Car Accidents Frequently Asked Questions

Pennsylvania Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What should I do immediately following a car accident ?

A: If you are not severely injured, collect all pertinent information from the other drivers, including their driver's license numbers, address, telephone numbers, insurance information, etc. If possible collect the name, address and telephone number of any witnesses. Don't' assume the police or someone else collected this information. If you are able, take photos of your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident (use a cell phone camera or a disposable camera that you keep in the car for emergrncies.). Keep daily journals, beginning with the date of the accident, to document all physical and mental injuries. Notify the arriving police officer of the events of the accident that you can recall. Contact Attorney Joseph Nypaver  so he can explain your rights and obligations and evaluate your case for you.

Q: What will it cost me when I contact Attorney Nypaver to talk about my injuries?

A:At my Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania law firm I have always provided
a free initial consultation for individuals injured as a result of the carelessness of others. At this initial meeting I will explain your legal rights and discuss your options. This initial consultation is free. Personal injury cases are handled by a contingent fee. This means that you owe no attorneys fee unless I make a recovery for you. 

Q: If I am partially responsible for an accident, can I still make a claim?

A: In Pennsylvania, whether you can make a claim depends on the percentage or the extent of fault that would be attributed to you. For example, if you were 25% at fault, then the total of your damages would be reduced by that percentage. If it is determined that you are more than 50% at fault then you would not be entitled to recover money damages.

Q: The person who hit me has no insurance coverage. What can I do?

A: Report the accident to your insurance company and report it to the police. Your insurance policy may include what is called "Uninsured Motorist" coverage, which protects you in cases exactly like this. Other individuals or entities may also be partially responsible who may only become known through proper investigation.  If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to call me or email my office time.

Q: Should I take the settlement my insurance company is offering me?

A: You should not take any settlements offered by an insurance company without first speaking with an experienced auto accident lawyer who is familiar with Pennsylvania auto insurance law, like Attorney Joseph Nypaver.  Insurance companies often offer a small amount of money as a carrot to entice you to settle your claim quickly, before you know the full extent of your injuries. You will have to sign a release stating that you will never sue the other driver or the insurance company. Never accept an insurance check for personal injuries or sign a release without first consulting an experienced personal injury attorney .

Q: What issues will I face in making a claim for my injuries sustained in an auto accident?

A: A claim for injuries usually is based upon carelessness or negligence. In worse case scenarios, it involves an intentional or reckless act. The two general categories of issues that typically arise in a negligence claim (also known as a tort claim) after an automobile accident are:

·         Liability - who is at fault and to what extent, and

·         Damages - injuries or losses that were caused by the accident.

 Another important question in every case is which insurance companies are involved and what are the responsibilities of each company. This can be very complex depending on the specific facts of each case.

Q: I did not feel pain at the scene and refused medical treatment. Now, a few days later I am in pain. What should I do?

A: You should immediately consult your medical doctor regarding any pain, discomfort or possible injuries from a car accident; even if you think they may be only minor injuries. If you do not have a doctor you may want to go to the emergency room of your local hospital. Even if you did not complain of injuries at the scene of the car accident, you may be entitled to payment of your medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, and emotional distress due to personal injuries. You should consult an experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorney  to discuss whether you need representation on your claim.

Q: Can you explain what the different coverage means in my auto insurance policy?

A: It is hard to explain exactly what coverage you have and what it means without looking at the declarations page that comes with your insurance policy or is typically sent with your premium renewal notice.

 Under Pennsylvania law, you must carry at least $15,000 of liability coverage. This coverage applies if you are involved in an auto accident and a claim is being made against you. Your company will pay no more than the limit of liability coverage to others involved in an accident you caused, regardless of the amount of those damages.

 You must also carry a minimum of $5,000 of medical expense coverage. Regardless of who is at fault in causing an auto accident, you must always look to your own insurance company for payment of medical bills related any injuries sustained in the accident. These amounts are the minimums. All other coverage is optional. Other important coverage includes: wage loss coverage; underinsured motorist coverage; uninsured motorist coverage; car rental coverage.

Q: What is the difference between Full Tort and Limited Tort Options?

A: By selecting the full tort option, you keep all your rights to make a claim against anyone who caused your injuries. With the limited tort option, you are only entitled to make a claim for non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering, scarring, etc) if it is determined that you sustained a serious bodily injury resulting in a loss of bodily function or death. With full tort rights, you are entitled to make a claim for non-economic damages regardless of the extent of your injuries. There are some exceptions that may apply even if you only have selected a limited tort policy. I can discuss these exceptions with you and whether they apply in your case.

Q: How much auto insurance is enough?

A: Insurance is supposed to give you protection and peace of mind. I recommend that you have as much insurance as you can afford since you never know what the future will bring.

 If you or a loved one have been hurt as a result of a car accident, it is important to contact an attorney right away.  I understand the difficulties you're facing. I have helped hundreds of car accident victims, and the grieving families of those who died in fatal car crashes, obtain financial recovery. I can help you.

 Your job is to focus on your physical recovery. My job is to see to your financial recovery. Contact my law office to begin that journey today.  There is no fee unless I recover money for you.  I offer home and hospital visits.