Why Should I Hire a Local Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer?
Engaging the services of a local Pennsylvania car accident attorney is highly advisable, especially if you are involved in a car accident that causes physical or emotional distress. Local attorneys not only have a firm grasp of Pennsylvania-specific laws, but they also have an intimate understanding of the local community, which can offer additional advantages. They can effectively negotiate with insurance companies that aim to minimize your compensation. By choosing a locally-based attorney, you ensure that someone is fighting vigorously to secure the best compensation you deserve.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Automobile Accidents in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Failing to do so within this timeframe can result in forfeiture of your right to seek legal remedies.
What Standard of Negligence Applies in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule. Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 7102, you can still recover damages as long as your negligence is not greater than that of the defendant(s). However, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your share of fault.
Is Pennsylvania a Fault or No-Fault State?
Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” state, meaning drivers can choose between a “full tort” and a “limited tort” option when purchasing auto insurance.
What Are the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law mandates that all drivers carry:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person
- $30,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $5,000 for property damage Additionally, $5,000 in medical benefits coverage is required. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is optional.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Rental Cars in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, auto insurance policies must clarify whether they extend coverage to rental vehicles. In case both the renter’s policy and the rental company’s policy claim to be “excess,” then losses will be shared equally between the insurers.
Pennsylvania Accident Reporting Guidelines
- Immediate Actions: If involved in an accident, it is obligatory to report the accident when:
- It results in injury or death to any person
- Causes significant damage to the vehicle that necessitates towing
- Form AA-600: All involved drivers must complete Form AA-600 within 5 days of the accident. If more than two vehicles are involved, additional copies of the form are needed. Mail the completed form to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering.
What Information Should You Gather at the Accident Scene?
Ensure you exchange the following information with all parties involved:
- Phone numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance details
Collect names and addresses of any witnesses and descriptions of all vehicles involved.
How is Liability Determined in Pennsylvania Car Accidents?
Liability in a Pennsylvania car accident is generally determined by evaluating the evidence provided, the applicable laws, and other contributing factors. A claimant needs substantial evidence to prove that another party’s negligence caused the accident. Depending on the strength of the evidence, a settlement might be offered, or the case could proceed to court for a judge or jury to decide on the liability and compensation.
Is Legal Assistance Necessary in Specific Cases?
In particular situations, such as those involving personal injury, severe property damage, or DUIs, it is highly advisable to seek legal counsel.