Lancaster Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accident Claims in Pennsylvania
When you are injured in a car accident, your first instinct may be to try to handle your claim on your own and get it settled as quickly as possible so that you can move on with your life. While this is certainly understandable, you could be losing out on fair compensation without even realizing it.
All too often, insurance companies—whether it’s the other driver’s or your own—do everything they can to avoid paying out claims. They might offer a lowball settlement, and you might accept it, not realizing that you are actually owed a lot more for your damages. The insurance company might even deny your claim outright, leaving you with seemingly no options for recovery.
At Knafo Law Offices, we have dedicated our entire legal practice to advocating for injured victims and standing up to insurance companies on their behalf. At our Lancaster, PA office, we provide comprehensive legal representation to those injured in serious car accidents, as well as those who have lost loved ones in tragic motor vehicle collisions. We understand the challenges you face, and we are ready to fight tirelessly for your rights.
Should I File a Claim with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company or My Own?
The answer to this question depends on what type of insurance coverage you have, as well as other factors involved in the accident. Pennsylvania is one of the few states to follow a “choice” no-fault system. This means that Pennsylvania drivers have a choice to be covered by no-fault insurance (referred to as “limited tort”) or to opt out of such coverage (by choosing “full tort” coverage).
With no-fault insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance provider after an accident and receive compensation, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you have no-fault coverage, you will typically file a claim through your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses resulting from the accident.
Notably, PIP does not cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. The only way to receive compensation for non-economic damages is to go outside the no-fault system and sue the at-fault driver directly, and the only way to do that is to prove that your injuries are “serious.” The state defines “serious injuries” as those that result in lasting and significant impairment of a bodily function or permanent serious disfigurement.
Examples of “serious injuries” might include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial injuries/disfigurement
- Severe fractures
In contrast, if you have opted out of the no-fault insurance system, you do not have PIP coverage. This means that you will need to file a claim against the driver who caused the accident. And, in order to successfully recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you will have to prove that the other driver was more than 50% to blame for the crash.
Under Pennsylvania’s rule of modified comparative negligence, you cannot recover compensation if you were more than 50% at fault. Even if you were less to blame than the other driver, your total recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage if the jury finds that you were partly responsible for the accident. So, for example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages but the jury says you were 20% at fault, you can only recover up to 80% of that total amount, or $8,000.
Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims
Like other states, Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations on all motor vehicle accident claims, including those involving car crashes, truck collisions, and motorcycle accidents. This means that you only have a certain time period in which you can bring a claim; failure to bring a claim within the statute of limitations will result in your case being dismissed in nearly all instances.
The statute of limitations on car accident claims in Pennsylvania is two years. Typically, the clock begins ticking on the date of the accident. However, in cases involving the wrongful death of a car accident victim, the two-year statute of limitations will usually not begin until the date of death, which could be later than the date of the accident.
How Knafo Law Offices Can Help
If you or someone you love was involved in a serious car crash, it’s important to turn to a legal team who can help you navigate the legal process of obtaining a fair settlement. As your Lancaster car accident lawyers, our team is ready to stand up for your rights and take on the insurance company so you don’t have to. We are aggressive negotiators and have a proven track record of recovering fast, favorable settlements for our clients. However, in the event that the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial.
We are committed to remaining always accessible to our clients. With multiple office locations and 24/7 availability, we are ready to help you when you need us most. Don’t wait to contact us if you were injured in a car accident, as your time to file a claim is limited!
Wrongful Death $15.2 Million
Wrongful death case ended in a verdict of over $15 million dollars.
Motorcycle Accident $7.25 Million
Using mediation after a motorcycle accident, $7,250,000 was awarded.
Medical Malpractice $4.1 Million
Secured a settlement of over $4 million dollars after medical malpractice occurred.
Negligent Trucker $3 Million
Secured a $3 million dollar settlement for client involving a negligent truck driver.
Workers' Compensation $2.9 Million
$2.9 million dollar settlement involving a workers' compensation case.