Auto accident injuries: Know your rights
Auto accidents are among the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. Often, driver negligence is to blame, and victims can experience life-changing effects such as physical injury, mental hardships, lost wages and expensive medical bills. Victims of accidents may feel overwhelmed, but by working with a car accident lawyer, those affected by the accident can begin to heal while experienced auto accident lawyers focus on the legal aspects of the accident.
Auto Accident FAQS
When individuals are involved in a car accident, especially when there are injuries, in the moment it may be difficult to remember what to do. If you are involved in an accident, it’s important to keep the following in mind at the scene and in the days that follow:
- Stay at the scene
Even if you and another driver merely tap bumpers, it is important to stay at the scene until all issues are resolved and the authorities have dismissed you from the accident. Oftentimes, drivers involved in what seems like a minor car accident are taken by surprise days later when the insurance company of the other driver starts seeking compensation. Drivers who leave the scene of serious accidents can be charged with hit-and-run as well. When you are in an accident, take a breath and stay on the scene.
- Stay safe and call authorities
If you are in an accident, immediately put on your flashers and, if you have them in the vehicle, set up flares. These will help to prevent further accidents. In addition, call the police, even if there aren’t serious injuries. The police can assist you and the other drivers involved in investigating the cause or potential cause of the auto accident and dispatch medical help to the scene.
- Take pictures
Keeping an accurate record of the car accident will provide critical information if you file an injury case and will be a resource for use in communicating with your insurance company. Take photos of the damaged vehicle(s), the road and intersections, and take photos of injuries that may have resulted from the accident. Accurate documentation is important for any legal case that may arise.
- Exchange information
Police officers will typically collect all relevant information from drivers involved in a car accident; however, if the police do not respond immediately, it is important to exchange information so your insurance company can process any claims accurately. You should also collect the names, addresses and telephone numbers of not only the other driver, but any passengers in the vehicle.
- Report the accident
After an accident, it is important to notify your insurance company immediately. Some insurers require that notification happen immediately and full cooperation is mandatory. Your insurance agent should help you through the process and be available to answer any questions you may have about your policy and your coverage. You should not, however, sign anything from the insurance company until you consult an attorney. Many drivers do not understand what is and is not covered by his or her policy. Have you evaluated your coverage lately? Be sure to ask your agent if you have full-tort or limited-tort and what the difference is between the two. Read more about car insurance coverage on our blog.
- Seek medical attention
Even if your auto accident was minor, it is important to seek medical attention. Sometimes discomfort or pain occurs a day or two after an accident. If you are seriously injured, do not refuse medical attention on the scene, and seek medical attention at an emergency room. In addition to obvious injuries like lacerations and broken bones, auto accidents can also affect the spinal cord and brain. Be sure to protect your health by seeking medical attention.
- Consult a car accident attorney
Knowing your rights after a car accident can be confusing, as Pennsylvania auto accident law is complex. If you are unsure of what to do next and how to proceed, contact an experienced accident lawyer so he or she can fight for your right to compensation. At Dale E. Anstine, our attorneys are ready to help you navigate the complex legal system after a car accident. We are available 24/7 and will even visit you at home or in the hospital after your accident. You deserve an attorney who is on your side. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Following an auto accident, understanding your rights, filing legal paperwork and working with insurance companies can be confusing and overwhelming. Pennsylvania auto accident law is complex, so having an experienced accident lawyer on your side to help navigate the legal process and fight for your rights is beneficial.
As one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Central Pennsylvania, the accident lawyers at Dale E. Anstine have decades of experience and have worked on cases of all sizes and complexities. We understand accidents do not always happen during normal business hours, which is why we offer our clients 24/7 free consultations. We also do not collect attorney’s fees unless we reach a settlement for you. At Dale E. Anstine, our clients are treated with the personal attention they deserve. If you are looking for an auto accident attorney in the York, Gettysburg or Hanover area who will understand your case and listen to your needs, connect with us today!
Tort allows individuals involved in an auto accident to sue for damages. In Pennsylvania, individuals have the choice between full tort and limited tort on their auto insurance policies. Understanding full vs. limited tort is critical when selecting or renewing automobile insurance as it can significantly impact your ability to seek compensation if involved in an auto accident. In Pennsylvania, full tort coverage reserves your right to sue for all damages, including non-medical expenses, lost wages and what is commonly called pain and suffering in a personal injury claim. On the other hand, with limited tort coverage, more distinctions come into play and you waive your right to compensation for pain and suffering unless you meet the legal definition of serious injury.
For more information about full vs. limited tort, including the legal definition of a serious injury and which is recommended, check out our Understanding Full and Limited Tort Coverage blog.
If you are interested in learning more about auto accidents and your rights to compensation, check out the following blogs or reach out to our experienced car accident lawyers today!
- How To: Handle Your Teens First Car Accident
- Work Vehicle Accidents 101
- Deer-Related Vehicle Accidents 101
- Hit-and-Run Accidents 101
- Understanding No-Fault Insurance
** #1 Personal Injury Firm designation according to 2020 Susquehanna Style Who’s Who in York Business Ranking.