Our Motor Vehicle Accident FAQ
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Should I see a doctor after a motor vehicle accident even if I don't feel injured?
Yes! The importance of receiving a prompt medical evaluation after a motor vehicle accident simply cannot be overstated. Seeking immediate medical care not only protects your health, but also your ability to collect compensation for accident-related injuries and other losses.
Just because you weren't rushed from the scene of the crash to the nearest hospital via ambulance doesn't mean you weren't injured.
Some car crash injuries—including whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries—can take hours or even days to present symptoms. That doesn't mean they aren't related to the accident and that you shouldn't be compensated for them. Late-appearing injuries can be painful or, in some cases, even debilitating.
Common late-appearing injuries include neck, shoulder and back pain; severe headaches that could indicate a head injury; concussions; and internal bleeding.
Seeing a doctor as soon as possible and stating you've been in an accident are essential steps in protecting your right to recovery. This gets the crash on record and, if you have to return to the doctor with late-appearing injuries, it allows them to be documented as being related to your recent incident.
However, it's important to note if you end up deciding to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for accident-related injuries, seeing the doctor once or twice usually doesn't provide sufficient documentation of an injury. Attending all follow-up visits and adhering to the doctor's treatment plan exactly can help accident victims build a stronger case.
Our Experience Will Help Your Car Crash Case
If you were injured in a car accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeing a doctor after the accident can increase your odds of achieving a successful case resolution.
The Accident and Injury Law Group's skilled attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to request an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
Why is it so important to see a doctor after a car crash?
After being involved in a car crash, accident victims need to put their health and safety first. That means seeing a doctor as soon as possible after the crash, even if they don't think they're injured. It may sound like an inconvenience, but there are a number of reasons why motor vehicle accident victims will ultimately be glad they sought timely medical attention.
Not all car crash injuries are immediately apparent. Soft-tissue injuries, for example, are notorious for showing up days or even weeks after an accident. Seeing a doctor right away—ideally, within 72 hours of a motor vehicle crash—ensures the accident is on record, making it easier to connect late-appearing injuries to the incident.
In addition to seeking prompt medical care, it's also important for car accident victims to:
- Follow their doctor's treatment plan to the letter
- Return to the doctor if new symptoms present
- Attend any and all follow-up visits
This shows insurance adjusters and defense attorneys a victim is doing their part to recover from their injuries.
Delaying medical care after a car accident can have devastating consequences on a crash victim's personal injury case. Defense lawyers or insurance adjusters may claim the injuries sustained weren't that serious—or were caused by an incident unrelated to the car accident in question. Seeing a doctor ensures the accident and resulting injuries are well-documented by a medical professional.
Consult an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
After a motor vehicle accident, insurance company representatives and the defense counsel will do anything they can to reduce their financial obligation to accident victims. Don't settle for less than what you deserve without consulting an attorney.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
Who's liable for a multi-car collision?
Determining fault for a car accident is usually relatively straightforward. However, in cases involving the collision of three or more vehicles, liability issues can become much more complex.
Multiple vehicle collisions—also known as multi-car collisions, chain-reaction crashes, or vehicle pile-ups—are particularly common in high-speed areas, such as highways.
These crashes are often caused by following too closely, and a common multi-car accident scenario involves a car that stops suddenly and is rear-ended by the vehicle driving behind it. This can, in turn, cause a chain reaction of rear-end accidents.
Multi-car crashes are often deemed to be the fault of the driver who caused the initial collision, though poor visibility and inclement road and weather conditions can also play a role. Additionally, in a state like Pennsylvania that follows comparative negligence laws, it's possible for several drivers to share fault for an accident.
In addition, Pennsylvania's comparative negligence laws indicate that being partially at fault for a crash doesn't necessary preclude an accident victim from collecting compensation for injuries and other damages. As long as the victim was less at fault than the other drivers, he or she may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Ultimately, the amount of fault for each involved driver is determined by the law enforcement officer who responds to the accident and writes the police report. In some instances, fault may also be negotiated by insurance adjusters.
Consult an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a multi-car vehicle collision, you may be facing serious injuries, significant property damage, and a deluge of unexpected medical bills.
Fortunately, if you weren't at fault for the accident—or were deemed less at fault than other involved drivers—you may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages. Having a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney represent you throughout the process helps ensure you and your claim are treated fairly.
Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial case analysis.
Who pays for my medical bills if I'm injured in a car accident?
After being seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, victims often wonder who pays for their medical care and whether they'll be left holding the bag.
While the answer to this question varies dramatically by state, in Pennsylvania, medical bills are submitted to the car accident victim's insurance first. This is because, as a no-fault state, Pennsylvania requires all parties involved in an accident to recover medical expenses and lost wages from their individual insurance providers, regardless of who's at fault for the crash.
To accommodate this requirement, Pennsylvania drivers must carry a minimum of $5,000 in medical benefits insurance coverage, though higher thresholds for medical benefits coverage are available and recommended.
Once an accident victim uses their auto insurance medical benefits coverage, they can submit their claim to their public, private or employer-sponsored health insurance provider, who pays a portion of the medical bills, provided the victim met the deductible. However, should the victim file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party and receive a settlement, they may have to pay back the insurer for some of the bills it paid on their behalf. This process is known as subrogation.
Finally, after exhausting their auto insurance medical benefits and health care coverage, victims can seek compensation for any remaining medical expenses from the at-fault party's insurance company.
Car accident injury victims can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for the crash to pursue compensation for a wide range of other losses, including property damage costs, pain and suffering, and more.
Consult a Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney
Determining who should pay for your medical expenses after a car accident can be confusing. Fortunately, our experienced car accident attorneys can help ensure you don't get stuck paying for bills that aren't your responsibility.
Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
What should I do immediately following a car accident?
Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a jarring experience. Knowing what to do—and what not to do—in the moments immediately following a car or truck crash can help accident victims protect their right to collect compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Check everyone in the involved vehicles for injuries. Call an ambulance for serious circumstances; don't attempt to move the injured. If possible, relocate the vehicles to the side of the road or set up emergency flares or triangles to avoid the potential for secondary collisions.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
If an ambulance was called, the police will already be enroute. Otherwise, calling to report the accident to law enforcement is the next step. While a police report isn't admissible in court, it can provide valuable information for an accident victim's personal injury attorney.
If accident victims aren't seriously injured, they can gather evidence while waiting for police to arrive. Evidence that helps build a strong case includes:
- Photos or videos of the crash scene, as well as any property damage or injuries
- Exchanging contact, license, and insurance information with the other involved drivers
- Getting names and contact information from witnesses
Seek Medical Attention
It's important to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if no serious injuries are readily apparent. A doctor can rule out, treat, and document existing injuries, as well as diagnose more subtle symptoms that could potentially lead to late-appearing injuries. If medical bills start to pile up, do not stress about keeping up with them as there are methods you can use to temporarily relieve that financial pressure.
Notify Insurance Provider
Many insurance agreements require insurees to report accidents to their insurance provider as soon as possible or risk a potential denial of their claim. While accident victims must notify their insurance carrier, they aren't required to—and shouldn't—discuss their injuries or the cause of the crash, or provide a recorded statement, without consulting an attorney.
Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling motor vehicle accident cases can help clients ensure their rights are protected after a serious crash.
If you were involved in a car accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, the car accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to arrange an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
Do I need an attorney for my car accident case?
You see ads all the time for law firms in the Pittsburgh area urging you to call them when you are in a car accident. But do you really need a lawyer to help you settle your car crash claim? It all depends on the circumstances of the crash. There are times when you can settle with the insurance company on your own, and there are times when you want to work with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to make sure you are fairly represented in a dispute. We explain the difference here.
When You Probably Don’t Need an Attorney
Is this really a lawyer telling you NOT to hire a lawyer? Yes! Believe it or not, there are times when we think you can handle a car accident settlement on your own. The following situations are examples of straightforward claims that you can probably successfully negotiate on your own behalf:
- No one was injured in the accident, but there was property damage.
- The other driver accepts fault and his insurance company offers you a settlement that fully covers your costs.
- You were injured, but your medical bills total less than $1,000.
In these situations, you can deal with the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster directly and settle the claim quickly. However, if the insurance adjuster gives you the runaround or your case is more complicated, you should call an attorney.
When You Should Call an Attorney
Insurance companies are not happy to pay out on claims, so if they have any grounds to push back, you can be sure they will. In these situations, having an attorney on your side can help enormously. Times when you will want to hire an attorney as soon as possible include the following:
- There is a serious injury requiring hospitalization or resulting in permanent damage, such as paralysis or traumatic brain injury.
- Someone died in the accident.
- A commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, was involved.
- Fault is in dispute, or you are wrongly accused of causing the accident.
- The accident happened in a construction zone.
- You are overwhelmed and confused about your rights.
When you hire an experienced car accident attorney, he will investigate the accident and gather the evidence needed to get you the settlement you deserve from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Yes, you will pay him a percentage of your settlement, but you will not owe any money until and unless he wins your case.
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