Negligence may be the legal standard for how fault is established in side-impact collisions. The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that negligence generally occurs when a motorist does not operate their vehicle, or takes other actions, in a way that “departs” from what would be considered reasonable behavior. Generally, any action or failure to act that puts others in danger and causes harm could qualify as negligence.
A lawyer can determine who is at fault for your accident and pursue compensation from the at-fault parties. Though Pennsylvania is a no-fault state for insurance purposes, the matter of who is technically at fault for your collision could prove to be important.
Insurance Might Cover Your Losses
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, meaning that a driver’s own insurance policy may pay for their own medical costs from an accident, even if they are at fault for the collision. Mandatory auto insurance in Pennsylvania is structured so that motorists have some level of coverage for their own injuries.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department explains minimum auto insurance coverage in the state. Motorists are required to have:
- $5,000 in coverage to cover personal medical expenses for injuries sustained in an accident
- $15,000 per person to cover others’ medical costs, and $30,000 per accident to cover such costs
- $5,000 in coverage for damage to another person’s property (generally their vehicle)
Your policy may have higher coverage limits than these. You can also elect to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which may cover your losses in the case that a motorist with little or no insurance harms you.
A lawyer can review your insurance policy, speak with your insurance company, and determine if insurance may compensate you for your losses. It is possible that insurance will not serve the purpose that you hope, however, as you may find that:
- There is disagreement about how fault for your accident lies.
- One or more insurance companies undervalues your losses.
- Insurance companies use bad-faith tactics in dealing with you.
A lawyer can protect you from insurance companies’ attempts to have you accept a lesser settlement than you deserve. They will also evaluate the fairness of any insurance settlement offers that you receive. A lawsuit may turn out to be necessary for you to seek the compensation that you deserve.
For a free legal consultation, call (412) 661-1400
How Your Lawyer May Establish Fault
Whether you ultimately seek compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit, your lawyer will outline a case for why you are not at fault for your accident. The behavior of the motorist who caused your collision may be of central importance to your lawyer.
There are several possible ways a motorist could be at fault in causing a side-impact collision. They include:
- Running a red light
- Running a stop sign
- Making a dangerous turn
- Dangerously crossing multiple lanes of traffic
- Losing control of one’s vehicle when speeding
- Being unable to stop at a traffic signal because of speeding
- Being distracted while driving
- Being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs while driving
A lawyer might be able to support your case with several types of evidence and documentation. Witness accounts, video footage, police reports, and the at-fault motorist’s own words may be among the tools that your lawyer uses. They might also hire experts to recreate your accident to explain how it happened.
Your lawyer will do everything in their power to complete your insurance claim or lawsuit. This may include filing your claim or lawsuit, handling the daily responsibilities of the legal or insurance processes, negotiating a settlement, or advancing your case through a trial.
Importantly, your lawyer may know how fault is established in side-impact collisions specifically. They will also defend your rights.
You May Win Compensation
The goal of a lawsuit or insurance claim is singular, and it is to win compensation for you or a loved one harmed in a side-impact collision. The amount of compensation that your lawyer will seek depends on the losses you have suffered and may suffer going forward from your side-impact accident.
Some types of losses that you may experience from a motor vehicle accident are:
- Emotional and psychological harm, which could include conditions such as depression and anxiety
- Physical injuries, which may prevent you from exercising, caring for yourself as you normally do, or engaging in activities that bring you joy
- The cost of medical care for your injuries
- The cost of medication
- The cost of counseling for psychological or emotional injuries
- The sum of your pain and suffering
- Damage to your vehicle
- Income you lose while injured
- Harm to your earning power once you can work again
Your lawyer will fight for compensation to repay you for these and any other losses that have come from your accident.
Call Berger and Green Today
A lawyer can be your legal advocate fighting for the justice you deserve. Call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 for a free consultation.