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Erie Car Accident Lawyer

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Car accidents are an unfortunate part of life. However, that doesn’t mean you must deal with the aftermath alone. When you’ve been hurt in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, you need an Erie car accident lawyer from Munley Law.

For decades, we have represented personal injury victims across Pennsylvania, including those in Erie County. Call Munley Law for a no-obligation, free consultation.

$32 Million Wrongful Death

$26 Million Truck Accident

$17.5 Million Car Accident

$12 Million Product Liability

$9 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$7.5 Million Auto Accident

$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident

$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury

$5 Million Medical Malpractice

$5 Million Bus Accidents

Do I Need to Hire an Erie Car Accident Attorney?

Erie Car Accident LawyerYou are not legally required to hire an Erie car accident attorney for your claim, but there are benefits to doing so. With an experienced attorney, you can rest assured knowing that you are following the legal process precisely as you should, maximizing your total compensation.

Complex Cases Call For Experienced Car Accident Lawyers

While some car accidents are straightforward, such as a minor fender-bender at a red light, others are more complex, requiring the outside perspective to investigate the cause.

In either scenario, it can be helpful to have personal injury lawyers on your side to assess the cause of your accident and establish fault.

Sometimes, a car crash can be so convoluted that you need a lawyer to help you navigate the legal jargon. For example, in a hit-and-run case, there can be back-and-forth discourse with the insurance company to determine how much they are responsible since the secondary party involved is nowhere to be found.

Further, if your policy doesn’t cover uninsured motorists, you may not know where to get compensation for your injuries and property damage.

Knowing that you have a legal team, no matter how complicated your case, can make all the difference.

Benefits of Hiring an Erie Personal Injury Lawyer

Let’s face it: every Pennsylvania county and community has unique ways. From knowing the area to working with local law enforcement, there are clear benefits to working with a lawyer who is local to where your accident occurred.

At Munley Law, consider us like neighbors–we know that when you’re hurt in your hometown, you need someone who understands local traffic laws and who to work with when your case requires expert testimony.

We put our community connections in Erie, PA, to the test to ensure you have all the evidence you need for your personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.

How Much Will a Car Accident Lawyer Charge?

Many people think they can’t afford to hire a personal injury lawyer for their car accident injuries because of the mounting medical bills they already have from the wreck. However, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay anything upfront.

Instead, we work for you until the case or claim is closed. Then, we take a prediscussed portion of your settlement or verdict as our payments. Any additional fees we charge will be disclosed before you sign a contract.

We discuss the costs of hiring us as your legal representation during a free consultation. Here, we review your case, determine the best action, and explain our payment structure. That way, there will be no surprises, and we can establish open communication from day one.

How Does a Car Accident Lawyer Prove the Cause of an Erie Car Accident?

Erie car accident lawyer Christopher MunleyProving the cause of a car accident can be one of the most challenging parts of your claim. Most car accidents happen so quickly that you may not even know how they happened. However, there are ways that your lawyer can prove the cause of your accident by utilizing evidence.

Your legal team will most commonly examine the severity of your injuries, the type of damage your vehicle sustained, and the physical damage left behind because of the accident.

Further, our law firm works with auto accident experts like reconstruction specialists to recreate the wreck’s conditions to determine what is wrong and who is to blame.

If available, we’ll also talk with witnesses from the wreck to learn what they saw and use their retelling to build your case.

What Evidence is Needed to Prove Fault?

You need more than your word to establish that the other party was negligent. You need solid evidence to prove fault.

Some of the most impactful evidence in car accident cases are:

  • Photos of the scene include marks on the roadways, injuries, vehicle damage, etc.
  • If available, videos of the accident can sometimes be from local establishment security footage, traffic cameras, etc.
  • Your medical bills
  • An estimate from a mechanic for your property damage
  • Witness statements
  • Police report

If you have other evidence that may be appropriate to establish fault, share it with your lawyer.

Gathering and Preserving Evidence

You may not have thought of pulling out your cell phone to take pictures of the wreck at the time of the accident. However, someone else may.Erie Car Accident Lawyer

To gather and preserve evidence, you should do your best to take pictures and videos, but if you cannot, ask a bystander. They may already be giving a witness statement to the police, so they may be okay with sharing that critical information with you.

If you cannot get photos from the immediate moments after the wreck, document your vehicle’s damages and any injuries you may have on your person and request a copy of the police report. At the very least, the police will have a detailed account of what they saw at the wreck, which can still impact your case.

Role of Evidence in Insurance Company Negotiations

Evidence is crucial if your Erie car accident claim goes to court; it is also critical to negotiate with the insurance company.

The insurance company will have its investigators try to determine if you were at fault for the wreck to minimize your compensation. Solid evidence lets you stay one step ahead of the insurance company.

When Should I File My Car Accident Claim?

Ideally, you should file your car accident claim within the days following the accident as soon as possible. This helps preserve evidence that may disappear quickly and can keep the process moving promptly.

Pennsylvania law has placed a limit of two years from the date of injury for claims for car accidents to be filed. However, there are exceptions to that rule.

Most commonly, if a minor is injured in a car accident and sustains injuries, they have until age 20 to file a claim. Further, suppose there was no apparent injury at the time of the accident, but serious injuries emerge in the weeks that follow. In that case, there may be an argument to push that statute of limitations to the date of discovery of the injury.

To ensure you meet the filing deadlines for your specific case, consult with an attorney immediately.

How Much Compensation Can I Recover For a Car Accident in Erie?

Under the law, all Pennsylvania drivers must carry minimum car insurance. This means you are entitled to at least the following in compensation:

  • Medical Benefits: Minimum of $5,000 for medical bills for you and anyone covered under your policy.
  • Bodily Injury Liability: You are liable for a minimum of $15,000 for injuries you cause to one person and $30,000 for the total accident. This pays for your victim’s medical and rehabilitation expenses and any damages you are liable for.
  • Property Damage Liability: $5,000 for property damage you cause to someone else.

Other insurance policies provide additional coverage in the case of an accident.

In general, you are entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage

You may also collect compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc., depending on the severity of your injuries.

Factors Affecting Compensation Amounts

There is no average settlement amount, but some things can impact your compensation.

For example, to calculate your total losses, we will consider:

  • The severity of your car accident injuries
  • The amount of property damage you’ve accumulated
  • Your ability to return to work/make the wages you once did
  • Your number of dependants who rely on you for financial and emotional support
  • The percentage of fault you hold for the accident

Other factors may impact your settlement amount, so contacting an Erie car accident attorney is best.

How Long Will It Take to Reach a Settlement?

Unfortunately, the timeline for settling a car accident claim can vary from weeks to months to even a year.

Some factors can extend the process. This includes:

  • Severity of injuries and property damage
  • How compliant all parties are
  • The amount of evidence available
  • The receptiveness of negotiations of both parties

Negotiations can significantly impact the time timeline for a settlement because no one wants to admit if their client is at fault entirely. So, while it may be easy to say the other driver was responsible, their legal team and insurance company will look for any way to put some blame on you to decrease the compensation they pay out.

What Are the Laws Surrounding Car Accidents in Erie, PA?

In addition to the insurance requirements under PA law and the statute of limitations for filing a claim, Pennsylvania also has no-fault insurance laws and negligence regulations that impact car accident cases.

No-Fault Insurance Law

Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. This means the insurance company will pay compensation regardless of who is at fault. However, there are limitations to allowing someone to sue the at-fault driver for their injuries, as certain price thresholds must be met.

Comparative Negligence Law

In Pennsylvania, the portion of fault you hold will directly impact your compensation. Pennsylvania follows the 51 percent comparative negligence rule, meaning you can recover damages if you were less than 51 percent at fault. But you cannot if you are more than 50 percent at fault.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Erie?

What you do immediately after a car accident can significantly change the outcome of your claim. Following a car accident, you should:

  • Stop your vehicle and get to safety
  • Assess the accident scene for any injuries and wreckage
  • Call 911
  • Get medical treatment
  • Get photos, videos, and evidence of the accident and any property damage
  • Exchange information with involved parties
  • Report your accident with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and with your insurance company

Contact an Erie Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident and sustained severe injuries or suffered a fatality, call an Erie car accident lawyer from Munley Law. Our personal injury attorneys in Erie represent you from day one to preserve your rights and to secure maximum compensation for your car crash injuries.

Call today or connect with us online for a no-obligation, free consultation.

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