The Legal Landscape of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Pennsylvania

The Legal Landscape of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Pennsylvania

Not everyone knows the steps to take and what exactly to do after a car accident. Especially in the direct aftermath of a crash, it is easy to feel disoriented. But, understanding Pennsylvania’s car accident laws and what is required will not only help you follow the rules but also support your personal injury claim should you decide to file one.

Usually, the best way to get information on how to proceed after a car accident is to speak with an attorney. A local attorney will be able to advise you on your options and what must be done as well as provide legal representation during the claims process as well as in court, that is, if your case goes that far. For assistance after a crash, a Pennsylvania car accident attorney at  Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP can help.

Understanding Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Accident Laws

The Legal Landscape of Motor Vehicle Accidents in PennsylvaniaWhen an accident happens and injuries, death, or considerable destruction to a vehicle result, then the Pennsylvania car accident must be reported to the police. Calling the local police department will do. When an officer investigates an accident, they will normally write up a police report. Obtaining a copy of this report can be helpful to use in a personal injury claim.

If an officer does not come out to the accident scene, then individuals involved have five days to file a Driver’s Accident Report Form with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Drivers must either purchase limited tort coverage or full tort coverage. Limited tort coverage is no-fault insurance. So, when a crash happens, you must first file your claim with your insurance provider. Then, only if you are seriously injured, you can file a claim against another driver’s insurance. No-fault insurance has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is getting compensation quicker than fault-based insurance and this is true even if you were responsible for causing the accident. However, on the downside, you may not be able to file a claim against another party’s insurance and as a result, be unable to collect full compensation for all of your damages like pain and suffering, for example. 

Full Tort Insurance means that when a crash happens, you file your claim with the other party’s insurance. With this coverage, you could recover the totality of your losses including pain and suffering. But, it can take much longer to get to a settlement and obtain compensation. Plus, if you are determined to be 51% or more responsible for causing the crash then you will not be able to obtain compensation at all.

There is only a short period of time that a car accident victim will have to file their claim. This is the statute of limitations, and in Pennsylvania, that amount of time is generally two years from when the crash took place.

Speak with an Attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP

The car accident laws and claims process can be confusing and it can be particularly difficult to navigate the system if you are severely hurt after your crash. An attorney can help you throughout the entire process and advocate for you to get the best possible outcome.

Call Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP today to schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia car accident attorney at (215) 731-9900.


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