Recently suffered a car accident injury? Aside from dealing with aches, pains – or worse – you may have a lot of questions about your legal options. Our experienced attorneys work with people every day who are injured as a result of a car, motorcycle or truck crash and know the hardship and uncertainty that can come with that experience.
One of Georgelis Injury Law Firm’s top injury and accident attorneys, Christopher Larsen, Esquire, took time to share the top three most common questions that he hears from clients who are injured in an a car accident:
Q& A with Injury Lawyer, Chris Larsen
1. What role does my car insurance play in getting me compensation after a car accident injury?
After a car accident injury, initially, your car insurance company should be focused on dealing with the damage to your vehicle and getting your claim for medical benefits set up. In Pennsylvania, regardless of who caused the accident, your own auto insurance policy covers medical expenses related to the injuries suffered in the crash. Generally, in the early aftermath following a motor vehicle wreck and car accident injury, your insurance company will not be compensating you for bodily injuries, like pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, etc., suffered in the accident. Compensation for these injuries and the non-economic losses sustained in a car accident first come from the other driver’s car insurance company.
If the other driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your losses and damages, a claim can be made against your insurance policy for what is called Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIIM). Pennsylvania does not require that you carry UM/UIM coverage, so it is imperative that, to protect yourself, you obtain this coverage under your auto policy before an accident occurs. This means asking your agent about whether or not you have “U” coverage, and, in my recommendation, having at least $50,000 on each of your vehicles. You also should have “stacking,” which allows you to add the coverages for all of your insured vehicles.
2. What do I need to do to file a claim for a car accident injury and get paid?
Documentation is key. First, make sure that you contact the police immediately after an accident so that a report is generated. Second, seek medical treatment immediately after the accident, if you sustained an injury, and be clear and thorough with your doctors about your symptoms. You do not benefit from being “tough” by trying to minimize your injuries and deal with your pain without medical intervention. Third, take photographs of the vehicles involved in the accident and, if possible, the accident scene itself. Finally, contact an attorney that has experience handling car accident injury claims. Documentation and representation are keys to ensuring that you are compensated fairly. Keep in mind that in Pennsylvania you must file a lawsuit within 2 years of your accident or you risk being barred from bringing your claim. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is handled in a timely and effective manner.
3. How soon will I see compensation from my car accident injury?
When you are in a car accident, sometimes the injuries that result are immediate and obvious; but, many times, additional or new issues can emerge with time. Many are eager to resolve their cases quickly, but we always caution clients as you may not know the full extent of your injuries right away. Once you accept a settlement offer, your claim is over. We want to make sure you get all of the compensation you deserve – not just some. An example would be symptoms of brain damage that may not show up for weeks after your car collision, or an injury that may or may not respond to rehab treatment – which can affect how long you experience changes to your lifestyle or work. Typically, a bodily injury claim should only be resolved once you have reached maximum medical improvement. At Georgelis Injury Law, we always work hard to make sure our clients receive every penny of compensation they are entitled to, including for a car accident injury.
More frequently asked questions about car accident claims
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Christopher Larsen, Esquire is an attorney with Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. A Central PA native, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and then his law degree from Widener University School of Law. Prior to joining Georgelis Injury Law, Chris served the community as an assistant district attorney in the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. He quickly developed a reputation as a skilled and tenacious litigator, ascending through the ranks and being appointed Lancaster’s Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney. Chris now uses his vast litigation experience to help members of the Lancaster community who have been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another through car accidents or other incidents and families who have lost loved ones as a result of wrongful death.