injuries. However, auto accidents remain a leading cause of severe and catastrophic injuries that include:
Our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys have extensive experience helping victims of life-altering injuries. Our lawyers represent only injury victims. We understand the extreme financial impacts a severe injury can have on victims and their families.
Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?
One reason why it’s advisable to discuss your situation with an attorney if you suffered injury in a car accident in Pennsylvania is the state’s often-confusing “no-fault” insurance system. With no-fault insurance, injury victims turn to their own insurance to cover medical expenses up to the personal injury protection (PIP) limit regardless of who caused the accident.
Pennsylvania drivers have the option to choose between no-fault insurance or traditional insurance, or what is legally defined as limited tort coverage or full tort coverage. The limited tort, or no-fault, option comes with a savings on premiums and allows you to recover all out-of-pocket medical expenses up to the PIP limit; however, it prevents you from recovering certain damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, unless a catastrophic injury is present that meets one of the exceptions defined by the state.
With traditional, or full tort, insurance you can seek financial compensation for medical costs and other damages from the at-fault driver. Having full tort coverage also opens you up to legal action if you’re to blame for an auto accident.
Can I File a Claim Against A Drunk Driver?
Because drunk driving is illegal, a drunk driver can be prosecuted in both criminal and civil courts. The Pisanchyn Law Firm’s experienced lawyers have pursued compensation for many persons and their families who have been injured or killed by a drunk driver in a civil lawsuit.
Did you know that these civil lawsuits can include damages for compensatory and sometimes punitive damages? Compensatory damages are paid by the drunk driver’s insurance company to compensate the victim for his injuries and can include damages for “pain and suffering”, lost income, unpaid medical bills and the loss of the injured person’s quality of life.
It can also compensate his family if the drunk driver’s actions result in the death of a loved one. Punitive damages can sometimes be filed to punish the driver for driving drunk. These damages are not covered by an insurance company but are paid by the driver himself if he has sufficient assets.
Car Accidents without Insurance
Pennsylvania does not require drivers to purchase additional uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, although motorists may choose to supplement their required car insurance coverage with these options. If you were hurt in a collision with an underinsured or uninsured driver and lack UM or UIM insurance, you have the option of taking legal action against the at-fault driver, but there is a risk that person lacks the assets to cover your claim.
UM coverage provides protection if you or your passengers suffer bodily injury in a collision with an at-fault, uninsured driver. UIM covers you and your passengers for bodily injury if you are struck by a driver who does not have substantial insurance to pay your claim. Although UM and UIM coverage may be stacked, neither option covers damage to property.
UM or UIM coverage is the best way to protect yourself in the event that you should find yourself in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Even with supplemental UM or UIM insurance, your insurance company’s initial offer may not be sufficient to cover your actual costs. If you were injured in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it’s advisable to discuss your case with a knowledgeable PA injury attorney.
Car Accident Statistics
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports:
- About 340 traffic collisions occur each day in Pennsylvania; that’s about 14 crashes per hour
- Each day, three people are killed in motor vehicle crashes
- More than 220 people per day are injured in traffic accidents
- One out of every 45 people is involved in a reportable traffic crash
Our Pennsylvania Auto Accident Attoneys Can Help
Depending on the circumstances of your car accident, you or your loved one may be eligible for compensation. A common question most people have after an accident is, do you need an attorney? This area of law is very complicated; there are exceptions and technicalities that if you do not know the law can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is why it is imperative you consult with our experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorneys at The Pisanchyn Law Firm to guide you through your claim.
Please, call our Pennsylvania accident attorneys toll free at 1-800-444-5309 for a free consultation. We have offices in Harrisburg, Scranton and Pittsburgh and will travel to you.
What to Do After an Accident
A police report is a necessary document for any personal injury claim arising from an auto accident. This will not only contain information regarding how the accident occurred and whether injuries were sustained, but also witness information that may be valuable in future litigation. If for some reason you do not call the police immediately, there is a form you can complete to file an accident report after it occurs, which can be found at the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles site: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/dl_forms/aa-600.pdf
If you sustained an injury in the accident, even if you are not sure whether it is serious, you should seek immediate medical treatment and truthfully describe your symptoms to the person who treats you. They may take X-Rays, MRIs, or other diagnostic tests to determine whether you need treatment. It is common to receive a “sprain and strain” diagnosis, which the emergency room physicians may say should improve with rest and over the counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. Hopefully, you will improve. However, if you continue to have problems after the initial visit, you should consider following up with your regular doctor or a specialist to see if the injury is more severe than the original diagnosis would indicate.
After a crash, you may have a vivid recollection of exactly what happened, or you may not recall the events. Since memories may fade over time, it is helpful to draw the road or intersection where the accident occurred, including the position of the vehicles and any traffic lights or signs. If you recall what speed you were traveling, whether you saw the other driver on a cell phone, or anything else that you think may be important, writing it down can help refresh your recollection later on.
Your car insurance will likely cover your initial medical bills, up to your coverage limit. You may also have wage loss and property damage coverage. It is important to contact your insurance company to open the claim and provide them with whatever information they need.
Obtaining repair estimates is not only helpful for your auto damage claim, but it also supports your claim regarding the severity of the accident and the location of impact. If you were rear ended at a traffic light, thousands of dollars in repairs for the back end of your vehicle could be persuasive.