Car accidents are alarmingly common. Whether you are a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist, if the negligent actions of another individual cause you to suffer severe harm, you might be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses. However, the process of receiving a settlement that covers the full extent of your damages is complicated. Insurance companies are not in business to pay out every car accident claim they receive. Instead, they may employ tactics to reduce the value of your claim, such as offering to settle it quickly or finding ways to assign some of the blame to you.
Perhaps this is the first time you are considering hiring a car accident lawyer to help with your Altoona accident. You would be making a wise choice in doing so. At Berger and Green, we have handled thousands of car accident cases involving a wide array of injuries. We stop at nothing to achieve favorable results for our clients, including taking your case to court when negotiations do not go your way.
We have the experience and resources necessary to fight the insurance defense tactics and get you the maximum compensation allowed by law. Our firm knows you need time to recuperate from your injuries; allow us to assume the stress of filing a car accident claim. Call us at 412-661-1400 to request a free evaluation of your case. Your initial consultation is free, and you are under no obligation to hire our firm after receiving our professional opinion about the value of your claim.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania
The State of Pennsylvania’s insurance laws are unlike any other state’s laws. It follows what is known as “choice no-fault” insurance laws. Drivers choose full tort or limited tort coverage:
- Full Tort Coverage: With full tort coverage, you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, damage to your vehicle, and pain and suffering. Awards granted under full tort coverage are typically larger than awards granted under limited tort coverage because you can seek compensation for special damages such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
- Limited Tort Coverage: With limited tort coverage, you will not be eligible to seek compensation for special damages. However, there are exceptions to this rule, but you will need legal assistance from an accident attorney at Berger and Green to prove you meet the requirements.
Should I hire an accident attorney to file my claim?
Insurance companies are out to protect their business interests. Their insurance adjusters are highly skilled at getting injured parties to do or say something that will reduce the value of their claims. The fact that you are the insurance company’s customer will not stop them from attempting to settle your claim quickly for the lowest amount possible. How will you know if the amount they offer you is fair? What if you are legally eligible for a much larger settlement for your damages?
By hiring a car accident lawyer at Berger and Green, you will not be fooled by a friendly insurance representative. We will not only negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, but we can fight to ensure your settlement offer covers the full extent of your losses.
Our lawyers often work with medical experts and other third-parties to prove you are entitled to specific damages. Best of all, we will handle the stress and hassle that goes along with filing a claim. We want you to focus on your physical and emotional wellbeing.
How long do I have to file my car accident claim?
The sooner you take action, the better it will be for your case. Settlement negotiations can take months, witnesses’ memories can fade, and critical evidence from the accident can change or disappear. Therefore, if you want to protect your right to maximum compensation for your damages, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney at our firm and file your claim as soon as possible after the accident.
Under Pennsylvania law, you have a maximum of two years from the time of the accident to file your claim. If you file a claim after the two-year period is over, your claim will likely be thrown out.
It takes time and effort to build a strong case, even for an experienced attorney. If you wait until the last minute, it is possible you could miss your deadline. Even if everything proceeds as normal, the longer you wait to file your claim, the longer it will take for you to receive your funds.
In the meantime, you will want to take photographs of the accident site and your injuries, as well as safeguard key pieces of evidence such the damage to your vehicle or clothing.
How much could I recover?
Every accident case is different. The award you receive relies heavily on the insurance coverage available to you. The evidence we furnish to the insurance company to support your damages (i.e., existing and future medical expenses: doctor’s office visits, medication, surgery, therapy, etc., loss of income, and ability to return to work) also plays a significant role in your settlement.
However, under Pennsylvania law, drivers with auto insurance policies are entitled to the following minimum coverage:
- $5,000 in Medical Benefits: Under no-fault insurance, even if you were at fault, you can expect to receive at least $5,000 to cover your medical expenses.
- $15,000/$30,000 in Bodily Injury Liability (BIL): When another driver was at fault, their insurance company must pay you at least $15,000 per person and up to $30,000 per accident for bodily injury.
- $5,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL): When another driver was at fault, their insurance company must also pay you at least $5,000 for damage to your vehicle, house, and any other property damaged in the crash.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer Today at No Cost
If you suffered serious injuries and extensive losses in a car accident, we urge you to schedule a meeting with an injury lawyer at our firm today. And, you should consider scheduling your appointment before you communicate with the insurance company, even your own. You pay nothing for our professional opinion and are under no obligation to hire our firm. Instead, we want to answer your questions and inform you about the journey that lies ahead of you. Therefore, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If you would like us to evaluate your case for free, we invite you to call us now at 412-661-1400.