Harrisburg Car Accident Lawyer
Helping You Fight For Compensation After Serious Car Injuries
If you ever get in an auto accident in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the laws allow you to file a personal injury lawsuit to claim the compensation you deserve and need.
Just like any other state, Pennsylvania auto accident laws cover all kinds of car accidents. These auto accident laws come from both the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Courts. That said, there are some statutes that may play a part in your individual case. Therefore, it can be valuable for you to know a little bit about the auto accident laws that may commonly impact your personal injury claim after a car accident.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents
The Pennsylvania statute of limitations impacts every auto accident claim within the state. It dictates when a victim can file the lawsuit and puts time constraints on filing a personal injury claim for motor vehicle accidents.
Under the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, if you suffered injuries and other property damage due to a car accident, you can initiate a lawsuit within two years of the accident. If you try to file afterward, the Judge will likely dismiss your case.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws
Auto accident cases fall under a broad umbrella of personal injury lawsuits. Judges have come up with different rules over the years to handle these cases.
Judges have also come up with legal doctrines to resolve issues presented in their court. Over time, the legal system created rules based on these individual decisions to create modern auto accident laws.
Some of the most basic rules for auto accident lawsuits in Pennsylvania require the victim of an accident to prove four things:
- Every Motorist has a responsibility to others while on the road called a duty of care (in a motor vehicle accident case, this duty is to drive carefully and not cause an accident);
- The Defendant breached that duty of care (in a motor vehicle accident case, the Defendant breached the duty of care by not driving safely and causing the accident);
- The Defendant’s breach of duty caused the injury the Plaintiff suffered; and
- The Plaintiff (the one who started the lawsuit) suffered damages that deserve compensation.
If you are thinking about filing an auto accident personal injury lawsuit, you must focus on satisfying the above-mentioned requirements. If you fail to prove any one of them, you will lose the case. Our Harrisburg car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter can help you gather all evidence, strengthen your claim, and get you the compensation you deserve for your damages.
Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Insurance Rules
Pennsylvania uses a “no-fault” system for auto accident lawsuits of a smaller, less-severe nature.
According to the no-fault provision in the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL), drivers can opt to choose an insurance policy that either applies regular or no-fault rules. Those that choose a policy with no-fault regulations have “limited tort coverage” policies.
This type of insurance policy allows only the policy owner to receive compensation from their own insurance company. If you have this type of policy, you cannot recover any non-economic damages arising from the car crash unless you suffer a serious injury. Non-economic damages include things like pain, emotional anguish, humiliation, or loss of enjoyment.
Drivers that choose regular fault rules policies have “full tort coverage” policies. This means they can file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. If you have a full tort coverage policy, you can even demand compensation for any non-economic damages such as your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Let the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter help you build a strong case.
Comparative Fault Laws in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s comparative fault law can impact your personal injury lawsuit if you are about to file a claim for compensation for your injuries due to an auto accident.
This set of laws dictates the compensation you can recover in a car accident, especially if you were partially at fault for causing the crash. These laws may also determine whether you are eligible to get any compensation at all.
The good news is that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania uses a modified version of the law of fault, also known as “modified comparative negligence.”
This law is located at 42. Pa. C.S.A. § 7102. It allows you to receive compensation from the other driver if they were far more responsible than you in causing an auto accident. However, this will reduce the total financial compensation you can receive depending on your percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if the jury found you were 40% at fault for the motor vehicle accident, the Defendant 60% at fault, and your damages were $100,000, you would receive $60,000.
Our Harrisburg car accident lawyers can help you file a strong auto accident personal injury lawsuit to receive the rightful compensation you deserve and need.
Negligence Per Se and Traffic Code in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Traffic Code states the rules that every driver must follow. Suppose you were in an auto accident caused by another driver, who had violated the traffic rules. You can use the violation as evidence against them when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
This legal doctrine is also known as “negligence per se”. The primary ideology behind this doctrine is to establish that it is always negligent to break any traffic rules. If any driver breaks these rules, the law would consider this as an act of negligence.
This is an efficient method to determine which driver was at fault for causing a car accident. Our experienced Harrisburg car accident attorneys can help you gather evidence to solidify your claim when another driver’s negligence caused injury and damage to you and your property.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
- Leaving the scene: If you flee the scene of an accident without waiting for authorities, then you will be subject to penalties based on the damages done. The police report can also be utilized in a personal injury lawsuit against you.
- Fail to Obtain Evidence: It's important to take as many photos as you can of the damages. This will be sufficient proof of your innocence if proper photos are taken.
- Admitting Fault: This is where having an experienced attorney is helpful. In the moment of an accident, sometimes it's impossible to gain a clear picture of what really happened.
- Not Seeing a Medical Professional: Any injuries sustained from the accident can be used in a court of law for damages sustained.
- Failure to Review the Police Report: Even law enforcement make mistakes, it's important to review all the facts before signing your name.
- Attempting to Settle Your Own Case: Even in accidents that are minor, personal injury victims that have legal representation have a better chance at winning higher settlements.
Let Our Harrisburg Car Accident Attorney Fight For You
An auto accident can be a complex affair, and it can impact personal injury lawsuits stemming from injuries and damages in a car accident. However, many other laws may affect your case and reduce your compensation.
The experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter can represent you from the beginning to ensure that you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Contact us and schedule a confidential consultation with one of our Harrisburg car accident lawyer today.
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