If I Was Injured in an Auto Wreck in Pennsylvania, Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney If It’s Clear the Other Driver Was at Fault?
If the other driver was at fault and you’re looking to be compensated for your injuries, you will need a lawyer; otherwise you will end up with little or no compensation at all. Insurance companies will try to give you as little as possible; insurance companies, their adjusters, their representatives, and their lawyers are experts at forcing people to accept less than what their case merits, even when liability is clear. A good attorney will make sure your injuries and your damages are adequately evaluated, properly presented to get you the compensation you deserve. If you try to handle the matter yourself, you are leaving money on the table.
If Police Are Called to the Scene of an Accident, How Does That Impact the Personal Injury Claim Process? Will My Attorney Have Access to All Police Reports?
If you’re in an accident, it is very important to contact the police and report the accident. While you can still make a claim if there was not a police report, a report is very helpful in documenting what happened, when it happened, where it happened, and how it happened. Once police arrive at the scene, you want to talk with the police to the extent that you’re able (assuming your injuries don’t require immediate medical attention). Make sure you tell the police exactly how the accident happened, point them to any witnesses and give them any photos or video. Be truthful, and make sure everything is documented.
Your attorney will have the ability to access any police reports that are generated as a result of your accident by requesting those reports from police department that responded to the accident happened. Be sure to get the name of the police department that responded and any accident report number.
Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault State? And What Does That Mean for My Auto Wreck Case?
A no-fault state means that each driver’s insurance pays for their own medical bills no matter who causes a collision. Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state in which a driver can either opt in or out of no-fault insurance.
In Pennsylvania, all drivers are required to purchase what’s called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which will cover your medical bills up to a certain amount based on the level of coverage that you purchased. All drivers are required to purchase at least $5,000 of PIP coverage, though you can purchase more. PIP coverage is intended to cover your medical bills, and in some cases, you can also get coverage for lost wages, no matter who is at fault.
In Pennsylvania, you have the option of purchasing what’s called Full Tort or Limited Tort insurance, on top of the required PIP. If you select Limited Tort, you’re choosing no-fault, meaning you’re responsible for filing a claim with your own insurance company if you get into a car accident, regardless of who’s at fault. Limited Tort is a less expensive form of insurance, but it also reduces your ability to recover in a potential case. Your insurance policy will compensate you for medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, but it restricts your ability to recover for pain and suffering from the other driver involved in the accident. Only in serious cases, where you can establish that you have a severe or permanent injury, can you file a lawsuit and recover damages from the other party for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages.
Full Tort insurance is more expensive, but it’s also less restrictive when it comes to recovering for pain and suffering from the other driver involved in the accident. Full Tort allows you to file a lawsuit against the driver who was at fault (or who you’re alleging was at fault) to recover compensation for pain and suffering, as well as other non-monetary damages. Unlike with Limited Tort, you can sue regardless of the severity of your injuries. This ability to file a lawsuit and seek recovery for any pain and suffering caused is the main difference between the two types of coverage. Full tort may cost some more money, but in the event you are injured in an accident, it is well worth it. Get Full Tort, now!
For more information on No fault Insurance, Limited Tort, Full Tort and Personal Injury in Pennsylvania, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 795-5940 today.
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