Pick a Personal Injury Attorney that Gets Results!
Personal injury lawyers are not all the same. In fact, the lawyer you select may make a huge difference in whether your case is awarded full value. Brent has dedicated his practice to representing victims who have been injured through no fault of their own. He has the skill, knowledge and experience to handle even the most complex car accident injury claim.
Brent has been selected as a Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” from 2013 – 2017. The Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” honor is limited to less than 3 percent of all Pennsylvania lawyers. If you need a car accident attorney in Montgomery County, put a “Super Lawyer” to work for you.
Your time to File a Lawsuit is Limited
Pennsylvania law limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for injuries if you are injured in an auto accident. With minor exception, the Pennsylvania statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of accident. In addition, it is important to start preserving evidence soon after an accident. As time passes, evidence disappears and memories of important accident details may fade. Failure to preserve crucial evidence may make it more difficult to prove your claim at trial. For this reason, it is important that you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible if you are injured in a car accident.
What Does it Mean to be Limited Tort?
Limited tort means that your right to sue for pain and suffering is limited if you are injured in a auto accident. Pennsylvania drivers have the option of selecting “limited tort” or “full tort” automobile insurance. Full Tort coverage is more expensive than limited tort. For this reason, Pennsylvania drivers often select limited tort in order to save money. Most drivers are unaware of the consequences of choosing limited tort until it is too late.
A limited tort driver who is injured in an accident cannot recover compensation for pain and suffering unless they suffer a serious impairment of a bodily function, permanent serious disfigurement or death.
In addition, there are six exceptions to limited tort in which a claimant retains full rights regardless of whether he/she suffered a “serious injury.” The exceptions to limited tort include:
- if person at fault is convicted of drunk or stoned driving, or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
- if persona at fault was operating an out of state vehicles
- if persona at fault was trying to injure or kill themselves or others
- if person at fault was an uninsured motorists
- the claim is against persons in the business of designing, manufacturing, maintaining or repairing motor vehicle (if your claim is for a defective vehicle); or
- if the injured persons is an occupant of a private passenger motor vehicle (such as a bus, motorcycle, taxi or tractor trailer.)
Although selecting limited tort may save you a few bucks on premiums, it may cost you far more if you are injured and cannot get the compensation you need. If you were hurt in an auto accident but selected limited tort insurance, you should always consult with an attorney. Experienced auto accident lawyers can often help limited tort accident victims recover compensation in spite of legal obstacles.
First Party Medical Benefits (PIP)
Pennsylvania law requires that all motor vehicle insurance policies provide for Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” benefits in the amount of $5,000 under coverage known as insurance. This coverage is also known as First Party Benefits. Even though $5,000 is the minimum PIP coverage allowed by law, you can purchase a greater amount of medical coverage. Under the law, PA automobile insurers are required to offer insureds PIP benefits with limits up to at least $100,000.
In Pennsylvania, medical benefits are paid through a system of car insurance without regard to who was at fault for the accident. PIP coverage will pay medical benefits if a person’s injuries arise out of the “maintenance or use” of a motor vehicle. The auto insurer responsible for payment of PIP benefits is regulated by Pennsylvania statute 75 Pa. CS. 1713(a) which sets forth the payment priority. The priority of payment is as follows: First, for a named insured, the policy on which he is the named insured Second, for an insured, the policy covering the insured. Third, for the occupants of an insured motor vehicle, the policy on that motor vehicle. Last, for persons not occupying a motor vehicle (such as pedestrians) the policy on any motor vehicle involved in the accident.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) / Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
The best way to protect yourself against negligent drivers is through the purchase of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
- Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage provides protection if you are injured by an uninsured driver.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage provides protections if the at fault driver does not carry adequate insurance coverage to pay for your damages and injuries.
UM/UIM insurance protects the named insured and family members living in the same household. This coverage offers protection if you become the victim of a hit-and-run accident, are injured in a car accident by an uninsured or underinsured driver or are hit by a car as a pedestrian.
Pennsylvania requires auto insurance carriers to offer UM/UIM coverage; however it is not mandatory for drivers to carry this protection. If a driver chooses not to carry UM/UIM insurance, the carrier must have the insured waive this coverage in writing. If the insurer fails to do so, a driver is deemed to have elected UM/UIM coverage in amounts equal to the bodily injury liability coverage.
Attorney Brent Wieand highly recommends all drivers carry UM/UIM insurance. It has been estimated that almost 7 percent of Pennsylvania drivers are uninsured. In addition, most drivers do not carry adequate insurance in the event an accident causes serious injury or death to another driver. When serious accident happen, auto accidents victim are often uncompensated for some or all of their losses. This is why it is so important to protect yourself against uninsured and underinsured drivers. UM/UIM insurance will cover damages for pain and suffering, hospital bills and lost earnings as well as other losses.
Montgomery County auto accident lawyer, Brent Wieand, recommends that every Pennsylvania driver carry at least $100,000/$300,000 in UM/UIM coverage. By electing UM/UIM coverage, you and the family members in your household will be protected in the case of a serious automobile accident. If the worst does occur, this insurance coverage can help pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.
Whether you are seriously injured, or simply want a free attorney consultation to answer questions regarding an accident – call Montgomery County Car Accident Attorney Brent Wieand at 1 (215) 666-7777.
*Attorney Brent Wieand is based in Philadelphia County and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.