In 2015, there were over 127,000 traffic crashes reported in Pennsylvania, reports the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). While victims of car accidents in Pennsylvania have a few options to recover injury compensation, Pennsylvania insurance and personal injury laws are complicated. A Johnstown, PA car accident lawyer from Berger and Green can help you navigate the process and determine the best option for you.
To speak with a car accident lawyer for free, call 412-661-1400.
What should I do after a car accident?
There are two basic needs you must meet to protect yourself and your right to recover compensation:
Your medical needs
If you did not receive medical care at the scene, you need to make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. A delay in getting medical care can make the recovery from your injuries more difficult and your claim more complicated.
Once you meet with a doctor, follow all of his/her instructions.
You also need to stay organized. Keep all your accident-related receipts in a safe place. You can recover compensation for everything from a surgery to a parking fee at the hospital.
Your legal needs
There are quite a few things you need to do to protect your legal rights to compensation. First, you need to be careful of what you say to anyone about your accident and how it occurred. The insurance adjuster or the other driver can twist you saying something as innocent as, “I’m sorry” or “I’m okay” into you admitting fault or saying you are uninjured.
Before you speak with anyone about your accident, get in touch with one of our car accident lawyers. We will make sure you know what to say and how to handle calls or requests from insurance adjusters. We can even handle all communication with the insurance company if that makes you more comfortable.
You might also want to refrain from posting on social media. The insurance adjuster can use anything you post against you. For example, say you are claiming that your back pain is so bad that you cannot drive or sit in a car at all, but then you post about a road trip you are taking with your friends. The insurance company will use that post to invalidate your claim.
For more information on what not to do after an accident, read our blog.
How much is my Johnstown car accident claim worth?
Every car accident is different, but there are certain types of damages you can collect, depending on the facts of the case and the type of insurance you have.
Because Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state, you first turn to your own insurance company. You must hold at least $5,000 in medical benefits to cover your injuries. If your injuries eclipse these limits and/or there was another party at fault for the accident, you can file against that driver.
In Pennsylvania, you must choose either limited tort or full tort insurance coverage.
If you have limited tort insurance coverage, you can only sue the driver for economic damages (i.e., you cannot get pain and suffering damages) unless you suffered serious injuries or your accident meets certain criteria. Full tort insurance coverage does not have this limitation.
Serious injuries include:
- Serious impairment of body function
- Permanent serious disfigurement
If you did not sustain a “serious injury” as defined by 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 1702, you may have other options to recover noneconomic damages. If you meet any of the following, you may be eligible for pain and suffering damages:
- The driver was registered in another state;
- The driver was convicted of or received accelerated rehabilitative disposition for driving under the influence;
- The driver caused the accident while intending to injure him/herself or others; or
- The driver was uninsured.
Pedestrians and cyclists involved in an accident automatically receive full tort coverage.
We will take all of this into account while we determine the worth of your case. We examine all your records and evidence and work with financial and vocational experts to determine the true value of what this accident has cost you and your family.
How can a lawyer help me with my car accident case?
At Berger and Green, we take care of your legal needs so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
We collect your medical records and evaluate them. We obtain the accident report from law enforcement, and analyze it for accuracy. If the report is inaccurate, we will work with the department to correct it.
We talk to eyewitnesses and obtain surveillance camera footage where appropriate. If accident reconstruction or other expert testimony is necessary, we work with these experts on your behalf.
Our team pursues your claim, negotiating with insurance companies and their lawyers and fighting to protect your legal rights.
The process of protecting and fighting for your legal rights when you have been in a car accident is complex and stressful. That is why we handle it for you. We have the resources you need to reach a fair outcome on your car accident claim in Johnstown.
And we do all this without any upfront costs from you. We work for you on a contingency basis. This means that we do not recover anything unless and until you win your case. The consultation is also free, and you have no obligation to use our services.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 to schedule your free consultation to discuss your legal rights.