Car accident injury law is a bit confusing in the state of Pennsylvania. While most states allow all victims to sue after an accident, Pennsylvania law is more complicated. The state offers both at-fault and no-fault car insurance. It also has tort and non-tort options for policies. This can impact your ability to recover damages. Learn more about the law to see if you have a claim.
Questions and Answers to Car Accident Injury Law
Most people have questions about at-fault and no-fault car insurance and recovering damages. Accident victims also want to know about the statute of limitations. Get the answers to these common questions. Then, consult with an attorney.
What Is the Difference Between At-Fault and No-Fault Car Insurance?
Pennsylvania allows people to choose at-fault or no-fault car insurance. At-fault car insurance does not pay for the policyholder’s damages when the other driver was at fault. Those who choose no-fault insurance also get personal protection coverage. This coverage pays for economic loss, but it makes it difficult to sue the at-fault driver. People who suffer serious injuries can hold the other driver liable and recover damages.
What Can Victims Get Reimbursed for After a Car Accident?
Pennsylvania law allows victims to get reimbursed for economic and non-economic damages. Conditions regarding the type of insurance and severity of the injuries must be met, though. Economic damages include lost wages, medical bills, and damage to the car. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress. Non-economic damages usually are only recovered if the victim has significant injuries.
Can Everyone Sue for Non-Economic Damages?
To sue for non-economic damages, the victim’s insurance policy must have the tort option. This allows the policyholder to sue for compensation for economic or non-economic damages. Those who have the non-tort option can sue for economic damages. Typically, however, they cannot get money for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. There are exceptions to this accident injury law, though.
People with the non-tort option can still sue for non-economic damages if they are hit by a drunk driver or if they are hit by a vehicle while walking. People can also sue if the accident occurred when riding in a commercial vehicle or if the at-fault driver’s vehicle is registered in another state. Also, it is possible to receive non-economic damages with non-tort coverage if the injuries are severe or the at-fault driver is uninsured.
Is There a Statute of Limitations?
Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations in place for car accident lawsuits. Victims must bring the suit within two years of the accident. Yet, if someone dies due to accident-related injuries, the statute of limitations begins upon the person’s death. If a claim is not filed before the statute of limitations runs out, the court will toss it out.
Get Help After a Car Accident
With so many stipulations, Pennsylvania car accident injury law is difficult for most people to navigate. If you have been in an accident, seek legal counsel. Your lawyer will help you determine if you can move forward with a lawsuit. If so, you can also learn what damages you can try to collect.
Call to schedule a consultation with Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law in our Pittsburgh office.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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