Car accidents are the number one or two causes of death in the United States for persons between the ages of 5-65 according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Car accidents caused Americans to spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year and, $18 billion in lifetime medical costs, and $33 billion in lifetime lost work according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Automobile accident insurance premiums are in excess of $200 billion per year.
COMMON TYPES OF CAR ACCIDENTS
The most common types of car accidents involve rear-end collisions; failure to yield the right-of-way while making a left hand turn in front of oncoming traffic. There can be rollovers; head-on collisions; intersection crashes involving red light and stop sign violations; mistakes in changing lanes; drunk drivers; impaired drivers and distracted drivers. Many of these accidents occur in parking lots and garages.
Car accidents range from multi-car crashes; two car crashes; one car crashes; car hits bicyclist; car hits pedestrian, ATV crashes; and even car hits horse and carriage. Motorcycle accidents and tractor trailer caused accidents can lead to very serious injuries.
A car accident lawyer can evaluate and identify the person or entities responsible for your injury. It could be an uninsured driver, a hit and run vehicle or an unidentified automobile that forced you off of the road without contact. There may be municipal or United States governmental agency automobiles responsible for your injuries. There can be issues with the roadway, shoulder drop-off, construction zone problems, and obstructions to visibility from foliage or large trees. A drunk driver was served while visibly intoxicated in a licensed establishment and there may be a dram shop action available.
AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT CAR INSURANCE
Your automobile insurance policy must be reviewed to determine your selection of Full Tort or Limited Tort. Having Limited Tort may prevent you from having a claim but there are several exceptions. Your selection of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may be important in the event that the motor vehicle that caused your accident is uninsured or only insured for minimal limits.
Your selection of adequate medical payments coverage may affect the amount of a settlement that you can receive. In the event of large medical bills, you may be subject to a subrogation claim from Medicare, Medicaid, Workers’ Compensation, Veterans’ Administration, an ERISA plan or an HMO. Subrogation means that you may have to reimburse the plan for any benefits you received out of any settlement.
In Pennsylvania the good news is that you can buy adequate insurance coverage to protect your family. The bad news is that many persons either do not understand their automobile accident insurance policy or do not pay a small amount more for adequate coverage.
See my first Blog post for information on recommended minimum automobile insurance coverage.
AFTER THE ACCIDENT
Stop, render any necessary aid, exchange information and seek immediate medical attention. Call your attorney before you talk to the other person’s insurance adjustor. Do not let the other driver’s insurance representative take a statement from you, come to your house or have you sign authorizations. Do not sign a Release because that will end your case. Avoid posting anything on social media because it will be monitored by insurance adjusters and their attorneys. Anything you say or post will be used against you. Get an Application for Benefits from your auto insurance company. They pay your medical bills.
If the accident was not your fault and you suffered an injury that affected your enjoyment of life, you may be entitled to a significant settlement. There are many issues that arise in these types of cases.