Automobile Accident

What do I do if I have an accident?

After an accident, if there is either an injury or damage, you should stop, exchange information with the other party and render any appropriate assistance, including calling the police and the emergency services using 911 or another local emergency service telephone number. Individuals who are involved in an accident who fail to stop can face serious criminal penalties, including fines and/or imprisonment.

 

How do I know if I need an attorney?

If you or a family member has been injured in an accident, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There is no charge for the consultation, so you have nothing to lose. You can use our Contact Form or call us toll-free at 1-888-4-WFJ-LAW

 

How much do you charge?

  • We do not charge for the first appointment or the telephone call. There is no obligation.
  • We do not charge a fee unless we obtain recovery for you. Our fee is usually a contingency fee, which is a percentage (usually one-third) of your recovery.
  • We often advance the costs of the litigation to pay for investigators, experts, court costs, and other expenses.
  • If no recovery is not made, we do not charge a fee.

 

Will I meet with a lawyer during the first visit?

Absolutely. You will meet with a lawyer during your first visit, who will work for you throughout the entire process of investigating your case, evaluating the value of your claim, explaining the process and answering all your questions.

 

What if I am not able to come to your office?

In the event your injuries prevent you from coming to one of our offices, we will meet with you at your home, the hospital or another place convenient to you.

 

Where does the firm practice?

Although most of our office locations are in Schuylkill County, our attorneys frequently represent clients in both federal and state court throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania. If you were injured in Schuylkill County, Dauphin County, Carbon County, Berks County, Bucks County, Lehigh County, Lebanon County, Lancaster County, Northampton County or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, please use our Contact Form or call us toll-free at 1-888-4-WFJ-LAW to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer now.

 

An insurance adjuster wants to settle and says I do not need a lawyer. Should I get one?

Adjustors work for the insurance company, and their goal is to settle your case for the least amount of money possible. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney who can evaluate your case, discuss your options and insure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

 

If I am injured in a motor vehicle accident, who pays my medical bills?

In Pennsylvania, every motor vehicle insurance policy must have at least $5,000.00 in first-party medical benefits.

This is a fairly complex area, and there are various exceptions. However, you are usually eligible to claim those benefits if you are a “named insured” on the policy, if you live with a “named insured” and are covered under the policy or if you are in an insured vehicle.

If serious injuries occur, the first-party benefits are oftentimes not enough to pay for all medical treatment, in which case bills should then be submitted to your private health insurance carrier.

 

What is my required insurance coverage?

There are two types that are required, consisting of First Party Benefits and Liability Coverage.

First Party Benefits: A minimum of $5,000 of medical coverage, but you can purchase more.

Liability Coverage: In Pennsylvania, you need at least $15,000/$30,000 worth of liability coverage. This means that you will be covered for at least $15,000 in injuries to one person, and up to $30,000 per accident if it involves more than one person. Higher coverage limits are available, and are generally a good idea. Given the rising costs of medical treatment in today’s world, $15,000 does not provide much coverage.

Additionally, you are required to have $5,000 in protection to cover any property damage that may occur as a result of an accident.

 

Who does my insurance cover?

Your automobile insurance policy protects you and any other individuals who are named on the policy, as well as most passengers and those who drive your car with your permission.

If you do not own a car or are not covered by any policy of insurance but are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you will be covered by one of the vehicles involved or by something known as the “Assigned Claims Plan.”

 

How can I save money on my motor vehicle insurance?

Shopping around with different companies can help. In addition, you should also talk to your insurance agent about discounts that may exist for taking driver’s education courses, doing well in school, or if you have other types of insurance policies, such as homeowner’s insurance, with the same company. Anti-lock brakes, airbags and other safety features in a car can also sometimes allow you to get discounts on automobile insurance.

Increasing deductibles can also lower premiums.

 

Will I have to go to court?

This depends on a number of factors. However, the large majority of cases settle without the need for a trial. In some circumstances we may also use various forms of alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration to resolve a case.

 

Who can sue for damages in a personal injury case?

Any injured person who is competent and over the age of 18 must file the lawsuit in his or her own name. If someone is incompetent or under 18, a parent or a guardian can file the suit.

 

How much money is my case worth?

This is dependent upon the nature and extent of your injuries, how the accident occurred, the likelihood of future medical expenses, the effects that the accident will have on your life both in the short-term and the long-term, your medical expenses and the amount of any income which may have been lost as a result of the injuries preventing someone from working.

Because of these factors, each client’s matter is examined on a case by case basis to determine the appropriate amount of compensation.

 

How long do I have to bring a case to Court?

All cases must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations is a strict time period set by law which requires that all cases must be timely filed. There are different time periods for different types of cases. In many personal injury cases, this time period is usually two years. However, there are some circumstances in which the time period is much less, and there are also some circumstances in which the time period is longer.

It is extremely important to speak with an attorney regarding statute of limitations issues.

 

Should I get a second opinion if an attorney thinks I do not have a case?

Definitely. If a lawyer decides not to represent you, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion.

Not all lawyers are experienced personal injury attorneys. Different lawyers sometime see a case from different perspectives.

 

I was injured, but I may have been partly at fault. Can I still sue?

Yes. Pennsylvania is a “comparative negligence” state. This means that if you were injured in an accident and are partly at fault, it is possible that you may still be able to recover some compensation for damages. However, it is extremely important that you contact us to speak with a skilled Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.

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