Many questions immediately spring to mind following a car accident in Pennsylvania, partly due to the hybrid personal injury system that Pennsylvania’s accident law system enforces. Even though the situation can be very stressful, it …
When is the Right Time to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?
The right to time to hire an attorney in Pennsylvania will depend on the circumstances. If the car accident results in an injury, it is advised to hire a legal representative as soon as possible. While people may be tempted to deal with the situation on their own, there are a variety of problems in which a legal representative is necessary to act on the client's behalf.
Proper legal representation
Other situations where an attorney is helpful, include when the:
- Insurance company is stalling on its responsibility to provide compensation,
- Insurance companies are pointing fingers to decide who is at fault for the accident,
- Medical bills are higher than expected and exceeding the insurance coverage amounts
In contrast, an attorney might not be necessary following a car accident. However, this is not always the case. Even in situations where all involved parties are insured, insurance companies will stall on payments or attempt to have the other parties provide the compensation. Also, if no one misses work or there is not too much property damage, a legal representative may be necessary.
Dealing with insurance companies
Insurance companies hire employees whose entire responsibilities include evaluating and adjusting the injury claim as soon as it is filed. Insurance companies start working almost immediately after the accident has occurred. An experienced attorney has more knowledge on how to tackle the situation, with experience such as:
- Ensuring evidence from the accident is not lost
- Advising the injured person not to make a recorded statement to the insurance company
- Approving of all communications between the insurance company and the injured party
- Recognizing the possible harm of future lost wages and earning capacity
To even the playing field, hiring an attorney following a car accident is an effective course of action. Facing a team of professional attorneys who might under-compensate a claim has obvious outcomes down the line.
Navigating the legal system
When a car accident results in an injury, it is a good rule of thumb to involve a legal representative given the unpredictable nature of some medical injuries. Proper legal representation can be crucial since some injuries fail to display symptoms right away. These injuries can include brain injuries, concussions, chiropractic injuries and more. Insurance companies tend to downplay the injuries before medical professionals have the time to properly evaluate the situation.
The Pennsylvania legislature has a somewhat untraditional theory of negligence regarding the subject of car accidents, in contrast to most other states that use a traditional negligence theory. Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state, which means that the driver usually relies on their insurance policy to be compensated for the resulting injuries.
While drivers have the option of purchasing either no-fault or traditional insurance coverage, bear in mind that having the option usually indicates how willing people are to purchase it. If involved in a car accident where either driver has purchased traditional insurance coverage, a lawsuit can be filed against the driver who is technically at fault. Unfortunately, this has the effect of becoming a penalty for the at-fault driver either way.
Call (412) 804-4048 to schedule a consultation with Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law in our Pittsburgh office.
NOTE: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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Posted on: August 2, 2019 by Kim Bodnar