Car & Truck Accidents
What to do when you have been have a car accident
- Identify the other drivers involved (names and addresses); write down the license plate and a description of the other cars.
- If there are any witnesses, try to get their names and phone numbers as soon as possible.
- Report the accident to the police, and if you are injured, be sure to let the police know.
- Report the accident to your insurance company so they can open up a medical payment claim for you.
- If the other drivers involved say something, try to write it down as soon as possible, especially if they admit they did something wrong, like saying they did not see you, or that they were on the phone or that the accident was their fault.
- Do not say anything to anyone that would make them believe that you caused the accident.
- If you are able to do so, take photos of the accident scene and the damage to the cars involved. If you have any visible injuries, like scars or bruises, photograph those when you get home.
- If you think you might be injured, go to the emergency room or see your family doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries do not seem serious at first, but can result in long term problems. It is safer to get checked out as soon as possible.
- When you see a doctor, be sure to explain how you were injured and mention everything that hurts, even if certain injuries seem more serious than others.
- Do not speak to anyone from the other drivers’ insurance companies about how the accident happened. They are not on your side and may try to get you to admit to causing the accident. DO NOT PROVIDE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO ANYONE, EVEN YOUR OWN INSURANCE COMPANY!
- Save evidence of any expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills, over the counter medications, repair bills for your car, or evidence that you missed work. Even if you were paid for sick or vacation days, you may be able to receive additional compensation for time missed from work.
- Every case is different and you deserve expert advice. Call us as soon as possible.
- Commercial trucks are generally required to carry more insurance than private cars.
- If you are injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle try to identify the company, the vehicle number if one can be seen and the driver because both the driver and the company may be legally responsible.
- Large commercial trucks are required to follow special rules on the road. Things that may be reasonable to do in a normal car may be unreasonable for a commercial truck driver and subject him or her to legal responsibility in an accident.
Important Information About YOUR Auto Insurance Policy
- In Pennsylvania drivers must choose between full tort or limited tort on their auto insurance. Choosing limited tort will usually prevent you from being able to make any claim for pain and suffering or loss of life’s enjoyment if you are involved in an automobile accident. Choosing full tort will protect your legal rights and prevent you from being left without any way to recover if you are hurt in an auto accident. Also, your decision about full tort or limited tort will affect the legal rights of your family members who live with you if they are injured in an accident, even if they are a passenger in someone else’s car. Though there is usually a modest increase in costs, we strongly recommend full tort insurance for all of our clients who own a car.
- The minimum amount of insurance that is required in Pennsylvania is only $15,000 per person injured in an accident or a total of $30,000 per accident if more than one person is injured. This means that if a driver with minimum coverage injures you, you will only be able to recover $15,000 no matter how serious your injuries are. You can protect yourself by purchasing Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) which will allow you to make a recovery from your own insurance company if you are injured by a driver who has too little insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries. UIM insurance coverage will also protect members of your family who live in your household if they are injured by a driver who has too little insurance coverage. We strongly recommend Underinsured Motorist Coverage for all of our clients who own a car.
- Unfortunately many drivers today have no insurance at all. You can protect yourself by purchasing Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) which will allow you to make a recovery from your own insurance company if you are injured by a driver who has no insurance. UM insurance coverage will also protect members of your family who live in your household if they are injured by a driver who has no insurance. We strongly recommend Uninsured Motorist Coverage for all of our clients who own a car.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is medical coverage that your insurance provides when you are injured in an auto accident, no matter who caused the accident. The minimum PIP coverage in Pennsylvania is $5,000, but you may want additional coverage to protect yourself from unexpected bills if you are injured in an auto accident.
- Wage protection on your auto insurance can provide you with money if you are hurt in an auto accident and unable to work. Unfortunately, the legal system often operates quite slowly and wage protection coverage can help to pay your immediate expenses while you are waiting for your case to resolve.
If you allow your auto insurance to expire or if you own an uninsured car, then you may be prevented under the law from making any recovery if you are injured in an auto accident.