Harrisburg Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accidents in Dauphin County
If you were recently involved in a car accident, you are likely facing many challenges, from getting the medical care you need to having your car repaired to managing your everyday expenses while you are out of work recovering from your injuries. At Metzger Wickersham, our car accident lawyers in Harrisburg understand the difficulties you are facing, and we are here to help.
Since 1888, our firm has been helping the people of Pennsylvania protect their rights and fight for the justice they deserved. We are proud of our longstanding history in the community, along with our reputation for client-focused service and aggressive legal advocacy. We can help you navigate the process of filing a personal injury claim after a serious car accident, and we are dedicated to helping you maximize your recovery so that you can get back on your feet.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you were involved in a car accident, no matter how seemingly minor or serious, there are several steps you should take right away to protect yourself, your rights, and your recovery.
After a car accident, to the best of your ability, do the following:
- Call 911: If anyone (including yourself) appears injured or in need of emergency medical attention, call 911. Remain at the scene and wait for paramedics to arrive. Do not move anyone who appears gravely injured unless absolutely necessary.
- Exchange Information: You should also exchange information with the other driver(s) involved at the scene if possible. Be sure to get their name, address, phone number, other relevant contact information, and insurance information.
- File a Police Report: By law, you must report any crash that results in injury, death, or vehicle damage to the extent that the vehicle is inoperable within five days. However, the easiest way to do this is to have police come to the scene and file a report onsite.
- Document the Scene: If you can, take pictures at the scene of the crash. You will want to document the position of the vehicles, the damage to your vehicle/other property, and your injuries. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you believe you were not injured or that your injuries will heal on their own, you should always seek professional medical attention after any car accident. Go to the doctor right away and always follow all your doctor’s recommendations and orders.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Depending on your policy and the type of claim you are going to file, you may need to notify your insurance company about the crash as soon as possible. We recommend that you review your policy to ensure that you do not incur any penalties.
- Contact an Attorney: If you need help with your claim, or if the other person’s insurance company has contacted you, reach out to a car accident lawyer right away. An attorney can guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected.
At Metzger Wickersham, we are available 24/7 to assist you. From our office in Harrisburg, our car accident attorneys provide personalized, attentive service and direct, one-on-one representation to each and every client. We are here for you every step of the way and are committed to helping you seek the maximum recovery you are owed.
Your Time to File a Car Accident Claim Is Limited
The first thing you should know about filing a car accident injury claim in Pennsylvania is that you have a limited period of time to do so. According to the state’s statute of limitations on personal injury cases, you have two years to file a claim for any car accident that resulted in injury or death.
Unless certain rare exemptions apply, if you wait more than two years after the date of the accident to take legal action, your claim will almost certainly be dismissed, and you will not be able to recover compensation for your damages.
We encourage you to reach out to our team at Metzger Wickersham right away if you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident in Harrisburg or any of the surrounding areas. The sooner our attorneys can begin working on your case, the better.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Can Help With
Common accidents we see involve:
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Hit and runs
- Distracted driving
- Defective brakes or parts
- Failure to stop or yield
- Running a red traffic light
- And more
These causes can result in events such as rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, multi-car pileups and rollovers, and many other types of accidents. Any type of car accident has the potential to produce a serious injury.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is fairly unique in that it is a “choice no-fault” state. This means that, when purchasing auto insurance, you have the choice of participating in or opting out of the state’s no-fault system. Under the no-fault system, you can seek compensation after a car accident regardless of who was to blame for the crash. Rather than file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, you file a claim with your own provider and recover compensation for specific damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages.
However, there are certain drawbacks to the no-fault system. When you file a Medical Payments (MedPay) or personal injury protection (PIP) claim, you cannot recover for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Additionally, your recovery is capped. To step outside the no-fault system, you will have to prove that your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold.
What Happens if You Opted Out Of the Pennsylvania No-Fault System
If you have opted out of the Pennsylvania no-fault system, you will typically need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover damages. This involves proving that they were to blame for the accident (at least partially) and that you suffered measurable injuries and/or damages.
Under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule, you can still seek compensation for your accident-related losses if you were partially at fault for the crash—as long as your percentage of fault is not more than 50%. Additionally, if you are found to be partially at fault, your total recovery will be reduced.
How an Attorney at Metzger Wickersham Can Help
There are many laws and rules you must follow to be compensated after a car crash. At Metzger Wickersham, our award-winning Harrisburg car accident lawyers not only know these rules, but they also have extensive experience navigating the legal system on behalf of accident victims. We can handle every detail of your case so that you can focus on what matters most: healing.
Our team can assist you with your case by:
- Meeting with you at our Harrisburg office or any other convenient location, including your home or the hospital, and discussing your situation with you at no cost
- Filing all initial claim-related paperwork and notices, as well as putting together supporting evidence for your case
- Gathering medical records, test results, lab analyses, pay stubs, receipts, and other important information to determine the extent of your damages
- Calculating the value of your physical pain and emotional suffering, based on the overall value of your related economic damages
- Handling all communication with the insurance company (whether yours or the other party’s), including negotiating a settlement
- Preparing you and your case for litigation (if necessary) and representing you at trial if a fair settlement cannot be obtained
Throughout the process, we will remain consistently available to answer your questions, discuss your concerns, and provide the personalized counsel you need to feel confident in moving forward.
Metzger Wickersham is ready to fight for you. Reach out to our Harrisburg office today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. There are no attorney fees unless/until we recover compensation for you!