Every day, Pennsylvania drivers report an average of 286 car crashes, roughly 12 occurring every hour. Of these, 44,957 accidents every year result in bodily injury, and a staggering 58,458 collisions cause some amount of property damage.
If you’ve recently been involved in an auto accident, know that you’re not alone. Though dealing with a crash can seem daunting, having a trusted lawyer by your side helps ensure your damages are covered, and you’re not saddled with undue liability.
In this post, Erie Injury, a go-to law firm in Erie, Pennsylvania, outlines everything you need to know to win your crash case.
What is a Vehicle Accident?
Vehicle accidents are instances in which a motorized vehicle collides with another car, a pedestrian, or a piece of property. In Pennsylvania, an accident is considered a crash if any injury or fatality occurs or if one or more vehicles require towing from the scene.
From accidents involving uninsured drivers to collisions with tractor-trailers, a host of situation-specific occurrences will ultimately determine how a case is settled. With so many moving parts, you must hire a lawyer immediately following the accident to ensure you’re getting a fair settlement. At a minimum, you’ll want to contact a law office that offers a free consultation to better understand the specifics of your case.
Whether you were in a car, truck, or boating accident, it’s critical that you understand the basics of what to expect from your case.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, know that many variables can impact whether or not you have a potential case. However, you could be eligible for compensation if the resulting damages have caused you setbacks—lost wages, physical therapy, rental car fees, etc.
Car accidents happen in many ways, and the type of accident alone may be enough to determine who was at fault. Common types of car accidents that typically result in damages include, but are not limited to:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Sideswipe accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Low-speed accidents
- Merging accidents
Car accidents are never simple. Even when a party admits fault, their insurance company is not likely to make things simple. Difficult insurance adjusters are even more prevalent when your case involves one of the following:
In Pennsylvania in 2020, drunk-driving was responsible for 6,565 crashes, 293 of which resulted in death. As entirely preventable and largely disastrous accidents, drunk driving crashes don’t follow typical insurance and legal policies when finding fault and settling cases.
Whether you have a full or limited tort auto insurance plan—the policy that determines whether all damages or only some are covered in an accident—all harm that comes from a drunk driving accident is potentially eligible for compensation.
Keep in mind: the at-fault driver’s insurance company will fight hard not to pay the full amount you’re eligible for. Therefore, you’ll want to hire a lawyer to ensure your settlement is fair.
Hit-and-Run or Uninsured Drivers
A hit-and-run accident or a collision with an uninsured driver might feel like a lost cause. However, if you immediately hire a lawyer and file a police report, you could be eligible for compensation from your own insurance company. A lawyer can help you dissect your insurance policy to determine if you have uninsured motorist benefits. If you do, they’ll ensure you can cash in at the fullest amount possible.
If you’re in an accident with an insured driver, but their policy doesn’t cover the extent of your damages, there could be more compensation available to you. Contact a lawyer right away so they can perform asset and other insurance checks on the at-fault driver. Additionally, you could be eligible for payouts from your own insurance company if you have underinsured motorist coverage.
Pedestrians and Bicycles
As a pedestrian or cyclist, you’re eligible for compensation if you’re hit by a car. Regardless of what kind of insurance you carry, you aren’t bound by a limited tort policy. And because the payouts from these cases can be substantial, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will work hard to lessen the payout. Contact a lawyer immediately following an accident to ensure you get your full settlement.
Due to their massive size, accidents involving tractor-trailers are devasting, often even fatal. The long driving hours, varying road conditions, and immensely heavy loads can seriously impact how the case is settled.
Boating accidents are often serious, so hiring a lawyer will be crucial in ensuring you and your loved ones are protected from further harm. Moreover, open water is still subject to rules and regulations, so a lawyer can help you understand precisely when the fault occurred.
Because boat accidents often leave little evidence, witnesses are crucial to a fair settlement. Your lawyer can help you obtain critical information from those at the scene to ensure your case is settled fairly.
Let a Lawyer Win Your Case
No matter what type of vehicle accident you’re in, having a lawyer will help you win your case. You can rest easy knowing your case is being handled so you can focus on healing yourself and your loved ones.