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When someone is injured in an auto accident they unexpectedly are forced to deal with costly medical expenses. Most people do not have extra money floating around ready to use in the event that a major accident happens which poses many challenges for those injured and their families.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault car insurance state which means that in the event an accident occurs, an injured person's own insurance company will provide coverage for their medical expenses and lost income, no matter who was at fault for the accident.
Most minor accidents will fall under the no-fault category but you may be able to file a liability claim against the driver at fault if you can show that your case involves serious injuries.
The attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Offices represent clients in a wide variety of personal injury claims including DUI accident injuries, motorcycle accidents, accident passenger injuries, dog attacks and medical malpractice claims for medical expenses.
Call the Ciccarelli Law Offices today at (610) 719-3190 for a free and confidential consultation. We have offices in West Chester, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Springfield, Plymouth meeting, Kenneth Square and Radnor Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, all drivers and pedestrians regardless if they are at-fault or not may receive at least $5,000 from their own automobile insurance to cover their medical expenses as required by law. This portion of your insurance coverage is called First-Party Medical Benefits, also known as Personal Injury Protection coverage.
A driver who suffers serious injuries, however, will quickly exhaust the $5,000 of medical coverage. This is often the case when an injured victim has to have immediate surgery due to the accident or they have an extended hospital stay, which can easily cost thousands of dollars.
When the available First-Party Medical Benefits are exhausted, your medical bills should be submitted to your private health insurance for payment. If you have no private health insurance, those bills are your personal responsibility.
For cases where payments for medical expenses exceed $5,000 but have not been paid by another source, damages can be awarded for the amount of all medical services performed in determining the extent of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, except the amount paid for by plaintiff’s insurance company.
When medical expenses have not exceeded $5,000 yet but may exceed $5,000 in the future, the plaintiff’s physician may be able to testify that the plaintiff will require medical services in the future which will exceed $5,000. If such medical expenses are a direct result of the injuries claimed, an award may be given to cover future medical expenses.
Drivers in Pennsylvania have the option to choose no-fault or traditional auto insurance. If you or your spouse is covered by a no-fault policy, or if you were the passenger in a car driven by someone covered by a no-fault policy, then that policy will be responsible for paying your medical bills after a Pennsylvania traffic accident.
If you are instead covered by traditional insurance, you will have the option to sue the driver whose negligence caused your injury. That driver or his insurance company will be responsible for paying medical bills incurred by you and by other passengers in your car. In some cases where serious injuries are involved, even drivers covered by no-fault insurance can sue for a financial recovery from a negligent driver.
In some instances, the person you are filing a claim against will try to argue that you are to blame for the accident that caused your injuries. If you share some degree of liability, it may affect the total amount of compensation you can receive from the other party.
The state of Pennsylvania follows a “modified comparative negligence rule” which means that the amount of compensation one is entitled to receive will be reduced by an amount that is equal to their percentage of fault. If they are found to be more than 50 percent at fault then they can’t collect anything from the other party.
All states have to abide by the statute of limitations which is a time period that one has to bring forth a legal action. In Pennsylvania, the general rule for a personal injury case is that it must be filed within 2 years of when the accident/incident occurred. Once this specific amount of time passes, a claim may no longer be filed.
If the at-fault party is a government agency, a claim must be filed within 6 months. The first thing to do after an incident is to seek medical attention because your health is a primary concern. Once you have been stabilized, you should contact our personal injury attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices before speaking with anyone about the accident.
American Bar: Medical Expenses- View this page of the American Bar Association to see the requirements for recovery of compensation for medical expenses. Including medical monitoring and local customs and practices regarding defendant/plaintiff negotiation procedures.
§ 3742- Visit the website of Pennsylvania’s legislature and search section 3742 which discusses the laws of the state for accidents resulting in injury or death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident it is very important to contact the Ciccarelli Law Offices. Our attorneys have represented injured victims and their families for many years throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and can help you receive damages for medical expenses.
Getting into an accident at the fault of another party is no fun and for your convenience, we have offices located in West Chester, Radnor, Plymouth Square, Malvern, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, and Kennett Square. Call the Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 719-3190 for a free consultation today.
This page was last updated on January 17, 2017