Allentown Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can upend your life in a variety of ways. Along with hospital bills, property damage, and other financial issues, you may suffer from severe and painful injuries that keep you out of work and result in significant pain and suffering.
While an insurance company may come to you with a settlement, you should refrain from accepting any offer until you speak with an Allentown car accident lawyer. By retaining a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you could more effectively take stock of your damages and ensure you seek appropriate compensation for all your injuries and losses.
Choice No-Fault State
Some states are entirely no-fault states, meaning injured accident victims must seek financial restitution through their own insurance first no matter who is at fault for the accident. However, that is not the case in Pennsylvania, which is a choice no-fault state.
When it comes to purchasing auto insurance, Allentown residents have a choice between no-fault insurance or traditional tort insurance. Many drivers choose the former since these insurance premiums are less expensive.
However, if an accident were to occur, a person with a no-fault auto insurance policy would be precluded from suing for certain damages, such as pain and suffering. It should be noted that there is an exception for limited tort policyholders in suing for pain and suffering if their injuries were severe enough to pass a verbal threshold, as determined by a medical professional.
If the injured driver has no-fault insurance, they would have to pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other accident-related expenses through their insurance company, no matter who was responsible for the accident. If they chose full-tort insurance, an Allentown car crash attorney could help them seek recovery for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering directly from a negligent party.
Modified Comparative Negligence Law
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §7102 establishes the state’s modified comparative negligence law, which may come into play when determining which parties are responsible for an auto accident. Under this law, a civil court would assign a percentage of responsibility to each party to an accident.
If the plaintiff is considered responsible for more than 50 percent of the accident, they cannot recover damages. If they are assigned a percentage equal to or below 50 percent, their maximum damage award would be reduced by that same percentage. For example, if the court finds the plaintiff 20 percent at fault for their accident, they would only be able to recover for a maximum of 80 percent of their damages.
How an Allentown Car Accident Attorney Could Help
Pennsylvania’s auto insurance laws are complex. Even if a person cannot file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver because of the nature of their insurance, that limitation on recoverable losses does not apply to property damage, such as a totaled car or items destroyed in the collision. With this in mind, a dedicated attorney could work to gather information about the accident and advise you on whether you have grounds to file a lawsuit directly against an at-fault driver.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver, you may need the services of an experienced Allentown car accident lawyer. Call today to set up an initial consultation.