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Settling a car accident claim in Pennsylvania

Being involved in a car crash can be a very stressful situation to be in, and you may wonder where to start when it comes to filing a claim and getting justice for the traumatic experience that you went through.

When you are involved in a car crash in Pennsylvania, if a person was injured, the police were involved or if there was significant damage to property, then you will need to fill in an accident report with the Department of Transportation in Pennsylvania (PennDOT).

How does Pennsylvania deal with car insurance claims?

Pennsylvania is quite unusual when it comes to their laws in relation to car insurance claims, because they follow the "no fault" system. This means that if you have no-fault insurance, your medical expenses will be covered (usually under your family auto policy) regardless of whether you caused the crash or not. Your income loss if you are unable to work may be covered too if you purchased that option.

You also need to select either a "full tort option" or "limited tort option" on your policy. If you selected the full tort option you can sue the person you believe at fault for your injuries; the limited tort option prevents you from being able to sue (with a few exceptions) unless the responsible driver caused a serious injury to you that will affect your quality of life.

You can also purchase "underinsured motorist coverage" and "uninsured motorist coverage" with your auto policy. These allow you to recover for your injuries even if the responsible driver doesn't have enough insurance (or none at all) to cover your claim.

Settling a claim

Usually, car accident cases are resolved before needing to go to court. It is typically resolved easily between insurance companies. If a case does go to court, the specific process will depend on which county you are in. It will always start with a case management conference to establish the purpose of the case, however.

If you are struggling to understand the settlement process for Pennsylvania car accidents, you should make sure you understand how the law applies to your specific situation before making a claim. For a free consultation concerning your automobile accident, contact the Quinn Law Firm at 814-833-2222. 

Source: FindLaw, "Pennsylvania Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline," accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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