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Can a Lawyer Help Me if I Was a Passenger in a Car Crash?

ambulance stopped by car accidentIf you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you might not understand your rights or know what to do next.

That is why you should consider contacting a Harrisburg car accident attorney. Not only can an attorney inform you of your rights and options for obtaining compensation for your injuries, he or she can also manage every aspect of your insurance claim.

Unlike insurance companies and other parties involved in a car accident claim, a lawyer will be focused exclusively on your best interests.

The experienced attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have compiled a list of the ways we can assist you after being injured in a car accident as a passenger.

1. Reviewing Your Claim in a Free Consultation

When you contact our firm, we will schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation where you can explain what happened and we can determine your legal options. Even if we determine you have a viable claim, you will be under no obligation to pursue it.

2. Determining Your Options for Insurance Compensation

As a passenger, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses by filing an insurance claim against your insurance policy or the driver's insurance policy. If your claim is successful, you should receive compensation up to the limit of the policy.  

We will carefully review both policies to determine which one to file a claim against, considering the limits of both policies and additional coverage on your policy. For example, if you purchased income loss on your car insurance policy you may be able to obtain compensation for lost wages caused by your injury.    

3. Investigating Your Accident

If you decide to file an insurance claim, we will immediately begin a comprehensive investigation to build your case. This could include:

  • Obtaining pictures or video footage of the accident scene
  • Obtaining a copy of the police report
  • Obtaining copies of your medical records
  • Using technology to reconstruct the scene of the accident
  • Advising you of what you can do to help support your claim

4. Dealing with the Insurance Company

Dealing with the insurance company can be confusing and stressful for car accident victims. They are often unsure of what to say and what not to say. Some victims may say something that hurts their claim without even realizing it.

That is why our trusted attorneys are prepared to handle all communication with the insurance company. We have many years of combined experience dealing with insurance companies and know how to defend our clients' rights. We are also aggressive negotiators who will fight for all of the compensation you deserve.

5. Fighting Against Subrogation

If your medical expenses exceed the limits of the insurance policy, you can cover the rest with your health insurance.

However, many private insurers have subrogation rights, which state that policyholders are required to pay back their medical costs if they settle their case.

The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are well-versed in these laws and can fight to try to prevent your health insurance company from taking a portion of your settlement under subrogation.

6. Filing a Lawsuit if Your Insurance Claim is Unsuccessful

If we are unable to obtain the compensation you deserve from an insurance claim, we may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Under Pennsylvania's choice no-fault system, your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit as a car accident passenger depends on the driver's insurance policy (Consolidated Statutes § 1705(b)(2)).

Pennsylvania's system gives drivers the option of purchasing full tort or limited tort insurance policies. If the driver has a full tort policy, passengers who were injured can file a lawsuit regardless of the severity of their injuries.

However, if the driver has a limited tort policy, you are required to pursue compensation from your insurance company. You cannot file a lawsuit unless you suffered a severe injury. This applies even if you have a full tort policy.

Pennsylvania law does not provide a precise definition of a severe injury so you will need an attorney to review your claim to determine if your injury may give you the right to file a lawsuit.

Contact One of Our Harrisburg Personal Injury Attorneys Today

Car accident injuries can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health and your ability to work to support yourself and your family.

Fortunately, the law gives you the option to pursue compensation for the effects of your injury, including medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

One of our trusted Harrisburg personal injury lawyers may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation. We take cases on contingency, so you will not owe legal fees unless you receive compensation.

Schedule a consultation today by calling (717) 888-8888.