Even though the impulse to simply take a quick and easy payout as soon as possible seems like the quickest resolution and is completely understandable, before signing anything – speak with a lawyer. Considering the rate of car accidents in America, the majority of drivers and passengers will be involved in at least one accident in their lifetime.
Following a car accident, consult with a personal injury attorney to maximize the amount recovered simplifying the entire process. Navigating the legal process while dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, which is why a seasoned car accident attorney should be consulted.
The reality is that insurance companies will always try and pay as little as possible, even with the prospect of future medical bills.
The Pennsylvania Car Accident Statute of Limitations
A "statute of limitations" is the relevant law, setting a deadline on a person’s ability to file a lawsuit. If the deadline has passed, the Pennsylvania court system will likely dismiss the case, unless a knowledgeable car accident attorney can find an applicable exception. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations to bring a claim after a car accident is two years.
For a car accident case, the usual start date beginning the two-year timeline is the date of the accident. However, if the car accident causes someone death, either immediately or after a period of time, the clock begins running from the date of the victim’s death. An experienced car accident attorney understands these sorts of procedural nuances, making them worth the money.
Modified Comparative Fault Rule
Pennsylvania has a rule requiring modified comparative fault when both parties cause the accident. Under the modified comparative fault rule, a party’s possible damages are reduced by the percentage amount equal to their responsibility causing the accident. In addition, Pennsylvania’s modified comparative fault rule completely eliminates the possibility of receiving a damage award if found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident.
These modified comparative fault rules also provide limits for insurance companies. Early consultation with an attorney provides insights into these possibilities, who can advise whether it is even worth it to bring the claim based on the possible damages to be recovered.
Pennsylvania's No-Fault Car Insurance Rules
Finally, Pennsylvania is one of the few states with a “choice” no-fault car insurance option. If, at the time of purchase, the no-fault overage is selected, following a car accident – a claim must be filed under your own personal injury protection coverage to receive compensation for medical bills and other financial responsibilities.
As a result, a claim against a driver, who solely caused the car accident, is only available in certain scenarios. Speaking with an experienced car accident attorney is critical to understanding what options are available in order to recover amounts. Considering the number of rules and laws, which effectively restrict or eliminate typical options, a car accident attorney can be very helpful when proceeding throughout this entire process.
Call us for more information from Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law or to schedule a consultation in our office in Pittsburgh.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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