Over the years, automobile manufacturers have built more features into their cars to keep drivers safe. Unfortunately, with more motorists on the road today, car crashes happen routinely and are one of the leading causes of personal injuries.
Fortunately, a skilled State College personal injury attorney could help those harmed in a vehicle wreck hold the at-fault party accountable. If a careless driver injured you, a State College car accident lawyer could help you recover the monetary damages you deserve.
What Should Someone Do After a Car Wreck?
Making sense of the situation right after a car accident is often confusing when a person is suffering from physical and emotional injuries, along with property damage. Immediately after a collision, both drivers should move to the shoulder of the road and turn on their hazard lights. Drivers should also exchange information, take pictures of the accident scene, and not engage in a verbal altercation with the other driver.
The police should be called right away to investigate and write a report, which will be helpful in pursuing claims, for it is imperative that the other driver be identified properly. Injured parties should also be sure to seek medical care, for insurance companies will evaluate a claim based on the amount of medical treatment. A State College attorney could review the evidence from the car accident and help a claimant determine fair compensation.
Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania
Injured drivers can rely on their own automobile insurance company to pay some of their medical benefits, no matter who was responsible for the accident. Pennsylvania requires drivers to carry a minimum of $5,000 in medical benefits. Pennsylvania further requires a driver to carry liability insurance to compensate anyone injured through the fault of that driver. The required minimum is $15,000 per person, and $30,000 per accident (if there is more than one victim), and $5,000 for property damage.
Pennsylvania drivers also choose between being Full Tort or Limited Tort. It is recommended that Full Tort be chosen. A Limited Tort driver may be restricted in their ability to make a monetary recovery following a collision, and may only be able to recover economic damages (i.e. lost wages, unpaid medical bills). A Limited Tort driver may be precluded from pursuing noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering). Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. A knowledgeable attorney in State College who is familiar with insurance and car wrecks could advise an injured party about the best course of action. An injury attorney can also review a person’s auto policy at any time, to provide guidance as to the coverages that be purchased.
Steps a State College Automobile Accident Attorney Could Take
An automobile accident attorney in State College could help negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier based on the liability coverage of the careless driver. An accomplished attorney could send a demand letter outlining a claim for all damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a fair settlement is not reached, an attorney could file a lawsuit.
The defendant will attempt to minimize the value of the claim and injury. By reviewing and analyzing medical records, and often with the help of an expert witness, an attorney could argue for the best outcome in each case. An attorney building a case may:
- Review police reports and any other evidence such as photographs
- Question witnesses, including experts
- Analyze medical reports and records
- Reconstruct the scene of the accident
How is Motorist Negligence Established?
Faulty products cause some car wrecks due to the negligence of the manufacturer, but negligent drivers are responsible for most accidents. Pennsylvania drivers must act reasonably toward other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the road with them. If a driver acts carelessly or recklessly, such as texting and driving or operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and an accident occurs, an injured party can file a lawsuit to help compensate for those injuries.
Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence statutes allow an injured party to recover from the other driver as long as the plaintiff is not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. A monetary judgment will be reduced by the percentage the injured party contributed to his or her injuries. A State College auto accident attorney has two years to file a lawsuit for negligence.
Reach Out to a State College Car Accident Attorney for Help
Recovering your losses following a vehicle collision could be difficult to do on your own. If you were hurt in a car crash, you need someone on your side to guide you through the legal issues you may face. Contact a State College car accident lawyer today for your free consultation.