Navigating the details of an insurance claim can be the most frustrating aspect of recovery following a car accident. This is especially true for those who find Pennsylvania's auto accident laws confusing. Pennsylvania is one of twelve states with no-fault insurance laws for policyholders. Understanding the state's laws regarding personal injury and auto insurance will make handling your claim easier and enable you to select a better policy in the future.

If you are injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages. Many individuals wonder what is required to file a lawsuit for a car accident. If you have suffered only minor injuries and property damage in Pennsylvania, filing a lawsuit in small claims court is relatively straightforward. Nonetheless, if your injuries were severe, you should retain the services of a Pennsylvania auto accident lawyer like Brandon J. Broderick. The steps involved in filing a car accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania are outlined below.

The no-fault insurance laws in Pennsylvania frequently cause confusion. After a car accident in Pennsylvania, you should discuss your claim filing options and the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive based on the severity of your injuries and your current auto insurance coverage with an experienced PA car accident attorney.

Understanding PA No-Fault Policies - Full Tort & Limited Tort

All drivers must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in states with no-fault laws. No matter who was responsible for the accident, when someone is seriously hurt, their medical bills are covered by their own insurance. But what happens when someone is seriously hurt and someone else is at fault? Most people in Pennsylvania still have limitations on how much they can recover in a lawsuit beyond medical expenses. What matters is whether you purchased a "limited tort" or "full tort coverage" auto insurance policy.

A "full tort" policy allows claimants to opt-out of the no-fault system, in contrast to a "limited tort" policy that prevents claimants from suing beyond a certain reward cap. In summary, those who have full tort coverage continue to have the option of suing a negligent driver for pain and suffering. Full tort insurance policies are more expensive, but they protect a person's right to a full jury verdict with no arbitrary cap.

Which one do you have, and how do you know? You almost certainly have limited tort coverage if, like the majority of individuals, you choose the cheapest coverage option. To be assured, though, contact your insurer right away.

When someone gets hurt and wishes to sue the person who caused it, this is referred to as a "tort" in law. If a person only has limited tort insurance, they must file a claim with their own car insurance provider to recover any damages and medical costs brought on by a car accident. This insurance does not permit claimants to pursue damages for accident-related pain and suffering. Nonetheless, if injuries are severe enough, it may be possible to pursue claims for pain and suffering. When it comes to limited tort claims, severe injuries are typically those that result in a person losing some sort of physical or cognitive function.

Pennsylvanians are able to avoid the no-fault statutes of the state thanks to full tort coverage. If a driver has full tort insurance, they can sue a defendant for personal damages even if their losses are lower than the requirements placed on limited tort policies.

The Initial Steps Following a Pennsylvania Car Accident

A lawsuit involving a car accident can be a difficult and stressful process. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should retain one of our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys to guide you through the lengthy legal process and allow you to focus on your medical care.

Identifying the defendant in a PA car accident lawsuit is the initial step. In many situations, the answer may seem obvious: the driver who struck your vehicle. In reality, however, this is not always the case. Frequently, multiple vehicles are involved in automobile collisions, and multiple drivers may have contributed to the incident.

In addition to another driver, additional factors may have contributed to your collision, exposing additional parties to liability. For instance, a construction crew could be held responsible for your injuries if they left equipment or debris in the roadway. Moreover, if roads are damaged or traffic signs are obscured, the local government may be liable for your losses. When filing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania for a car accident, you must ensure that you have named all potentially liable parties.

Filing a Lawsuit in Pennsylvania After a Car Accident

In the event of a car accident, getting medical attention for your injuries should be your top priority. Documenting your injuries and completing any recommended medical treatment are crucial, whether you choose to settle your claim with an insurance provider or go to court. Avoiding treatment for your injuries or downplaying their severity could endanger a settlement offer or your right to file a car accident case.

Our Pennsylvania car accident attorney drafts a complaint that contains the plaintiff's claims against all prospective defendants at the start of a personal injury case. Also, it will outline the legal theories of the case and ask for compensation. Then, the complaint must be served on each defendant.

The defendant must submit a response after receiving the written complaint. Typically, this has to be done in 20 days. A defendant might potentially bring a counterclaim, claiming you caused the accident or contributed to it. In that case, our office would have to respond to their allegations.

It's crucial to understand that simply because you filed a lawsuit following a car accident, you are not automatically prohibited from reaching a settlement outside of the legal system.

What Takes Place in Pennsylvania After a Car Accident Lawsuit Complaint Is Filed?

Several things happen once the complaint and responses are filed. First The undisputed facts presented in the initial complaint do not warrant relief or compensation, therefore the defendant may file a motion to dismiss the case. These types of motions are frequently based on legal technicalities.

The discovery process is at the center of pre-trial proceedings. All parties' attorneys in the Pennsylvania car accident lawsuit will look into and gather information about the relevant case facts during discovery. This entails gathering and studying records, including police reports, patient records, and any other written communications that are relevant to the facts of the accident. Lawyers are frequently forced to disclose the information they have collected. All the persons involved and any witnesses that were present could also be deposed.

Interrogatories are typically the initial stage in the discovery process. An interrogatory is a list of detailed questions about the specifics of the case that is delivered to the opposing party or a related party. The interrogatories frequently serve as the foundation for any further discovery requests in a car accident litigation. These questions can include information on lost earnings, medical expenses and treatments, and disputed facts in the case. Our skilled PA auto accident attorneys are aware of the need to draft appropriate and relevant interrogatories as well as responses to them.

A motion for summary judgment may be filed if the evidence collected seems to support a strong case on either side. If our office determines that the evidence unequivocally substantiates your claims and warrants payment, we will ask the judge to decide the matter without a jury trial. On the other hand, the defendant will ask for a judgment in their favor if they believe the evidence indicates you would not prevail at trial.

After Filing a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawsuit, Settling or Going to Trial

A settlement could be presented to a plaintiff at any stage of the litigation process. When the case draws closer to a trial, it's common for an initially low settlement offer to be dramatically raised. Our skilled PA car accident lawyer will assist you in comparing the settlement offer to the quality of the evidence we have collected and the potential value of your claim. Occasionally, accepting the offer is the wisest course of action when the evidence is ambiguous. But if the offer is inadequate and your claim is strong, we'll suggest going to trial. Your best interests are always prioritized by Attorney Brandon J. Broderick and our PA car accident lawyers.

Brandon J. Broderick is Prepared to Help You With Your Pennsylvania Car Accident Claim

Pennsylvania car accident lawsuits are intricate cases with lots of moving parts. If you were hurt in an accident, you should be more concerned with getting well and receiving medical care than you should be with managing the complexities of a lawsuit. For decades, our seasoned Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers have defended those hurt in car accidents. Let our experienced staff and seasoned lawyers handle your lawsuit. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation!

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Thu, 03/16/2023 - 12:53

Still have questions?

Call now and be done