Understanding Accident Litigation in PA
The Philadelphia accident attorneys of Nass Cancelliere Brenner offer the following review of accident litigation in Pennsylvania to help clients understand some of the complex accident and injury laws of the state.
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common types of accidents that result in severe injuries. Whether a car, truck, motorcycle, or some form of public transportation is involved, or you were in a motor vehicle or a pedestrian when the accident occurred, the outcome almost always requires litigation of some sort. Pennsylvania law with regard to motor vehicle accidents and the types of claims you are entitled to file.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in PA
Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP,” is an extension of automobile insurance available to Pennsylvania drivers that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages. If you have PIP, you should receive payments regardless of which driver is found to be at fault. The specifics of what benefits are offered by PIP and the percentage of coverage provided can be explained to you fully by your attorney.
Tort threshold insurance in PA
Pennsylvania insurance laws allow drivers to make a choice between “full tort threshold” and “limited tort threshold” coverage.
- Drivers with full tort threshold insurance are able to sue for all damages, including both economic and non-economic losses. The latter includes “pain and suffering,” two elements which factor greatly into the size of settlement decisions.
- Drivers with limited tort threshold insurance can only collect for economic losses. Though the latter option will often save you money on your regular insurance payments, you should consider that your decision can seriously limit your ability to litigate should an accident occur. While Pennsylvania law is clear concerning limited tort coverage, in some cases there may be a way to “cross” this insurance threshold and enable you to collect for pain and suffering.
There are three possible scenarios:
- Proof of serious injury such as death, permanent loss of function, or disfigurement directly caused by the accident.
- A drunk driver causes the accident and is subsequently convicted of driving while intoxicated (DUI) or accepted into Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD).
- The at-fault party is found to be driving a car registered outside the state of Pennsylvania.
Any of these exceptions gives you the right to file a lawsuit requesting compensation for all of your damages and injuries, regardless of a limited tort coverage insurance policy.
Workers compensation and auto accidents in PA
If you were on the job when your motor vehicle accident occurred, Pennsylvania law states that your employer’s workers compensation policy must pay all of your accident-related medical bills during the time your personal injury case is in progress. You should be aware, however, that if you ultimately receive a sizeable settlement for your personal injury cases, the workers compensation insurance may try to “subrogate,” or reclaim what they paid out to you during the interim period. An attorney can help you with any negotiation or litigation that may arise from insurance subrogation.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist claims in Pennsylvania
If you have the great misfortune of getting into a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you should expect to have to bring an arbitration claim against your own insurance company. These claims are not handled via courtroom litigation, but rather through the private arbitration system. Your attorney can guide you through the process of choosing an arbitrator and litigating your case in front of your selected arbitrator, the arbitrator chosen by the insurance company, and a third neutral-party arbitrator. If your attorney proves your case, your insurance company will pay the settlement you are due.
Contact our skilled team of Philadelphia attorneys today
As you can see, the accident laws in Pennsylvania are extensive and complex. The Philadelphia accident attorneys of Nass Cancelliere Brenner have the in-depth knowledge of PA accident laws and guidelines to provide you with advice and expert litigation. Phone number is 215-546-8200. We are also available by email or through our web contact form.