Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident
Reports by the Pennsylvania Department of Transport estimate that Philadelphia loses as much as $1 billion per year as a result of traffic accidents. Individual car accident victims suffer immense economic pressure as a result of the injuries and property damage caused by car accidents. Many car accident victims wonder, ‘Who covers my injuries in a car accident?’ Below, we discuss the various avenues for compensation following a car accident.
Injured in a Car Accident?
Avenues for Compensation After a Car Accident
Following a car accident in Philadelphia, compensation for injuries can come from various avenues, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the parties involved. It's essential to understand these potential sources of compensation to ensure you receive the appropriate financial support for your injuries. Here are some avenues for compensation:
Auto Insurance Policies
Pennsylvania's No-Fault System: Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means your own insurance company pays for your medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault. You can file a claim with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for these benefits.
Liability Insurance: If the other driver was at fault and has liability insurance, you can file a claim with their insurance company for your injuries. Pennsylvania requires all drivers to have minimum liability coverage.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If the at-fault driver doesn't have sufficient insurance or is uninsured, your own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage can come into play to compensate for your injuries.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your injuries are severe and meet certain criteria, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This allows you to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages that exceed the limits of insurance coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)
This is an optional insurance coverage that can help pay for your medical expenses, regardless of fault, up to the policy limit.
If you were involved in a car accident while on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Your employer's insurance will typically cover medical expenses and lost wages after a workplace accident.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
If your injuries are severe and result in long-term disability, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits through the Social Security Administration.
In some cases, a third party (other than the at-fault driver) may be partially responsible for the accident, such as a manufacturer, road maintenance company, or another entity. You can file a lawsuit against them for compensation.
Product Liability Lawsuits
If a vehicle defect or malfunction contributed to the accident or exacerbated your injuries, you might have a product liability claim against the vehicle manufacturer.
Municipal or Government Liability
If the accident was caused by dangerous road conditions or inadequate road maintenance, you may have a claim against the government agency responsible for the road.
Rideshare Company Insurance
If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle involved in an accident, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that can cover your injuries.
If the at-fault driver was charged with a crime related to the accident, you may be entitled to restitution as part of their criminal sentencing.
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How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help
An experienced car accident attorney can provide valuable assistance in a variety of ways following a car accident. Their expertise can significantly benefit you in navigating the legal process and maximizing your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Here's how an experienced car accident attorney can help:
Attorneys are well-versed in personal injury law, including the specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction, such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They can provide you with accurate legal advice and help you understand your rights and options.
Attorneys have the resources and knowledge to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, obtaining police reports, and assessing the scene to establish liability.
Your attorney will work to establish who was at fault for the accident. They can use evidence, accident reconstruction experts, and eyewitness accounts to build a strong case for liability.
Experienced attorneys can assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and future costs. This ensures that you seek appropriate compensation.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They understand the tactics insurers often use to minimize payouts and can advocate for your best interests.
Filing Claims and Lawsuits
Your attorney will handle the paperwork and legal procedures involved in filing insurance claims and, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit. They can ensure that all necessary documents and deadlines are met.
Attorneys can work with expert witnesses, such as medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists, to provide credible testimony that supports your case.
Many car accident cases are resolved through settlements. Your attorney can negotiate with the at-fault party or their insurance company to secure a fair settlement that covers your losses.
If negotiations do not lead to a satisfactory settlement, your attorney can represent you in court. They will present your case to a judge and jury and work to secure a favorable verdict.
Protecting Your Interests
An attorney acts as your advocate, protecting your interests throughout the legal process. They can ensure that you are not taken advantage of and that your rights are upheld.
Access to Medical Care
Attorneys often have relationships with medical providers who can treat you on a lien basis, meaning they will be paid from your settlement or award, making it easier for you to get necessary medical care.
Dealing with a car accident can be emotionally challenging. An attorney can offer support and guidance during the process, helping you navigate the legal and emotional aspects of your case.
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Take the First Step
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin to consult with an experienced attorney from our law firm. Our experienced team is committed to helping car accident victims recover the compensation they need to cover their losses. We will fight to protect your rights and best interests.