Car Accident Lawyers
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania saw more than 125,000 reportable traffic crashes in 2013. That averages out to approximately 1 out of every 100 Pennsylvania residents being involved in an auto accident of some sort. Many of these accidents take place in the greater Philadelphia area which includes Montgomery County, PA. In addition, these accident are in many forms such as rear end collisions, head-on collisions, drunk driving accidents and commercial vehicle accidents.
When you are involved in an automotive accident in the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania area, which includes Ambler, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Pottstown and Norristown, it is critical to secure legal assistance right away. This will help you to avoid major consequences such as forfeiting your rights to medical benefits and financial compensation you are entitled to due to the accident. Even if you feel that you may have been partially at fault in an accident, using the help of an attorney can uncover critical information that will help you in your case. I am Norristown, PA Car Accident Attorney James V. Monaghan and I am here to help you get the benefits and compensation you deserve after an accident. Contact my law firm for a free consultation by dialing (610) 275-5800.
Types Of Auto Accidents I Handle
Over the course of my legal career I have handled all types of car, motorcycle and commercial vehicle accidents including, but not limited to:
Head on collisions
Side impact accidents
Single vehicle accidents
Single motorcycle accidents
Coping With Repercussions Of Auto Accidents
Naturally, car and truck accidents are not the only kind of accidents that might befall you in Pennsylvania. Each year there are also numerous accidents involving boats, all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and recreational vehicles (RVs) in the Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia County areas.
Following a car accident in the Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Doylestown, Kennett Square or Media, PA areas the first thing you should do is to seek appropriate medical attention. This is true even if you feel fine right after the accident.
From there you should do is contact a lawyer. As your attorney it is my duty to direct you on the kinds of information that you may need to gather or the kind of statement you should prepare. I will also “take point” in your communication with the authorities, insurance organizations, and others who might be involved.
What if you are not able to contact an attorney right away? If this is the case, due to hospitalization or other life changing events, there are still several steps that you can take that might be helpful. Generally speaking, it does not benefit you to make official statements to the police or others until you have consulted a lawyer, but there are some important things that you can work on right away:
1. See A Medical Care And Diagnose Any Injuries
The majority of Montgomery County auto accidents result in injuries. These injuries can be deemed minor, moderate and catastrophic. Regardless, they all have the potential to impact your health, week being and ability to enjoy a normal life for years to come. It is not always immediately evident which kind of injury you may have sustained: For example, a simple back ache may indicate a long term problem that has been created or made worse by the accident. To establish an appropriate amount in the event you seek damages from another party, you should see a doctor right away.
2. Develop A Written Statement Of Your Recollection Of Event
In a serious and life changing event such as a car accident, your memory of the event can degrade with surprising speed. That being the case, you should write down a statement of what you remember. This statement does not need to be shared with anyone else except your attorney. In fact, it should not. It will help you to remain confident of your version of events and be able to explain what happened at court. It will also protect you from accidentally making contradictory statements, or simply forgetting details due to the stress of the event.
3. Help To Establish That You Are A Safe Driver
Establishing liability in an auto accident is one of the most important tasks I will perform on your behalf. It is also one of the more complex tasks of handling motor vehicle accident claims, especially when more than one person and or vehicle is involved in the accident. If I am able to prove that you were exercising caution while driving, and not texting and driving or talking on the phone while driving, the better your chances of getting the maximum benefits and compensation you are entitled to. It is important to remember that the liable parties insurance carrier will begin to protect themselves right away. You should do the same.
Car Accidents At The Mall, Supermarket Or Grocery Store
A common misconception is that all serious auto accidents in Pennsylvania take place on open roads, highways or interstates. That is not at all the case as many accidents occur in parking lots, parking garages, etc. While many of these are comparatively tame “fender benders,” they can still result in small claims cases that can cost you money and impact your health.
Likewise, experts have indicated that a collision at very low speeds, even as low as five miles per hour, can result in whiplash and other injuries to the sensitive structures of the back and neck. Smaller accidents should still be treated in a very serious manner. To ensure that you are more protected from accidents, be very careful in parking areas at night. Make sure that your lights are in good working order and that you use signals at all times.
Handling Injuries Caused By An Auto Accident
If an automotive accident causes you to sustain an injury that might prevent you from working, then your damages may also include a portion of your lost wages, up to 100%. Because of this, you should advise your attorney about your working arrangements and also gather information that will substantiate how much you make in a given year. Remember, your legal rights are not negotiable!
Dealing With the Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident
You should take certain steps to make sure you receive a satisfactory auto accident settlement from an insurance company, and you should avoid pitfalls that could jeopardize your claim. Below are the major “dos” and “don’ts” of Pennsylvania car accident insurance claims.
What to Do During a Car Accident Insurance Claim
- DO read your insurance policy as soon as you receive it, or as soon as you can after an accident. If you know what your policy covers, you put yourself in a better position to receive a fair settlement that covers all the losses for which the car insurance company is responsible.
- DO be certain to confirm that you have selected the Full Tort Option.
- DO contact your own insurance carrier as soon as possible after the accident or injury.
- DO respond promptly and honestly to any insurance company’s requests for information. Delaying or denying information may be seen as grounds for refusing your claim.
- DO gather as many details as you can about the accident. For example, taking pictures of any property or vehicle damage and collecting the contact information of witnesses to the accident can be invaluable in car accident settlement negotiation. Also, get the insurance information of any other person or vehicle involved in the accident.
- DO keep records of every communication you have with any insurance company, officer, or agent involved in the claim. Also, keep records of every communication with any other person involved in the claim. Each time you communicate with any of these parties, write down the date and time and summarize the communication. Keep backup copies of all written communication, like letters or emails.
- DO save receipts and bills for all expenses related to your claim. These include bills and receipts for repair work on a damaged vehicle or other property, medical treatment for your injuries, and other losses. If you’re not sure whether an expense is related to your claim, save the receipt or bill just in case.
- DO review your other insurance policies to see if they cover the specific accident you were involved in. Some examples include homeowner’s insurance, workers’ compensation, or disability insurance.
What Not to Do During a Car Accident Insurance Claim
- DON’T volunteer information to police officers, others involved in the accident, or insurance company agents. Answer questions honestly, but stick to the facts, and never speculate.
- DON’T limit your rights by selecting the Limited Tort Option.
- DON’T admit liability, even if you believe you were at fault for the accident. Fault in a Pennsylvania car, motorcycle or trucking accident is affected by many different factors. If you admit fault, you may jeopardize your chances at a full and fair insurance settlement even if your behavior was not actually the cause of the accident.
- DON’T give any information in writing to your insurance company or any other insurance company before you have had a chance to review your policy, or while you still have questions about your policy or your claim.
- DON’T assume your insurance agent has the last word, especially when it comes to estimating the value of your claim. Do seek an injury attorney’s help to estimate the value of your auto accident claim.
- DON’T sign a release or waiver of any kind. If you’ve been asked to sign a document and you aren’t sure if it contains a release or waiver, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for help.
- DON’T accept any payment as a full and final payment unless you are certain that the amount fairly compensates you for your losses. This is most easily accomplished by retaining a car accident attorney handling auto accident claims throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.
How A Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
You will have many issues to deal with after being the victim of an auto accident. These can range from an inability to work, earn a living, health and medical issues and financial instability related to missing time at work and mounting medical bills. Rather than go through this alone please call me, Pottstown Car Accident Attorney James V. Monaghan to discuss how I can help you through this trying time. Dial (610) 275-5800for a free consultation.