Frequently Asked Questions

Determining exactly who pays your medical bills after a car accident occurs can be confusing. If you were at fault for the incident, you may need to rely on your own health insurance to cover the expenses. However, if another driver caused your accident, you will likely be entitled to medical bill compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Securing this compensation could take some time and back and forth negotiation between your auto insurance carrier and the other party’s carrier, so you may need to pay for your medical bills out-of-pocket or rely on your personal health insurance until the payment comes through.

If you are struck by an uninsured driver, check to see if your policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be able to use this to pay for some or all of your medical bills.

It is crucial that you file a car accident claim as soon as possible after the incident occurs. Insurance carriers require that all crashes are reported within a short amount of time, often within a day or two. Failing to file a claim with the insurance carrier quickly could result in your claim being delayed or even denied.

If it becomes necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you need to be aware that there is an overall deadline in these cases. The Pennsylvania personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date the accident occurred. This gives the injury victim a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver.

Anytime you sustain an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another party, you may very likely have a personal injury case. The vast majority of injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, but that is not always true. If an insurance carrier fails to offer adequate compensation or even denies a claim, it may be necessary for an injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit. We strongly suggest that you work with a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney who can review your case and help you determine the best steps forward. Even if you are not sure whether or not you have a case, there is no harm in seeking a free consultation from a skilled attorney.

Pennsylvania is one of a few states in the country that operates with a “no-fault” system for car accidents. However, in Pennsylvania, this is a choice no-fault system where drivers have the ability to choose between full and limited tort concerning insurance.

When a driver chooses limited tort auto insurance (no-fault), then they will turn to their own insurance carrier in the event a crash occurs, regardless of which party caused the incident. This significantly limits the ability to recover compensation from the at-fault party, and the injured victim will not be able to recover any compensation for pain and suffering or other non-economic losses. There are a few exceptions to this that revolve around certain severe injuries or thresholds concerning monetary amounts of medical bills.

When a driver chooses full tort auto insurance, then every accident will be treated on a fault-based system. This means that the driver with full tort will have the ability to pursue a wide range of compensation from an at-fault party, including complete coverage of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, loss of quality of life damages, and more. However, when a driver uses full tort auto insurance, they will not be able to turn to their own insurance for medical bill coverage in the event they caused the incident unless they purchase additional personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

Yes, you absolutely need to let your insurance carrier know when you have been an accident. All insurance carriers have reporting deadlines that you need to abide by. Whether the accident was caused by you or the other driver, your insurance carrier will be involved in the process. Your carrier will handle the negotiations and communications with the other insurance carrier(s) involved in the case. Failing to report a crash to your insurance carrier very soon after the incident occurs could result in your claim being delayed or denied altogether.

If another driver caused your accident, it is very likely that their insurance carrier will offer some sort of settlement soon after the incident occurs. However, it is important to understand that the first settlement offer is likely to be far lower than what you should actually be receiving. Insurance carriers have one goal in mind – to limit the amount of money they pay others in settlement compensation. We strongly encourage you to work with a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney who can analyze the facts of your case, review any settlement offers, and negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you are fully compensated.

Yes, dog bite injury victims can recover compensation even if the dog that bit them has never bitten anybody before. Pennsylvania operates under a strict liability dog bite law, which means that the owner of a dog can be held liable for any medical bills caused by the bite, regardless of whether or not the dog has bitten a person in the past or shown a tendency to be aggressive. So long as the injury victim was in a public place or lawfully in a private location, and as long as they did not provoke the animal, they can recover compensation for their medical bills.

However, the strict liability dog bite law does not make the dog owner responsible for other damages stemming from the incident, including lost wages and pain and suffering. In order to recover additional compensation, the dog bite victim will have to prove that the dog owner knew that the dog had “unmistakably vicious tendencies” and that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to control the dog.

If an uninsured driver caused your accident, there are a few scenarios in which you can recover compensation.

  • If you have limited tort (no-fault) insurance, you will be able to turn to your own insurance carrier to recover compensation.
  • If you have full tort insurance and carry uninsured motorist coverage, you will be able to turn to your own insurance carrier to recover compensation.
  • You may be able to secure compensation from the at-fault party through a personal injury lawsuit. However, most drivers who do not have insurance will not have the financial resources to pay any judgment against them.

Determining fault after a vehicle accident can be complicated. In general, it is strongly recommended that you get a Pittsburgh car accident attorney involved as soon as possible so they can begin gathering and preserving evidence. As an accident victim, gathering evidence can begin at the scene of the crash.

  • Any person who can safely do so and is not severely injured can use a camera to take photographs of everything at the scene. This can include vehicle damage, injuries, debris, traffic and weather conditions, and more.
  • The names and contact information of any eyewitnesses need to be gathered.
  • It is important to take note of any surveillance cameras on nearby buildings that may have caused the incident on their footage.

In addition to evidence gathered at the scene of the crash, an attorney can work to obtain the surveillance footage, if there is any available. An attorney will analyze the police report, and they may hire an accident reconstruction expert who can piece together all the evidence and provide testimony to an insurance carrier or a personal injury jury.

For drivers that use the limited tort insurance system (no-fault insurance), it may not be as crucial to sort through accidents where multiple parties are at fault. That is because those involved will generally turn to their own insurance carrier for coverage. However, for those that use full tort insurance, it will certainly matter if more than one party was at fault.

Pennsylvania operates under a modified comparative negligence system. This means that injury victims can only seek compensation if they are less than 51% at fault for the accident. Any person 51% or more at fault will not be able to recover compensation. For those less than 51% at fault, their compensation will be reduced based on the percentage of fault for the incident.

Contact a personal injury attorney in Pittsburgh

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, contact the attorneys at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman for help today. Our qualified and experienced team has the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into your case, determine liability, and secure the compensation you need. When you need a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 888-988-9467.