Determining Fault in an Auto Accident

According to the data, around 1.35 million people die in road crashes each year. The data also reveals that road-related accidents are among the leading causes of death among young people. 

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your health should be your topmost priority, and you should never ignore it. These injuries can lead to substantial medical expenses and may affect your ability to perform activities of daily living. You can recover compensation for these damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Getting compensation for an auto accident is a complicated process. Usually, the most important thing that you should do is determine which party was at fault in the accident. It is essential to discover who is at fault or who is responsible for the accident because if it was not for the other party’s negligence, you would not need to recover compensation for damages. You may be able to recover compensation even if you share some responsibility for the accident but the rules for personal injury compensation in an auto accident vary from state to state.

Fault vs. No-fault states

If you’re from Bucks County, you should note that Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. The primary difference between a fault state and a no-fault state is the legislative scheme that governs whose insurance will pay for certain expenses caused by an accident.

In a no-fault state, your own insurance company will be responsible for most damages and compensation. Regardless of who was responsible for the accident, your own insurance company will pay you for certain damages. There are certain situations in which you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. For example, if you have sustained serious injuries in a bus accident, you can speak with a bus accident lawyer who can help to file a lawsuit.

In a fault (also referred to as “at-fault”) state, the at-fault party will be liable for compensation and damages. In most cases, the negligent person’s insurance company must pay for the damages. Therefore, before you begin the process of seeking compensation, you must check whether the state follows an at-fault or no-fault system. Most states follow an at-fault compensation system; however, there are certain exceptions, and it is useful to know what they are before you initiate the process.

Modified Comparative Fault State

Another thing that you should note is that Pennsylvania is a modified comparative fault state. This means that if you share more than 50% of the responsibility, you won’t be able to recover anything at all. In other words you could receive nothing if you are found to own a greater deal of the fault. You may still recover compensation if you are found to have some fault for the accident, but your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are found to own.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Complaint

You must file the claim within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that establishes a deadline by which certain legal actions must be brought or else they will be denied. Failure to bring a timely claim for compensation means that it could be completely barred and you will not receive anything. 

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the injury. Therefore, you must file the claim or begin the process within that period. If you fail to do so, the court may refuse or deny the claim.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations Deadline.

In limited instances, the statute of limitations can be extended, and you may get a chance to recover compensation. These are some of the exceptions where the deadline may be extended:

  • When the injured person was a minor
  • When the injured person was mentally unstable
  • When the at-fault person left the state


In any of these situations, you may be granted an extension to file the claim and recover compensation.

Insurance Laws in Bucks County

There are two types of insurance policies that you can get in Bucks County. State law requires all registered vehicle owners to carry insurance coverage. If you do not have an insurance plan, you may incur additional penalties. Therefore, you should know about the policy options and their plans.

1. Full Tort – If you buy full tort insurance, you can pursue litigation and seek financial compensation from the other driver. In this case, you can even seek compensation for the pain and suffering resulting from the accident and injuries. There tend to be higher premiums for this insurance coverage.

2. Limited Tort – With this insurance plan, you have limited options to file litigation or seek compensation from the other driver. You will be allowed to do so only in certain limited situations. You may not be able to recover compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, with this plan. This plan tends to require lower premiums for insurance coverage.

You should pay attention to the plan you are buying because a limited plan limits your options to file litigation and seek compensation through the court. It will also limit the rights of family members who are covered under the policy.

Why Should You Hire an Attorney?

Personal injury lawyers have a better understanding of the laws governing accident cases and insurance. It is important to consult an attorney if you believe you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Get in touch with a reputable car accident lawyer to start the process.

The insurance process is complicated, requiring several confusing forms and an abundance of supporting documentation. Lawyers will ensure that everything is done timely and correctly. You can focus on your health and rely on your lawyer to handle the legal process.

We encourage you to look for an attorney who has the expertise that you need for your specific circumstances. Look for experienced accident attorneys near you and discuss your concerns with them. Ask them about their past cases and if they have handled similar cases or not.

It will give you a better idea if the attorney will be able to handle the case or not. Also consider their fee structure before hiring them. We are confident your research will bring you back to us. Contact our office today.

 

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