Every car accident case is different, making it challenging for victims to understand what they need to know about car accident insurance settlements in Pittsburgh.
Several factors – including Pennsylvania’s unique modified no-fault laws and tort threshold, your insurance coverage, the other driver’s coverage, and the severity of your accident – can affect your settlement and the process you’ll need to undergo to receive it.
Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Pittsburgh drivers have two options for their insurance coverage:
- Limited tort
- Full tort
The type of coverage you have dictates what types of compensation you may receive after an accident (75 Pa. C.S.A. § 1705).
Limited Tort Coverage and Insurance Settlements
Limited tort coverage serves to limit who can recover damages beyond out of pocket expenses such as medical bills and lost wages. Under the Pennsylvania first party benefit system medical expenses and wage loss must be paid by your insurer until the coverage limit is exhausted.
However if you have limited tort coverage,in exchange for receiving compensation, you forfeit the right to sue another driver for “non-economic” damages except in cases of death, serious injury or serious disfigurement. If your case falls into one of the injury categories just mentioned, you can make a settlement demand against the at fault driver or file a personal injury lawsuit. There are of course other exceptions to the limited tort recovery (such as drunken driving accidents) that we can discuss.
Full Tort and Insurance Settlements
Full tort insurance coverage allows you to avoid the limitations faced by injured victims who are subject to limited tort election. You preserve your right to pursue the other driver’s insurance or sue them directly for damages, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Medical equipment
- Future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The list of possible damages in this kind of settlement is naturally longer, since you are not limited by what you can pursue. Nonetheless, to receive this compensation, you must demonstrate that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries.
What Can Berger and Green Do for Full and Limited Tort Cases?
Berger and Green’s car accident lawyers can determine what kind of claim or lawsuit you can pursue depending on the type of insurance you have and whether your case fits into an exception. Ultimately, you don’t have to know everything about what is involved in the insurance settlement process after a Pittsburgh car accident. We’ll handle the details.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Your Settlement Amount Depends on Your Unique Situation
Once we understand what kind of settlement we can pursue on your behalf, we can dig into the details of what kind of compensation you need in that settlement.
Even if you have limited tort coverage that only provides basic benefits, you still have a right to fight for the treatment you need. Insurance companies may deny or underestimate all or part of your claim, but you can fight back with our help.
Factors that we consider when evaluating what you deserve include:
- Medical history
- Injury severity
- Injury permanence
- Quality of life
Impact on Your Health and Career
Whether your case involves limited or full tort coverage, we can stand up for your right to have your medical bills covered. Insurance companies tend to extend lowball offers, hoping to get away with paying the least possible amount for your injuries. That can even happen under no-fault first party coverage with your own insurance company.
Our auto accident attorneys take a more nuanced approach to your costs and losses to ensure your situation is not undervalued. For example, Healthcare.gov says that a three-day hospitalization costs an average of $30,000. However, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), your expenses could be much higher. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that TBI hospitalizations can be approximately 74 percent more costly than other inpatient stays.
In addition to underlining the specific circumstances of your injuries, we can emphasize your income losses. We can even fight for alternative forms of lost income like commissions and freelance work payments, as well as damages for loss of earning capacity if you are unable to return to work at the same level or in the same field.
Impact on Your Personal Life
In cases of serious injuries or full tort coverage in Pittsburgh, your car accident insurance settlement can include damages that reflect what you have gone through. Are you unable to participate in hobbies you loved, like playing basketball or the violin? Have your relationships been negatively affected by the injury? While not represented by a bill, these aspects are nonetheless losses you are facing because of the accident.
Because this part of your settlement is based on your personal experience, its value can vary from case to case. Regardless, our firm will fight for an amount that accurately represents your unique struggles.
Learn More Today with a Free Case Review
With more than 40 years of experience, the team at Berger and Green can answer any of your questions regarding car accident insurance settlements in Pittsburgh. Even if you are still in the early stages of your claim, you can consult with our team at any time for support. Call today for your free consultation: (412) 661-1400.