What is the first thing I should do after a car accident?
If you were injured in a car accident, you should seek medical treatment
immediately. You should then consider contacting a personal injury attorney.
I was in an accident and my vehicle was damaged. Who decides where it gets repaired?
Where your vehicle is repaired depends on which insurance company is paying
for the repairs. Each insurance company has its own policy. Some have
preferred providers, and some others will allow you to choose.
Who is responsible for paying the towing and storage costs for my damaged car?
The insurance company of the at-fault vehicle is responsible for those
costs, but your own insurance company may pay for towing and storage and
try to recoup the payments from the at-fault driver's insurance company.
Who decides if my car is repairable or totaled?
The insurance company paying on the claim will determine whether a car
is repairable or totaled. They do so by taking estimates on the car value
and damage. If the cost of repairing the car is more than the car's market
value, then the car will be considered totaled.
Who pays the bank loan if my car or truck is financed?
If your vehicle is considered a total loss, the insurance company paying
fair market value will pay the finance company. If there is an outstanding
balance after fair market value is paid, then your gap insurance (if applicable)
should cover the remainder.
The police showed up at the scene of my accident and said I'm partially
at fault for the wreck. Do I still have a case?
Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state. This means that you can
be assigned a certain percentage of fault in an accident and still be
able to recover compensation, as long as you're not more than 50% at fault.
I was in a fender bender a couple weeks ago but didn't think I was injured.
Now, I've suddenly developed back and neck pain. Should I seek medical
Yes, seek medical treatment immediately. Contact your insurance company
to open a medical claim for those bills to be paid.
How does an insurance company calculate how to compensate me for my pain
Pain and suffering compensation is based upon examination of your case
as a whole. All factors must be considered, including your age, your diagnosis,
type of treatment, any prior medical history, etc. An experienced personal
injury lawyer would be able to accurately assess your pain and suffering value.
I had to miss work due to injuries caused by a car accident that wasn't
my fault. How can I get compensated for my wage loss?
You can make a wage loss claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
You may be able to receive income loss benefits from your own car policy,
which are a form of first party benefits. First party benefits may be
recovered under an auto policy on which you are a named insured or under
an auto policy covering you as an insured. Additionally, you may be able
to recover first party benefits under a policy that insured the motor
vehicle you were in at the time of the accident. If you are a pedestrian
involved in an auto accident, you may be entitled to first party benefits
under the policy of any motor vehicle involved in the accident. If you
are the owner of a currently registered motor vehicle who does not have
financial responsibility, then you cannot recover first party benefits.
I was contacted by the at-fault driver's insurance company, and they want
me to make a recorded statement. How will this affect my accident claim?
If you consent to a recorded statement, the insurance adjuster or their
investigator will ask you a series of questions about how the accident
happened, your injuries, your medical treatment, and your wage loss. These
questions are designed to provide the insurer with information that will
help them defend the claim. You are not required to give a recorded statement
and should consult with an attorney first. Generally, you have a duty
to cooperate with your own auto insurance company; but giving a recorded
statement to the at-fault driver's insurance company is different than
giving a recorded statement to your own insurance company.
What can I do if I am injured in an accident caused by a driver who has
no car insurance?
If you are injured in a crashed caused by a driver who has no car insurance,
you or your attorney will need to determine if you can make an uninsured
motorist (UM) claim under your car insurance policy. You may be able to
make an uninsured motorist claim under the policy covering the vehicle
that you were occupying at the time of the accident.
The at-fault driver's insurance company has already made me a settlement
offer. Can I still hire an attorney?
Yes, you can still hire an attorney if the at fault driver's insurance
company has made an offer, as long as you have not already acepted the
offer verbally or signed settlement release documents which bind you to
accept a certain amount. Keep in mind that it is always best to contact
a personal injury lawyer immediately after a car accident, before a settlement
offer is made.
I've been told that I don't have an injury case because I have "limited
tort" on my auto insurance policy. What does this mean?
Under "limited tort" insurance, you and members of your household that
are covered under your auto insurance policy can try to recover compensation
for all out-of-pocket and medical expenses. Generally speaking, you may
not seek compensation for non-monetary damages such as pain and suffering,
unless your injuries can be defined as "serious injury." Under Pennsylvania
law, a serious injury is considered to be one which results in death,
serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement.
Other limited tort exceptions may allow you to fully recover damages in
- If the person responsible for the accident is found guilty or if he or
she agrees to accepting an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
if the accident involved driving under the influence of alcohol or other
- If the person responsible for the accident is driving a registered out-of-state vehicle
- If the person responsible for the accident purposefully injured another
- If the person responsible for the accident has shirked financial responsibility
- If you occupied a vehicle other than a passenger vehicle at the time of
I am from Pennsylvania, but was involved in a car accident while traveling
in another state. Can you still handle my case?
Out-of-state cases are handled by our office on a case by case basis. If
we are not able to handle your case due to jurisdictional concerns, we
can certainly provide you with a referral to another law firm that may
be able to assist.
If I'm injured in a car accident, how can a personal injury lawyer help me?
A personal injury lawyer can fight for the money that you need and deserve
by law. He or she can help you collect money to pay for medical expenses,
wage loss, pain and suffering, and other injury related expenses.