If you or someone In your immediate family was involved in a car accident it is imperative that the proper course of action is taken immediately.  You Should Immediately Contact The Injury Law Group.

 

Automobile/Motorcycle Accidents


The ever-increasing incidence of automobile and motorcycle accidents in the United States today is alarming. These accidents are the leading cause of death for those under the age of 34. It is estimated that over 40,000 people are killed in approximately 5 million motor vehicular accidents annually. Consequently, it is not surprising that cases arising out of automobile accidents are by far the most common type of personal injury case pending in our court system today. If you are involved in a car accident it is imperative that the proper course of action is taken immediately.
What to do in the event of an accident:

  • Move to a safe area and call the police (paramedics if necessary).
  • Remain calm and exchange relevant documents with the parties to the accident.
  • It helps to write down all of the relevant information immediately. Information that should be recorded about the accident includes:
    •  The other driver(s) names, driver’s license number, address.
    •  Did the other driver seem to appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
    •  Were there any passengers in the vehicles? If so, get their information as well.
    •  Did anyone involved report having an injury at the time or shortly after the accident? If so, who?
    •  Was medical assistance rendered at the scene of the accident?
    •  If there were witnesses other than those individuals involved, make sure to get all of their names and addresses.
    •  What was the reported injury?
    •  What was the location of the accident?
    •  In what direction were the vehicles traveling?
    •  At what time of day did the accident occur?
    •  Were there any weather conditions at the time of the accident?
    •  Was there anything wrong with either vehicle at the time of the accident, like a broken headlight or taillight, etc.?
    •  Was there damage to vehicles due to the accident? If so, what kind of damage?
    •  Who were the registered owners of the vehicles?
    •  Were all vehicles involved in the accident insured? What are the names of the insurance companies and the policy numbers? (If they said how much insurance they had, record that too.)
    •  How did the accident occur?
    •  Did anyone accept responsibility for the accident, such as by saying "It was my fault, I am sorry. I was speeding / not paying attention / not wearing my glasses / distracted / tired / late for work / in a hurry / my coffee had just spilled ... etc."? If so, write it down.
    •  Did anyone else say something to indicate that s/he too was at least partially at fault -- such as "I should have seen you but I was on my cell phone / I've been taking these pills / my eyesight isn't what it used to be after dark, etc"?
    •  Did the police come? If so, did they issue anyone a ticket? Which officers were present?
    •  All such basic information may be relevant and helpful down the line. It is a good idea to carry a pen and paper and possibly a disposable camera in your car at all times, for recording such information and photographing any resulting damage in the event of an accident.
    •  Do not admit fault or say you’re “ok”, even though this may be your natural response.
    •  Do not discuss the accident with anyone or place the blame on anyone.
    •  File a police report. It is important to have an accurate police report that reflects your recollection of the events. Document names, addresses, telephone and license number of persons involved.
    •  Do not under any circumstances give a statement to the other driver or insurer, especially a “recorded statement.” This may be used against you at a later point in time.
    •  If injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If treatment is delayed it may later be argued that any injuries sustained were not related to the car accident.
    •  Contact an attorney at the earliest possible opportunity. An attorney will be able to help you take the steps needed to protect your legal rights.

 


What you may be entitled to if you are injured in an accident:

 

  •  Medical expenses
  •  Compensation for lost wages
  •  Compensation for damage to car or other property
  •  Compensation for replacement vehicle while your car is being repaired
  •  In some cases, damages for pain and suffering, or even punitive damages


Automobile accidents can prove to be very costly, even if you are not the party at fault. For that reason it is important for you to be prepared in the event of such an accident by making educated decisions regarding your car insurance coverage.

 

Pennsylvania law requires drivers to elect between Limited Tort and Full Tort insurance policies. At first glance, it may seem more economical to opt for the Limited Tort coverage, due to the slight decrease in monthly insurance premiums, but there are severe repercussions associated with electing this restricting option. With very few exceptions, the Limited Tort option forfeits the right of you and your family to receive any compensation for pain and suffering if you are injured in an accident. By electing Limited Tort insurance coverage, you are making yourself liable for certain out of pocket expenses that you may incur, which can easily add up to thousands of dollars.

 

On the other hand, Full Tort coverage allows you to seek compensation for pain and suffering as a consequence of the fault of another person. Under this option, there are no restrictions on your ability to receive compensation for pain and suffering. The general law in Pennsylvania is that all insureds (defined as, any individual residing in the household of the policy holder who is: a spouse or other relative of the policy holder; or a minor in the custody of the policy holder or relative of the policy holder) of a policy are bound by the selected coverage of the named insured. This means that in the event of an accident, a Full Tort policy holder or an insured person is fully covered and entitled to pain and suffering compensation.

 

Remember, it is always possible to change your insurance coverage. Make the prudent choice, select Full Tort insurance coverage and protect your loved ones.

 

Pennsylvania adheres to the law of Comparative Negligence. Under this legal concept, you may be able to recover damages even if you were somewhat at fault for an accident. As long as the other party was doing something that would lead to a showing that they were more at fault than you were, you may be entitled to damages.

 

Comparative Negligence comes into play when both parties have failed to reach the ordinary reasonable person standard. For example, one person was driving too fast in a patch of dense fog on the highway and the person whom he hit with his car failed to have his vehicle lights on. In a situation where each party has some degree of negligence in causing an accident, the responsibility to the other person is reduced by one's own degree of negligence. In the example provided, the party traveling too fast for the conditions may be determined to bear 60% of the negligence and the party driving without his vehicle lights on determined to bear 40% of the negligence. If the second person driving without vehicle lights would have recovered $10,000, his recovery is reduced to $6,000 because of his 40% contributory negligence.

 

Notes on Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:


Many drivers ignore motor vehicle insurance requirements, cannot afford to purchase insurance, or carry insufficient insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is a form of insurance that pays for bodily injury that results from an accident with a driver who is legally responsible for the injuries, but has no liability coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage pays for bodily injury that results from an accident with a driver who has liability insurance with limits that are lower than the injured party's underinsured motorist coverage limits. If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it is important that you contact an attorney at an experienced personal injury law firm immediately so you do not waive valuable legal rights.

 

Uninsured Motorists

Typically, uninsured motorist coverage protects injured drivers if the at-fault driver has no insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage can also apply when someone is injured in an accident with an unidentified hit-and-run vehicle. If a person has uninsured motorist coverage and is in an accident with an uninsured motorist, he or she can collect from his or her insurance company to recoup damages. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before you file a claim with your insurance company to ensure that you obtain all of the coverage available to you.

 

Underinsured Motorists

Underinsured motorist coverage provides compensation for injured drivers when the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage to compensate the injured party in full for his or her injuries. An "underinsured motorist" is generally a person who is responsible for the injuries, but who has opted to purchase only the minimum policy required by law. If a person has purchased underinsured motorist coverage is in an accident with an underinsured motorist, he or she may be able to collect from his or her insurance company to recoup damages that are greater than the responsible party's limits.

 

Collecting benefits

In order to collect underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits, a party generally must first establish that the underinsured or uninsured driver was at fault and that he or she suffered significant injuries. In the case of underinsured motorist benefits, the injured party must also collect the at-fault driver's policy limits before collecting under his or her own insurance policy. An insurance company is typically entitled to a credit for any recovery received from the underinsured motorist's policy.

 

 

Conclusion

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects a person if someone who does not have adequate insurance injures him or her in an automobile accident. If you are in an accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured, do not settle with the other driver's insurance company without first contacting an experienced lawyer. Some underinsured motorist policies are not required to pay if the insured person has settled with the other driver's insurance company. This can be a very costly mistake. Therefore, you should consult with a personal injury law firm experienced in dealing with automobile accident cases before you settle any portion of your claim. An attorney can provide you with the information and support you need to obtain the best result available to you.

 

 

Time Is Of The Essence! Because There Are Limits On The Amount Of Time That May Lapse Between The Incident And Filing Of The Lawsuit, It Is Imperative That You Contact The Injury Law Group As Soon As Possible To Review Your Claim For Free.
 

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