Getting injured and suffering property damage in a car accident caused by someone else is overwhelming. Recovering from one’s injuries requires not only time, but also money and if one has to take time off from work due to injuries and lose wages, it puts the crunch on in an already stressful time. This is why many car accident victims chose to pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent driver who caused the accident. But, in Pennsylvania, the unique rules surrounding car insurance laws need to be understood so one can know what they can sue for.
Most states are either fault states — the driver at fault is held legally responsible for the damages — or no fault states — each party goes to their insurers to collect payment regardless of fault. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that has a choice no fault system. This means people can opt in or out of the fault rules when you are buying car insurance, not after an accident takes place.
Drivers who opt into the traditional system, which is of fault, then have all options available to them, including suing the driver who was at fault to recover economic and noneconomic damages. However, drivers who choose this option then open themselves up to getting sued as well. Those who opt for the no-fault system then cannot recover from the other driver and are immune from getting sued as well, unless there was a serious injury. Serious injuries include impairment of a body function or permanent disfigurement — in these instances a lawsuit can be pursued, even if the drivers have opted out of fault systems.
Financial recovery after a car crash from the driver at fault can therefore become complicated in the state, but it does not become impossible. An experienced attorney can pursue a case from the relevant party and get the compensation an accident victim needs to cover their medical and property related expenses.