Unsure of what to do after a crash outside of Pennsylvania?
Schmidt Kramer answers some of the most frequently asked questions about these types of crashes, as these accidents are more common than you may think. It is important to be informed before your next road trip out of the state, so you will know what to do.
If you have questions after a car crash, do not hesitate to contact us to learn how we may be able to help. For more than three decades, we have been helping crash victims secure compensation to help them move forward.
Does My Insurance Policy Still Apply?
The answer is most likely yes. By and large, auto insurance policies apply in all 50 states and U.S. territories and may even apply in some Canadian provinces. You would need to check your policy to be sure, but your policy likely covers you on any road trips around the nation.
If you drive to Mexico or South America, your policy might not cover you. However, this would all depend on the specific terms of your policy.
Is My Claim Governed by Pennsylvania Law or the Law of the State Where the Crash Happened?
In most cases, the laws of the state where the crash happened will apply. It can be difficult to prove the laws of your home state should apply. However, this is an issue you should discuss with a licensed attorney.
Can I Still Use My Personal Injury Protection Policy?
You may be able to file a claim against your personal injury protection (PIP) policy, just as you would if the crash happened in your home state. This may depend on the terms of your insurance policy and other factors.
It is important not to take your insurance company’s word for it about coverage, as they have an incentive to mislead you. Insurance companies are always looking to save money by denying or underpaying claims.
If your damages exceed your PIP limits, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
What if I am Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Sometimes victims are partially responsible for a crash. The other driver still bears most of the fault, but the victim may be 10 or 20 percent responsible, or potentially more responsible.
In these situations, comparative fault laws apply. However, Pennsylvania’s comparative fault laws may be different from other states.
For example, in Maryland, you cannot recover any compensation if you are even one percent at fault for an accident. (Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia are the other states that have this system.) However, in New York, you can be 99 percent at fault and still pursue compensation. In New Jersey, you cannot seek compensation if you are more at fault than the other driver.
In states where you can still recover compensation if you are partially at fault, your compensation award is likely to be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Can I File a Lawsuit Over My Injuries?
Unlike some no-fault states, Pennsylvania allows you to file a lawsuit after a car accident, and it does not impose strict limitations on when you can file a lawsuit. However, if your crash occurs in Florida, you cannot file a lawsuit unless you suffer certain kinds of injuries. Minnesota also has strict limitations on when you can file a lawsuit after a car crash.
If you are eligible to file a lawsuit, it will likely be governed by the statute of limitations in the state where the crash happened.
Most car crash claims are resolved through insurance settlements. However, you never know when it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. That means you need to be ready, and you should get the claims process started as soon as possible. The clock on the statute of limitations begins to run once the crash happens. Once the clock runs out, you may be out of options for seeking compensation.
What Should I Do After the Crash to Preserve My Claim?
Even though you are in a different state, the claims process should proceed much like it would if you were in your home state. If possible, collect evidence at the scene and make sure to get to the hospital right away to get treatment for your injuries. Seeking treatment right away helps to build a strong connection between your injuries and the crash.
Do not simply exchange information with the other driver. Call 9-1-1 so the police will come to the scene and complete a report. If you only exchange information and act like this is not a big deal, the insurance company will surely use this against you as a reason to deny or devalue your claim.
You can discuss other steps to take after a crash with an experienced lawyer at our firm.
Call Today to Learn How Schmidt Kramer Can Help
You need experienced legal assistance after a car wreck because you cannot count on the insurance companies to take care of you. They are looking for ways to hold onto as much money as possible by denying or undervaluing your claim.
The Harrisburg car crash lawyers at our firm have been managing these cases for decades and have a proven track record of securing fair compensation.
An initial consultation is free and if we validate your claim and you hire us you will not be charged any upfront fees.
Call today to learn more. We are here to help. (717) 727-2669