Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws & Resources
What's In This Article
We’re about to tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more if you were in a car accident in Pennsylvania. You’ll learn what you need to do after your accident and what the average settlement is for a car accident Pennsylvania.
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Pennsylvania Choice No-Fault Car Insurance Rule
This is the key to understanding how car accident settlements in Pennsylvania work. The choice no fault insurance rule basically says that no matter what the first thing to do after an accident you should reach out to your insurance and go through them. It is very rare that the other driver can be held liable for an accident. The only way is if you have a “serious injury”. This is defined as broken bones at a minimum and typically needs to be much more severe.
How Long Do I Have To File A Lawsuit After My Car Accident?
After you’ve regained your composure after your car accident, you will want to reach out to a lawyer. In Pennsylvania statute of limitations is a bit different. It states that you have 2 years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury as well as 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for property damages. These time frames only effect court cases
The one exception to this is if your accident involved any type of government vehicle. In this case the laws are different but you will need to file quickly in this case, often within 90 days of your accident.
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Pennsylvania Accident Settlement Taxes
If you receive a personal injury settlement, you will probably want to know if you need to pay state or federal taxes on it. In some cases, yes, you might need to do so.
For the most part, the compensation in a personal injury settlement in Pennsylvania is not taxable, as long as the case is based upon a physical illness or injury. This will include damages for pain and suffering and medical bills, if it is related to a physical ailment. However, your settlement could be taxable in these cases:
- Lost earnings: If you receive compensation for wages that you lost due to injury, this could be taxable at the state and federal levels.
- Pain and suffering in a wrongful death case: These are always taxable to the estate at the state and federal levels.
- Emotional trauma: If you receive money ONLY for emotional and not physical damages, this is taxable.
- Punitive damages: These damages are intended to punish the defendant and are always taxable at both levels.
- If your settlement is confidential it may also be taxable.
If you have some part of your settlement that is taxable by the state of Pennsylvania or the US government, you will need to set that aside as the insurance company or whoever paid you will not do it for you. If you have any questions, make sure you talk to a tax advisor in Pennsylvania.
Comparative Fault Rules In Pennsylvania
If you’ve been hurt in an accident Pennsylvania, the law determining your compensation takes into account what percentage at fault you are in the accident to determine the amount you will receive in your settlement. Let’s look at an example:
Let’s assume you are in a car accident in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia and the total damages(missed work, property damage, medical bills) add up to $100,000. The jury determines that you are 10% at fault for the accident. You would then receive $90,000, 10% less than the $100,000 based on your fault percentage.
If you have any questions that you are looking for further details, please visit Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation website here.
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