Different state laws and insurance requirements in Pennsylvania affect each injury claim that is made after a Pennsylvania auto accident occurs.
On this page, you’ll find resources and information about how the law works in Pennsylvania, including the choice no-fault insurance system, qualifications for exemption from this, and when it’s best to contact a Pennsylvania auto accident attorney.
No-Fault Car Insurance Rules in Pennsylvania
When it comes to auto accident injuries in Pennsylvania, the no-fault car insurance system means that anyone who is injured in an accident can turn to their own insurance company’s coverage for compensation for all lost wages and medical expenses. However, in Pennsylvania, the rule is “choice no-fault” so that if you don’t want to choose no-fault insurance, you can still choose traditional insurance coverage, where you would seek compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
If you have no-fault coverage, then you cannot sue anyone unless someone experiences a serious injury, which is defined as involving a serious impairment of the body’s function or a permanent and severe disfigurement or disability. This means that soft tissue injuries and mild injuries will be subject to this rule, while injuries that cause serious and/or long term damage are not.
Many people want to know if their auto accident claim is exempt from the no-fault rule. If you want to receive pain and suffering or other non-economic damages, then you want to find out if you can take your claim outside of the no-fault zone. Contact a Pennsylvania auto insurance attorney to learn more about the car insurance coverage minimums and no-fault car insurance laws.
Car Accident Laws in PA
Whenever someone experiences an injury that qualifies for exemption from the Pennsylvania no-fault system, that person can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, you need to know what the statute of limitations (or deadline for filing a lawsuit) is in Pennsylvania:
- Personal Injury Lawsuit – 2 years (42 PA. Cons. Stat. Ann. section 5524(2))
- Property Damage Lawsuit – 2 years (42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. section 5524(3)).
If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing window, the court will probably throw your case out, so it’s crucial to pay attention to the Pennsylvania statute of limitations as it applies to your claim. Even if you’re only making a third party insurance claim against the other driver and you think it’s bound to settle outside of court, you always want to keep open the option of turning to the court system for a remedy if the settlement process isn’t promising a satisfactory solution.
You won’t be able to make a case if you miss the statute of limitations. Even if you’re certain that the case will settle out of court, you want to have the option of filing a lawsuit as you negotiate and you
don’t want to give up that right by not paying attention to the statute of limitations for your case. Learn more about your claim and how it is affected by the statutes of limitation by contacting an attorney.
Should You Contact a Pennsylvania Attorney?
You might not need the assistance of a lawyer in every car accident claim scenario. If you were involved in a minor car accident and you are simply making a claim through your own policy under Pennsylvania’s no-fault car insurance rules, you can probably handle it yourself, as long as you’re comfortable doing so.
But if you’ve suffered significant injuries and you think your claim meets the Pennsylvania threshold for taking a car accident case outside of no-fault, you might find that there is a lot more at stake. An experienced lawyer can be your best bet when you’re trying to prove that your case qualifies for exemption from no-fault, and once it does qualify, your lawyer will protect your rights at every stage of any liability claim or car accident lawsuit you decide to pursue.