Who pays for my damages after a crash?
An experienced car accident lawyer discusses how compensation is paid after a crash.
Nobody can predict when they will be hit by a negligent or reckless driver. Crashes often come without warning, and some are life-changing. Sometimes, crash victims are rushed to the nearest hospital where they undergo invasive medical procedures and ensure long recoveries. Those who are fortunate enough to walk away from a crash still sustain injuries that can last for several months. Common crash-related injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck, back and spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and contusions
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
Crashes are also financially devastating for many people. You may be faced with a heap of medical expenses that you can't afford to pay. In addition, you may be out of work for several months while you recover from your injuries. The good news is, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your losses. The bad news is, pursuing a successful car accident case is often a confusing and frustrating ordeal. That's why it's critical that you speak to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash. Your attorney can investigate your crash, gather evidence to support your case, and fight for maximum compensation.
Who is responsible for paying for my damages?
The short answer to this question is: the insurance companies are responsible for paying for your damages. However, insurance companies often care more about saving money than they do about compensating you. If you're not aware of your rights as a crash victim, the insurance companies may try to take advantage of you. Here is how car accident compensation works:
- At-fault states: West Virginia and Ohio are both at-fault insurance states. This means that you must prove that the other driver's negligence caused your injuries. This is often proven through an in-depth investigation conducted by your attorney. Your attorney may review the other driver's cellphone records; surveillance and dashcam video footage; statements from witnesses; the police report; and evidence collected from the crash scene to help you build a strong case. Your car accident lawyer will then negotiate for a fair settlement with the other driver's insurance company. If a settlement can't be reached, your case will go to trial where your attorney will litigate your case for a judgment or verdict.
- No-fault states: Pennsylvania is a "choice no-fault" insurance state. This means that you can be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages from your own insurance company regardless of who was at fault, if you opted for no-fault coverage. Pennsylvania drivers are required to purchase minimum personal injury protection coverage of $5,000 in medical benefits, $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, and $5,000 in property damage. If the damage from your crash exceeds your policy limit, you may pursue additional compensation from the other driver's insurance company by proving that negligence occurred.
Contact a car accident lawyer for help with your claim
Recht Law Offices represents injured motorists in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Our legal team has been helping crash victims get the compensation they deserve for more than half a century. We are committed to taking on stubborn insurance companies, holding negligent drivers accountable, and helping our clients recover every dollar they're entitled to receive in damages.
To get started on your claim, simply contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation.