If you are injured in a car crash in a tort state, you would typically file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In no-fault states, the claimant must file a claim with their insurer, regardless of who is at fault. Pennsylvania has a unique system that’s a mix of both. If you had paid for no-fault coverage (which is your choice), you cannot sue the other driver. On the other hand, if you had paid for limited or full tort coverage, you can bring a claim against the other party. Are you feeling overwhelmed? That’s the precise reason why you need to lawyer up. Here’s what you must know about hiring Philadelphia, PA personal injury attorneys.
More about Pennsylvania car insurance system
Let’s say that you had purchased limited tort coverage. If the other driver was responsible for the accident, they are liable for your medical and economical losses. You cannot sue them for pain and suffering, unless your injury qualifies as “serious”. A serious injury would be something like disfigurement or multiple fractures. Given that the system is confusing, people often don’t pursue injury lawsuits after a crash.
The role of injury attorneys
You have a deadline of two years to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver as per the statute of limitations. If you don’t act right away, you will miss evidence and other means to recover information related to the crash. When you hire an injury attorney, they do all that for you. Your lawyer will help with –
- Finding evidence
- Gathering witness statements
- Collecting a copy of the police report
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Handling the legal paperwork
Lawyers can see through insurance tactics, and if needed and when possible, they can be aggressive enough and take the other party to court. Of course, most injury attorneys prefer to settle things amicably because a trial is an expensive alternative.
The cost of hiring an attorney
Usually, you don’t have to pay an injury attorney right away. They ask for their fee after you have won a settlement. The fee of the attorney is a part of the recovery, ranging from 20% to 40%.
Now that you know the simple aspects, consider hiring an attorney you can trust without delay. Make sure that the lawyer has experience taking matters to court. You can shortlist attorneys based on reviews and recommendations, or check websites like Nolo!