When you are involved in a car accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses with the help of an Indiana car accident lawyer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that impaired driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, and other reckless driving behaviors are major causes of crashes in the United States. When another driver has caused your injuries, you may be eligible to hold that driver liable for the cost of your injuries. Call (412) 661-1400 to contact Berger and Green and learn how a lawyer can help you pursue the parties responsible for your injuries.
No-Fault Insurance Laws and Car Accident Claims
Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. This means that all drivers must maintain minimum levels of vehicle insurance or “personal injury protection” to cover their losses when they are involved in an accident, regardless of fault. Whether you are able to pursue a negligent driver or another party for the costs of your injuries depends on whether you have purchased a “limited tort” or a “full tort” coverage policy.
A limited tort policy requires you to seek compensation from your insurance policy for your medical expenses. However, you cannot pursue damages for pain and suffering from the negligent driver unless you have sustained severe injuries.
On the other hand, a full tort coverage policy essentially allows you to opt-out of the no-fault insurance system. You reserve the right to sue a negligent driver for pain and suffering and other losses without any cap on the amount of damages that you can pursue. Full tort coverage policies are more expensive than limited tort coverage policies, but they are an option that may benefit you in the event of an accident.
Compensation and Your Car Accident Claim
You may suffer a variety of injuries in a car crash. For instance, you may have physical injuries that require lengthy recovery times or cause permanent impairments. You also may suffer emotional trauma from being in a serious accident. Finally, you may have property damage to your vehicle that will result in substantial repair or replacement costs.
In a car accident claim, you may qualify for many types of damages or compensation. Some damages are economic, or the direct financial losses from your accident. Examples of common economic damages that you can seek through a car accident claim include:
- Payment of medical bills, including emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation
- Compensation for ongoing and future medical care related to your injuries
- Lost wages from an inability to work
- Loss of future wages and earning capacity if a permanent impairment prevents you from returning to work
- Property damage to your vehicle
You also may be eligible for non-economic damages following a car crash in which you suffer injuries. These losses are not bills or specific amounts of money that you must pay because of a wreck. Instead, these losses are significant consequences of the accident and your injuries.
Typical non-economic losses can include physical pain and suffering and anxiety and mental anguish stemming from the crash. Your injuries also may cause you loss of enjoyment of life if you are unable to engage in the activities that you enjoyed before you were injured.
While it can be difficult to place an exact price tag on these losses, they still are major losses that result from an accident in which you suffer major injuries. If you are in this situation, an Indiana car accident lawyer may be able to assist you.
Car Accident Claims and the Statute of Limitations
All state laws establish deadlines or statutes of limitations that govern legal claims that arise from the wrongful or negligent acts of others. Under Pa. C.S.A. § 5524, individuals who suffer injuries in car accidents due to the negligence of others generally have two years to file their claims in court. If you wait longer than two years from the date of your accident, the court is likely to dismiss your claim altogether.
Failing to meet the statute of limitations can be devastating to any legal claims that you may have. You will be unable to pursue any negligent parties for compensation related to your injuries. As a result, you also will be unable to hold negligent parties accountable for causing your injuries. This situation can leave you with bills that you are unable to pay and losses that go uncompensated. Getting legal advice can help you avoid this unwanted result.
Talk to Us About Your Car Accident Claim Today
The aftermath of a severe car accident can be painful, confusing, and overwhelming. Simply understanding your options to seek compensation from negligent parties can be challenging without the assistance of an Indiana car accident lawyer. We can evaluate your situation and help you explore the various options that may be available to you.
Following a car accident, insurance companies are interested only in paying out as little as possible on your claim, which can add to your confusion. If you accept their first settlement offer without further negotiations, you may be giving up your rights to pursue other forms of compensation to which you are entitled. Allow the attorneys at Berger and Green to help guide you through the insurance claims and personal injury suit process by calling (412) 661-1400 today.