Car Accident Attorneys Erie PA | If you or a family member is involved in a serious car accident, you may be entitled to recovery of damages by a negligent party’s and/or your own insurance company.
It is important to act quickly after being involved in a car accident, your actions can impact your potential damages. The top car accident attorneys of The Travis Law Firm are experienced in motor vehicle litigation and will protect your rights as an auto accident victim. Contact our car accident lawyers – serving Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Western Pennsylvania – if you have been involved in an auto accident.
Northwestern PA Car Accident Law Firm
Statistics show, every 10 seconds someone in America is involved in a car accident. It is likely that everyone will be involved in at least one car accident in their lifetime. If you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident, you should be aware of your rights – contact the Travis Law Firm. Our auto accident lawyers provide Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Northwestern Pennsylvania residents exceptional legal expertise. We can help victims or those family members who have lost loved ones to wrongful death.
Auto accidents often lead to a flood of insurance forms, accident reports, medical bills, and technicalities. It can be overwhelming. Who was at fault? What do I do at the scene of a car accident? Who will pay my medical bills? Attorney Grant C. Travis will help answer these questions and help get your life back on track.Every year thousands of drivers are injured in auto accidents but do not receive just compensation. It is standard practice among insurance companies to initially offer victims a small settlement. The Travis Law Firm knows the true value of your case and what you are entitled to. Victims who try to handle their own legal affairs are often left bearing the majority of the expenses from an accident that was not their fault.
12 Things To Do After an Auto Accident
Auto accidents are stressful and may seem overwhelming. Below is a list of what you should do at the scene of an auto accident. If you would like additional information, contact our car accident lawyers at The Travis Law Firm – serving Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all of Western Pennsylvania.
- Stay calm.
- Check for injuries – call an ambulance if necessary.
- If possible, move cars to a safe place.
- Turn on hazard lights – use cones, flares, or warning triangles if available.
- Call the police – even if the accident is minor.
- Notify your insurance agent.
- Contact an experienced auto accident lawyer.
- Get other driver’s info – license number, insurance information, registration, etc.
- Do not sign anything.
- Make immediate notes – damages, how the accident happened, etc.
- If a camera is available, take pictures.
- Do not leave the accident scene before the police officers or other driver.
Contact a Car Accident Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an auto accident, motorcycle accident, trucking accident, or if you are the victim of an alcohol-related accident, contact our car accident lawyers immediately. We provide trustworthy, exceptional legal services to Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties, and all Western Pennsylvania victims and will fight for what they justly deserve.
Pennsylvania Auto Accident Statistics:
On Average in Pennsylvania:
- Each day 340 reportable traffic crashes occurred (about 14 crashes every hour).
- Each day 3 persons were killed in reportable traffic crashes (one death every 7 hours).
- Each day 228 persons were injured in reportable crashes (about 9 injuries every hour).
Based on Pennsylvania’s 2018 population (12,801,989 people):
- 1 out of every 44 people was involved in a reportable traffic crash.
- 1 out of every 10,762 people was killed in a reportable traffic crash.
- 1 out of every 164 people was injured in a reportable traffic crash.
[Statistics taken from the PennDOT 2018 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics]
Top 5 Questions After A Car Accident
After a car accident, what you do now can affect your legal rights and your rights to compensation for your losses, medical bills, and pain & suffering.
Listed below are the top 5 questions people typically have after a car accident.
If the other driver is at fault for the accident, their insurance company is typically responsible for paying for the damage to your vehicle.
Under Pennsylvania law, it does not matter who is at fault for the car accident, as Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. Under no-fault laws, your own insurance company is responsible to pay your medical bills regardless of who caused the car accident. If you are not at fault, your insurance company is not allowed to increase your premiums and/or cancel your coverage.
If you were injured in a car accident, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. Going to the emergency room or your family doctor provides documentation of your injuries and prevents the insurance company from claiming you were not injured. When necessary, we may recommend doctors to you who will agree to treat your injuries now, with the understanding that they will be paid after you receive a settlement to your case.
If the other driver does not have insurance, but you do, we may be able to proceed with a claim against your insurance company. This coverage is called uninsured motorist coverage. Keep in mind, your insurance company will want to pay you as little as possible, just like any other insurance company. They make money on collecting premiums, not by paying accident settlement claims.
Rest assured. Our fees are generated by a percentage of the final settlement that you receive. There will be NO money taken out of your pocket and no retainer fees. WE GET PAID ONLY WHEN YOU GET PAID.
Four Things You Did Not Know About an Erie Car Accident
Most people know that they need to call 911 after a car accident and that they need to see a doctor. However, there are some things that you may not know about a car accident that could seriously impact your ability to recover money for an accident claim.
Your claim is built on evidence that the other driver caused the crash. However, evidence at the accident scene can disappear with time. A heavy snowstorm or a good rain can wash away skid marks and other evidence. If possible, you should take pictures of the accident scene immediately after the crash. Taking pictures of the vehicles from every angle and pictures of the surrounding area can be the evidence you need to help prove fault.
As with other evidence, the memories of eyewitnesses can fade. Stories can change over time. Therefore, try to record statements at the accident scene if the witness will allow you to do so. At the very least, you should make notes about what witnesses said and ask for their contact information. Give the contact information to your attorney as quickly as possible so that he can contact eyewitnesses to obtain formal statements. Eyewitness testimony can be a powerful piece of evidence in a trial when fault is in dispute.
Even though a car accident claim is a civil matter, what you say after the accident can be used against you later in the case. Therefore, do not apologize or say you are sorry at the accident scene. Also, do not provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance company for the other driver. If your story changes in the slightest way, the insurance company will try to convince the jury you are not trustworthy. Also, if the adjuster can get you to admit you were in a hurry, you were upset, or you were distracted, the company’s attorney may try to blame you for the crash.
As we have discussed, evidence can disappear over time. However, that is not the only obstacle you need to worry about when filing a car accident claim. You only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking damages. If you do not file your claim before the deadline, the statute of limitations can be used as a bar your claim. Because there are exceptions to the general rule, it is always best to contact an Erie car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.
8 Common Mistakes Car Accident Victims Make
Many car accident victims don’t get the full compensation they deserve. This is most often due to the mistakes they make that hurt their injury case. Here are eight of the most common mistakes to avoid after having an auto accident in Erie, Pennsylvania.
An adjuster will most likely try to get a recorded statement right after an accident. They might appear sympathetic and friendly but the adjuster is trying to get you to make a damaging statement so your insurance company will not have to pay you as much money. These adjusters are well trained to try to get the accident victim to say damaging statements about their case to reduce the payout. Therefore it is very important to first consult your lawyer before giving any statements.
Insurance adjusters will try to get you to sign forms and legal docs the will ultimately help the insurance company and not you. These docs might include medical record requests and even a “release” checks that will quickly close your case. Insurance adjusters often misled accident victims by getting them to sign documents that will end their claims with very little money paid out. Consult your injury lawyer before signing any forms that your insurance company provides you so you don’t make a costly mistake.
It is very important to get the correct information at the scene of the accident so your lawyer can best prepare your case. Get key information like the name, address, and phone numbers of all the accident witnesses. Be sure to record the other driver’s license number, driver's license info, and his’ or her’s insurance company info and policy number. It is also very helpful to take photos from many angles of all cars involved.
Don’t wait too long before you visit your doctor. It is important to get medical treated quickly so your injuries don’t get worse. And the quicker a doctor sees you the more likely you will have a good record of your injuries. This plays an key role in determining the amount to compensation you will receive. Most importantly if you wait too long to see a doctor the courts might feel that your injuries might not have been as serious as you stated.
You have an obligation to mitigate your injuries after a car accident. Not following your doctor’s orders can lower the amount of compensation you might receive because it could be perceived that you are not as badly injured as you have claimed. Don’t make a mistake by missing doctor’s appointments or not following your doctor’s orders.
As an accident victim, you are entitled compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lifestyle changes. Recording all accident-related costs, physical issues, and other problems you might have because of the accident will allow you to receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
The longer you wait to get legal advice the more difficult it will be to obtain evidence and find witnesses. Delayed legal help will most likely hurt your case by allowing you to give the wrong statement to the insurance company. You could also risk losing your accident injury claim if you miss critical deadlines. Call your lawyer now and don’t make a mistake of waiting too long.
Many car accident victims will accept a fast settlement to get money quickly only to discover their injuries are much worse than they first thought. Once that happens they have no recourse in getting more money to cover their medical expenses and suffering. Injuries many take time to develop before they can be fully diagnosed. Don’t suffer financial loss by settling your claim too quickly. You need to make sure you know the full extent of your car accident injuries.
Why Should I Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
You likely know you should hire an auto accident attorney, or your friends and family are encouraging you to. Things may even seem like they're going well right now and you don't want to disrupt anything.
Your situation could change at any time.
Insurance companies could stop dealing with you or encourage you to settle quickly (before you have to deal with too many extra expenses like lost wages or medical expenses). You could also run into medical issues along the way, and have to pay for those expenses out-of-pocket.
Don't wait for things to get worse before you hire an attorney. Save yourself the time and hassle (and potentially having to re-start the process) and contact us as soon after your accident as possible.
We can help make the entire process easier for you.
When we take on new cases, we handle everything for you - the insurance headaches, vehicle repairs, all billing issues, and the necessary legal work.
Your job is to take care of yourself and get better.
And while you're focusing on your health, we'll be fighting on your behalf. We know what your case should be worth, and have frequently settled for 10-30x more than the average settlement received by someone who didn't hire an experienced auto accident lawyer.
And if the insurance companies won't work with us, we're willing to file a lawsuit and fight for you in court so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
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Contact an Erie Car Accident Attorney for Help
Don’t wait any longer to get the advice you need about insurance claims from a trusted attorney in your area.
Call The Travis Law Firm at (814) 277-2222 to schedule your free legal consultation with our Erie accident attorney.