Recovering the compensation you need after a McKeesport car accident is often more difficult than it should be due to Pennsylvania’s complex insurance laws and greedy insurance companies. For help navigating the complicated laws and recovering compensation after an accident, call a McKeesport car accident lawyer from Berger and Green: 412-661-1400.
What do I need to know about Pennsylvania car accidents?
Your Insurance Determines Your Recovery Options
Under Pennsylvania’s choice no-fault laws, you can file a claim with your own insurance as well as the other driver’s insurer. However, your type of insurance as well as the severity of your injuries will determine what you can recover.
If you have full tort coverage, you can file a claim against the other driver for both economic and noneconomic damages, e.g., pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc.
If you opted for limited tort coverage, you can only recover economic damages unless your case meets certain exceptions:
- You sustained a “serious injury”
- The driver was registered in another state
- The driver did not have insurance
- The driver intended to injure you, him/herself, or another person
- The driver received a conviction for DUI
- You were a pedestrian or cyclist
A serious injury is one that results in death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement.”
If you can prove you meet one of the exceptions, you will be able to recover fully for your accident.
Our team will investigate your accident, the other driver, and your medical records to prove that you meet an exception.
The Insurance Companies Will Try to Award You as Little as Possible
Insurance companies — both yours and the at-fault driver’s — are businesses and will only be looking after their own bottom line. To protect yourself and your right to compensation, you need to know the tricks the insurer might pull to get you to accept less than you deserve:
- Offering you a settlement right out of the gate: Insurers often offer settlements soon after accidents happen in hopes that you will accept before you can truly see the effect of your injuries. If you accept a settlement, you will likely miss out on thousands of dollars.
- Lowballing a settlement: The insurer might also simply offer you much less than you deserve. Without an attorney who can determine exactly how much you deserve, you could leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table.
- Tricking you into admitting fault: Insurance adjusters receive special training that teaches them how to trick victims into admitting fault. This means you will likely do this without knowing. Even doing something as innocent as apologizing for the accident or saying you are okay can jeopardize your claim. Even though you can recover even if you were partially at-fault, you will recover less than you deserve.
- Persuading you against hiring a lawyer: The insurer might tell you that it will just be a waste of time and money to hire a lawyer. This could not be further from the truth. Our team will protect you from greedy insurance companies, handle your case so you can focus on your recovery, and fight to maximize your settlement. And we work on a contingency fee basis which means you have no out-of-pocket costs.
What kinds of damages can I recover in a car accident claim?
The damages available to you will depend upon the specific facts of your case. In general, however, you can recover any of the following:
- Your current and future medical expenses
- Your current lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering and mental anguish if you are full tort or meet an exception
We work with financial, medical, and vocational experts to determine what you lost in the accident. Once we have determined an adequate case estimate, we will issue our demand from the other driver’s insurance company.
What kind of evidence do I need to prove my claim?
The kind of evidence you will need to prove your case will depend upon the specific facts of your case. Common types of evidence, depending on the facts of the case and the severity of the injuries, are:
- Medical records, e.g., test results, doctor notes, x-rays and other radiological tests, blood work results, prescriptions, surgical notes, treatment, progress notes, and all other relevant medical receipts, reports, and paperwork.
- Photographic evidence, e.g., photos of the scene of the accident, the vehicle and other property damage, and your injuries.
- The accident report from law enforcement, as well as any supplemental reports.
- The at-fault party’s driving record.
- Any relevant medical records of the other driver, such as results of blood alcohol testing. Evidence of medications or medical conditions that may have contributed to the accident may also be relevant.
- Eyewitness testimony from the scene of the accident. This testimony can provide useful information as to who caused the accident. If any drivers left the scene of the accident, eyewitness testimony can be vital in locating the hit and run driver.
- Surveillance camera footage from the area around the scene of the accident. This can show if the at-fault driver was texting or talking on the cell phone, driving recklessly, or if s/he ran a red light or stop sign.
- Accident reconstruction experts may be necessary to establish what happened leading up to the accident.
Our team knows how to recover the evidence you need for your case. It may be necessary to use a subpoena to force some people or companies to surrender their evidence. This is not something a lay person wants to handle on his/her own.
How can I get help for a McKeesport accident?
With the complicated and convoluted insurance laws in Pennsylvania, you need to be in the hands of a knowledgeable car accident lawyer if you have been injured in a car accident.
We will evaluate your claim and your insurance coverage to determine the best course of action for your damages. Regardless of whether you file with your own insurer or the at-fault insurer, be prepared for a battle. Our team with fight for you and help you navigate these uncertain waters. Call Berger and Green today at 412-661-1400 to schedule your free consultation.