It’s an unfortunate truth that almost everyone is aware of: motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of injuries, disabilities, and death in the State of Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), there were more than 127,000 traffic accidents in 2015. These crashes killed 1,200 people and injured more than 80,000 others.
After the initial shock wears off, auto accident victims often find themselves facing a variety of difficult questions:
- What if I do not have insurance?
- What if the driver who hit me is uninsured?
- What if the other driver left the scene?
- What if I think the accident might be my fault?
- How am I going to pay for these medical bills?
- How can I afford to miss work while I recover?
If you have suffered serious injuries in a Pittsburgh car wreck, trucking accident, motorcycle accident, or another traffic accident, please know you do not have to suffer through the financial stress alone. We are here to help you file a claim and recover the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, ongoing care costs, and other accident-related expenses. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What should I do after a Pittsburgh motor vehicle accident?
Getting the care and compensation you need after a Pittsburgh auto accident is rarely easy. By taking a few key steps, however, you can help build a strong foundation for your claim. If you have suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident:
Focus on Getting Treatment: Your health should be your top priority. Get quality medical care quickly, and make sure you follow any advice the doctor gives you. Attend all appointments, take all medications, and follow the treatment plan. This is key in not only helping you get better, but also in proving the extent of your injuries and the full value of your claim later on.
Do Not Assume Blame: Even if you think the motor vehicle accident might be your fault, it is important not to assume the blame. There are many moving parts to a car accident that you might not be aware of. Do not apologize to anyone, or admit to breaking any laws. In fact, it is a good idea to keep discussions about the accident to a minimum. If a police officer needs information for the report, stick to the facts of how the crash occurred.
Start a File: Soon after the crash, start compiling evidence. Get a copy of the police report, eyewitness information/statements, and any other records from the accident.
Buy a notebook and write down everything you can remember from the day of the accident itself. Write down the date, cause, and outcome of any doctor’s appointments or hospital visits. Use the notebook as a journal, tracking your symptoms, emotions, and how much your injuries impact your everyday life. This type of information is often vital when it comes to proving your case when you file your claim.
Contact a Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer: A serious accident can cause severe injuries and leave victims with huge medical bills and sometimes permanent disabilities. In addition, most victims need to miss work to recover or attend doctor’s appointments. This means the bills are still coming in, but the money is not.
This could cause your financial health to suffer as much as your physical health. Compensation is often available, but the process to recover it is both daunting and overwhelming for many people. This is where a trustworthy and knowledgeable car accident attorney can help.
How does auto insurance work in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law outlines Pennsylvania’s choice no-fault system. This system allows motorists to choose between “full tort” and “limited tort” policies. While limited tort allows motorists to save money on their monthly premiums, it often comes back to bite policyholders in an accident.
Limited tort policies allow victims to file claims against the at-fault driver, but prohibit collecting damages for pain and suffering unless they meet an exception to the law. The exceptions include:
- The at-fault driver was driving under the influence.
- The driver is registered in another state.
- The driver is uninsured.
- The crash occurred because the driver intended to cause harm.
- The victim suffered a “serious injury” as outlined by the law.
The last exception is common, but leaves many crash victims asking: “What is a serious injury? Do I meet the criteria?” Unfortunately, that is a difficult question to answer. A death or catastrophic injury clearly meet the qualifications, but less severe injuries often depend on the facts of the case.
Pennsylvania defines a “serious injury” as one that causes “death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement.” We will collect evidence to show how your injuries limit your activities and restrict you from living the lifestyle you previously enjoyed.
How do I file a claim for my accident injuries?
To begin your case, we need to identify the liable parties by investigating the cause of your crash through a case review, interviews, and even accident reconstruction. We then collect all possible evidence to support your case, and calculate the potential value of your claim. We will also handle all communication with the other party’s insurer to protect your right to compensation.
From there, we can file the appropriate claims and request the compensation you need to cover your medical treatment, lost wages, ongoing care expenses, and other accident-related losses. We work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, and can usually get our clients the money they need without going to court. If the insurer refuses to offer a just settlement, however, we can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
What types of injuries does Berger and Green lawyers handle?
Our auto accident attorneys can assist you with any of the following injuries:
- Brain Injury
- Catastrophic and Serious Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Broken Bones
- Knee Injury
- Shoulder Injury
- Back Injury
To schedule a free consultation with one of our motor vehicle accident attorneys, call 412-661-1400 or contact us by e-mail. And do not let cost keep you hiring a lawyer. We work on a contingency fee basis which means you pay no upfront, out-of-pocket costs until you win your case.