Car Accident Washington County PA
It is certainly nothing anyone wants to deal with, but most of us will be involved in an accident at some point in our lives. In fact, there was an average of 14 traffic accidents every hour in the state of Pennsylvania in 2014, reports the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). While some are mere fender benders, others are more serious; each day, 219 people were injured and three people were killed statewide in crashes.
What steps do I need to take after a car accident in Washington County?
The aftermath of a car accident is often somewhat of a blur. There are a lot of things to deal with. Getting to safety and seeking medical attention is the priority, but then there will be an onslaught of other things to tend to like giving your information to the police, informing the insurance company about the accident, and getting your car repaired. If you suffered serious injuries, there will also be many physical, emotional, and financial issues to face.
After you have addressed your immediate medical needs, there are a couple of initial steps you will want to take after a car accident.
First, if possible, start gathering any information or evidence about the crash that you can. This includes a copy of the police report, the other driver’s information, photos or video of the scene, and eyewitness contact information.
Next, you will need to report the accident to the insurance company and begin the claims process. Only provide the basic facts to the insurance representative. Assume that the representative is recording everything you say to use against you later.
You do not want to admit fault (even if you think you were partly to blame, you do not know all the facts of the case, yet), nor do you want to give definitive information about your medical conditions (your medical conditions may not have fully manifested and you do not have a clear picture of the long-term effects yet.)
Many car accident victims unwittingly say things to the insurer that thwart their chances of collecting compensation. It is good practice to speak to a lawyer before you talk to the insurance company to avoid any mishaps. We can coach you on what to say and what not to say or just handle all communication with the insurer.
What types of losses can I seek reimbursement for?
The types of reimbursement available to you depend on a couple of factors, namely, what types of insurance coverage the involved parties have and who was at fault for the accident.
Pennsylvania insurance law is complicated. It is a “choice-no-fault” state, which means policyholders can elect whether they want to stick with a full tort policy or pay a little less for a limited tort policy. Those who choose full tort can recover far more in the event of an accident because they retain the right to collect pain and suffering damages.