Erie auto accidents result in thousands of injuries and deaths. In many cases, a driver’s negligence or errors lead to the collision. If a driver causes a car crash, the driver may be liable for injuries, damages, and financial losses caused by the crash.
However, even if the other driver caused your car accident, you may not always receive full compensation for all damages and injuries. Understanding the laws and the process for filing injury claims related to Erie auto accidents is important.
Five Things Every Person Needs to Know About Erie Auto Accidents
1. Your Car Insurance May Limit Your Options for a Claim
Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault car insurance state. The insurance requirements require drivers to choose between a full tort liability policy and no-fault car insurance.
If you choose a full tort liability policy, you have the option of suing a driver for damages if the driver causes an accident. Damages include pain and suffering, as well as the loss of income, medical expenses, and other financial losses. However, another driver may sue you if you cause an accident.
No-fault insurance policies limit your options for recovering compensation for an accident. These policies pay your damages in a car accident, regardless of whether you or the other driver caused the crash. However, you may not recover compensation for all damages, and you cannot sue the other driver for additional damages.
However, you might have the right to sue an at-fault driver even if you have no-fault insurance. Exceptions to the general no-lawsuit rule include accidents that involve severe disfigurement and catastrophic injuries.
You should always talk to an Erie car accident lawyer to learn about your options for compensation after Erie auto accidents.
2. Partial Fault Does Not Bar Recovery in Erie Auto Accidents
Under Pennsylvania’s modified comparative fault laws, being partially to blame for the cause of a traffic accident does not prevent you from recovering compensation from an at-fault driver. However, if your share of the blame for the crash is 51 percent or higher, you cannot recover compensation from the other driver.
3. Immediate Medical Treatment is Essential
You may not believe that a car accident caused severe injuries. Therefore, you may delay medical care. That decision could hurt your car accident claim.
Insurance companies use delays in medical care against accident victims. The company claims that the collision did not cause your injuries. If the accident resulted in injuries, you would have sought medical treatment. Unfortunately, some juries believe this argument. Therefore, it is a good idea to see a doctor after an accident.
4. Your Actions Impact The Outcome of Your Claim
Your words and actions after a car accident can impact your claim.
Things that could hurt your claim include, but are not limited to:
- Saying you are sorry at the accident scene could be viewed as admitting fault for the cause of the accident.
- Failing to see a doctor until weeks after the accident could be used against you.
- Providing a statement to the insurance company without talking to an attorney could also hurt your case.
- Signing documents without having them reviewed by an attorney may limit your recovery.
- Failing to follow your doctor’s treatment plan could be used to argue you caused your injuries to be more severe.
- Posts on social media could be used against you, especially if they show you engaging in activities that conflict with your claims of injury.
5. Hiring an Experienced Erie Injury Lawyer Can Improve Your Chance of a Fair Outcome
Insurance companies know that when you hire an attorney, your lawyer explains your legal rights to you. You also have access to information about the actual value of your personal injury claim. Therefore, insurance companies may be more willing to offer a fair settlement because they know that they cannot “fool” you into accepting a settlement amount that is far below the value of your claim.
Also, insurance companies monitor claim settlements and jury verdicts. They know which law firms settle all claims to avoid court. By hiring an experienced trial attorney, you show the insurance company you are serious about pursuing the injury claim, even if you need to file a lawsuit.
Don’t Wait – Call an Erie Car Accident Attorney Today for a Free Case Review
Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule your free legal consultation with an Erie auto accident attorney.