Pennsylvania Car Accident Settlement Claim Guide
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.
Pennsylvania is a state that loves to drive. But with over 10,000 car accidents in Montgomery County alone in 2022, it’s also a state where car accidents are all too common. While no amount of money can compensate for the suffering caused by an accident, seeking compensation through Pennsylvania car accident settlements may help victims of car accidents and their families rebuild after such a traumatic experience.
- How Much Is Your Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
- How Much Is My Car Accident Settlement Worth?
What To Do After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania To Ensure Maximum Compensation
- Stay calm and assess the situation. If you can, leave your car and check on the other driver(s) involved in the accident. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). Get their name, contact information, insurance information, and license plate number.
- Take pictures of the car accident scene. This includes the damage to your car, the other cars involved, and the surrounding area.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is important. This is because some injuries, such as concussions, may not appear immediately. Seeing a doctor will help document your injuries and ensure you receive medical care.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. This is important, even if you don’t need to file a claim.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws & Resources
In Pennsylvania, there are specific laws regarding car accidents that drivers should know.
No-Fault Car Insurance Rule
- Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault insurance system, you must have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on your car insurance policy. PIP covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
- If you’re injured in a car accident, you’ll file a claim with your own insurance company, even if the other driver was at fault. Your insurance company will pay for your PIP benefits up to the limits of your policy.
- If your injuries are serious enough, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver. However, you’ll need to prove that the other driver was at least 51% at fault for the accident.
What Qualifies As a Serious Injury?
To meet the serious injury threshold, your injuries must cause a significant and permanent loss of use of a body part or organ. Some examples of car accident injuries that meet the serious injury threshold include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of hearing
- Broken bones
- Burns and scars
- Herniated/protruding discs
How Long Do I Have to File a Pennsylvania Car Accident Claim?
After a car accident, you have two years to sue for personal injury or property damage in Pennsylvania. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your right to compensation.
There is one exception to the statute of limitations for car accidents in Pennsylvania. If your accident involved a government vehicle, you have only 90 days to sue.
Comparative Fault Rules In Pennsylvania
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Pennsylvania, the law determining your compensation considers what percentage of fault you have in the accident to determine the amount you will receive in your settlement. Let’s look at an example:
Suppose 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 you are 10% at fault for the accident. Based on your fault percentage, you would then receive $90,000, 10% less than the $100,000.
If you have any questions about further details, please visit Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation website here.
What’s The Average Settlement For A Car Accident In Pennsylvania?
The average settlement for a car accident in Pennsylvania is $25,000, but this number can vary widely. For example, a settlement for a minor injury with no property damage may be as low as $5,000, while a serious injury with extensive property damage may be as high as $1 million.
There are a number of factors that can affect the size of a settlement for a car accident in Pennsylvania, including:
- The severity of the injuries
- The amount of property damage
- The fault of the other driver
- The driver’s insurance coverage
- The willingness of the insurance companies to settle
It is important to note that the average settlement for a car accident in Pennsylvania is just that – an average. Your actual settlement will depend on the specific facts of your case. Car Accident Settlement Calculator.
Pennsylvania Accident Settlement Taxes
If you receive a Pennsylvania car accident settlement, you may want to know if you have to pay taxes on all or part of your car accident settlement. Sometimes, you may need to do so.
Mostly, the compensation in a car accident 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 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 taxable to the estate at the state and federal levels.
- Emotional trauma is taxable if you receive money ONLY for emotional and not physical damages.
- 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 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 questions, make sure you talk to a tax advisor in Pennsylvania.
Resources for Car Accident Victims in Pennsylvania
If you have been injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, many resources are available to help you. These resources can provide information about your legal rights, help you find a lawyer, and connect you with other victims.
Here are some resources available to car accident victims in Pennsylvania:
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) offers a number of resources for car accident victims, including information about the state’s no-fault insurance system and how to file a claim.
- Pennsylvania Insurance Department: The Pennsylvania Insurance Department regulates insurance companies in the state and can help you file a complaint if you are not satisfied with how your claim is handled.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The NHTSA offers several resources for car accident victims, including information about how to stay safe on the road and file a claim with your insurance company.
- Legal Aid of Pennsylvania: Legal Aid of Pennsylvania provides free legal services to low-income Pennsylvanians, including those injured in car accidents.
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