Question: I have been in a car accident. What should I do?
Answer: If you are involved in a car accident, here is a brief checklist:
- Stay as calm as possible.
- Put on your emergency flashing lights.
- Check everyone in your car for injuries and if you can, exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so.
- Check to see if the people in the other vehicle are injured.
- Call 911 and stay at the scene of the accident until police arrive so that you can file a police report.
- Do not admit fault or liability to anyone. Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company.
- If you have a cell phone with a camera, take pictures of everything.
- If you do not need to go directly to the hospital for treatment of your injuries, write down as much as you can remember about the accident.
- Get the name, address, phone number and insurance information of the other driver(s). Get phone numbers of any witnesses, if possible.
- Call your insurance company to file a claim; this way, your insurance company can begin an investigation into your accident.
Question: Who will pay my expenses if my case isn’t settled right away?
Answer: Your own insurance will pay most of your expenses. For expenses in excess of your coverage, in most cases, we will pay your expenses up front and you will reimburse us when your case is settled.
Question: Is there a time limit for hiring an attorney if I have been injured in a car accident?
Answer: In Pennsylvania, there is a Statute of Limitation; if you are over the age of eighteen, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit or settle your claim. If you are under the age of eighteen, you have until your eighteenth birthday. There are some exceptions to these rules, so you should a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney immediately in order to discuss your circumstances. There is no cost to you for an initial consultation on your case. And if you decide to retain our firm, we typically work on a percentage of the amount recovered. In this way, if there is no recovery, there is no fee paid.
Question: What if the person who caused my injury does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for my losses?
Answer: A skilled team of PA accident attorneys know how to uncover assets beyond the insurance policy’s limitations. First, we will determine if there are other forms of coverage available such as commercial liability policies in the case of claims involving commercial vehicles. The responsible person’s employer may hold some level of responsibility if the person was within the scope of his/her job when the accident occurred. We will explore every aspect of every law to make sure that you are compensated for all of your losses. In addition, we will determine if your own insurance coverage provides for under-insurance which may also compensate you for injuries.
Question: If I was partly at fault in the accident, can I still file a claim for my injuries?
Answer: Yes, in the state of Pennsylvania, you can still file a claim based on Comparative or Contributory Negligence.
Question: If I already had a previous condition and now the accident made it worse, does the responsible party still have to pay for my treatment?
Answer: Yes, you will still receive whatever medical care that you require and your settlement will not be decreased just because you had a previous condition.
Question: Should I go to the doctor?
Answer: Yes, you should see a doctor right away so that you can have your injuries evaluated.
Question: How do I know if I need a lawyer if I have been injured in a car accident?
Answer: If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you need to know your legal rights before you accept an insurance settlement. Remember, insurance companies promote their insurance adjusters based on how little they pay out in settlements. It costs you nothing to have a consultation with an experienced legal team.