Auto Accident Summary
There are three commonly asked questions after a car accident. Who will pay my medical bills? How will my car get fixed? What if I lost time from work, will I be able to get lost wages? Below is information which may answer these questions. However, every case is unique and while this summary may provide you some answers, you should contact an experience attorney or please call us at the Malee Law Firm, P.C. for a no cost consultation at (570) 321-6112.
Who will pay my medical bills?
In Pennsylvania, every car insurance policy must provide a state minimum of $5000.00 for first party medical benefits. This means that if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident the vehicle you were travelling in will pay at least the first $5000.00 of your medical treatment. Even if you were just a passenger in the car the coverage on the vehicle will provide those benefits. It may not sound like much, but that $5000.00 goes a long way because the insurance will get billing discounts you would not.
After the bills exceed the auto insurance, your health insurance will begin to pay the medical bills. Unfortunately, if you are one of the millions of Americans who do not have health insurance, the doctors or hospital may bill you directly. When this is the case, we are often able to work with the doctors and hospitals to delay collection of those bills until the conclusion of your case. Also, we will investigate whether you qualify for any other benefits through the state or charities.
Who will pay to have my car fixed?
The insurance for the person who caused the accident is responsible to provide for repairs or the value of vehicle. They may also agree to provide you a rental vehicle until they make you an offer. That being said you can occasionally get a better offer from your own insurance if you have collision coverage. In those cases the your insurance will seek reimbursement from the other company.
What if I am off work, who will pay my wages?
While medical benefits are mandatory in Pennsylvania while purchasing car insurance, wage loss benefits are not. If you are unable to work after being injured in an accident and you purchased wage loss benefits, your own insurance will pay up to 80% of your wage loss. However, if you did not purchase wage coverage the other driver is responsible for your wage loss but no payment will be made until the conclusion of your case. We highly recommend when purchasing auto insurance you select wage loss coverage.
Beside my wage and medical bills, am I entitled to anything else? Who will compensate me for my injuries?
If you are injured in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to future medical costs, loss of earning capacity, and what is commonly called pain and suffering. The amount of future medical costs and loss of earning capacity are based upon expert opinions which provide a reasonable estimate of how your injury will affect you in the future. Pain and suffering on the other hand can mean many things. Pain and suffering can include your actual physical pain but it can also include loss of life’s joys, embarrassment, humiliation just to name a few. Because pain and suffering is an intangible loss, it takes an experienced attorney to place a value on your pain and suffering.
However, your rights may be affected by your tort selection. In Pennsylvania when you are purchasing automobile insurance you are offered a choice between full and limited tort. Often you are told how much cheaper the limited tort option can be, but truth be told choosing the limited tort option will only save you around $100.00 a year. In choosing the limited tort option you give up many of your rights, including your rights to seek pain and suffering in many circumstances. Fortunately, there are a few ways an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you even if you selected the limited tort option. If you have any questions about limited tort please contact us at the Malee Law Firm, (570) 321-6112.
My husband or wife was involved in a car accident, do I have any rights?
Yes of course you do. The financial and emotional toll and auto accident has on a person is not limited to the injured person, but affects the entire family. Being married in Pennsylvania endows you with the right to make a claim with your spouse. That claim is called loss of consortium. It is a claim for all the extra work around the house, the worry and stress and even intimate relations.
Will I have to go to Court to get compensation for my injuries?
While we always prepare as though we are going to Court, most cases settle before trial.
Every vehicle accident and every case are different. The above questions are answered in a very general way and are to provide the reader with very basic information. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, please call us at contact us at the Malee Law Firm, (570) 321-6112, we will be happy to help you.