What Happens If I Am At Fault in an Accident in Wilkes-Barre?

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How Dangerous is It to Drive in Wilkes-Barre?

What Happens If I Am At-Fault in an Accident in Wilkes-Barre?Wilkes-Barre is located in the heart of Luzerne County and has some of the busiest highways running right near the humming city. With easy access to Interstates 80, 81, and 476, this city’s roads are constantly bustling with travelers on any given day.

Unfortunately, the reality is that more travel equals more chances of car accidents. There are many reasons why a car accident occurs such as bad weather, mechanical defects, and poor road conditions. However, there are instances when other drivers on the road play a role in your car accident, whether it’s driving over the speed limit, tailgating, or getting distracted by their cell phone.

If you are asking yourself what happens if I am found at fault of an auto accident, call a Wilkes-Barre car accident attorney today. If you were not the sole cause of the accident, there is no need for you to foot the entire bill. Your Munley Law car accident attorney will work to prove the other driver’s liability in the wreck and make sure the costs don’t fall completely on you.

What Are the Comparative Negligence Laws in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania follows comparative negligence laws, which means the plaintiff (the person who makes the claim for the car accident) can collect compensation, even if they hold some responsibility in the car accident. The amount of responsibility will determine how much is owed. For example, let’s say you were involved in a car accident in Wilkes-Barre, resulting in $100,000 of damage to the other person’s vehicle. It is determined that you are 70 percent at fault while the other driver is 30 percent at fault. You would then owe 70 percent of the damages, or $70,000, to the other driver, not the full $100,000.

Pennsylvania also follows modified comparative negligence laws, which means the plaintiff cannot be more than 50 percent liable for the accident in order to secure compensation. If the other driver is found to be 51 percent accountable for the Wilkes-Barre car wreck, then he or she cannot pursue a claim against you.

This is why it is essential for you to have a Munley car accident attorney by your side. Even if you share in some of the responsibility, your auto accident lawyer will work to prove the accident was not entirely your fault and you should receive some compensation for your injuries.

Who Determines Fault in a Wilkes-Barre Car Accident Claim?

There are several parties who can help determine who was at fault for your car accident in Wilkes-Barre:

The Police

The first thing you should do after being involved in a car accident is call 911, even if injuries seem minor. Once the police officers take care of all immediate medical needs, they will begin assessing the scene of the accident. The responding officers will ask each party their interpretation of what happened and who caused the wreck. They will investigate the damage done to each car and interview any witnesses who were present. After collecting sufficient evidence, the police officer will generate an accident report that will detail the facts of the scene, as well as a statement by the officer about who they think, in their professional opinion, was responsible for the accident.

Insurance Companies

Marion Munley speaking with a clientMost drivers carry no-fault auto insurance in the state of Pennsylvania, so there isn’t always a need for insurance companies to investigate who is at fault for an accident. However, no-fault insurance will still pay for damage done to a vehicle and for medical costs that exceed the victim’s coverage. So, when responsibility is shared in a car accident in Wilkes-Barre, there will likely be investigations done by both parties’ insurance companies.

Each insurance company will send an insurance adjuster, who investigates the accident on behalf of the insurance company. Their investigation will include speaking to you and the other driver, talking to witnesses, and looking over the accident report.

This is where it is extremely beneficial for you to have a Munley Law car accident attorney by your side. Insurance adjusters are employees of the insurance company, meaning they want to save money for the company, not for you. Insurance adjusters are notorious for manipulating information in order to get you to accept a lower settlement or admit fault.  When you hire Munley Law, your attorney will handle all the correspondence with the insurance company and adjusters. You never need to speak to an adjuster without your lawyer present.

Pennsylvania Courts

Finally, the Pennsylvania Court System will ultimately judge who was at fault for the car accident in Wilkes-Barre. If the other driver files a suit against you for damages from the accident, call Munley Law today for legal representation. Your car accident lawyer will use the police report, any security footage, pictures and videos of the accident, and any witness testimonies to prove that the other driver bears some liability in the accident.

What Damages Can the Other Driver Collect If I Am Found At-Fault for the Accident?

Inspecting a car accident

If it is determined that you are 51 percent or more at fault for the car accident in Wilkes-Barre, then the other driver may collect the following damages from your insurance company:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

You will also likely see an increase in your car insurance premiums if you are held responsible for the car accident.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Wilkes-Barre to Protect My Claim?

The following steps to take after a car accident in Wilkes-Barre will not only ensure safety for you and your passengers but will also help you in the claims process:

  • If possible, move your car to the side of the road for safety.
  • Call 911. If the other driver tries to pressure you not to call, do not listen. Calling the police is the safest option and will also help your case.
  • Seek medical attention, even if injuries seem minor. Injuries can develop or worsen after an accident. Internal bleeding and organ damage are not always visible right away. The safest thing for you to do is seek medical care as soon as possible following a car wreck.
  • If all your medical needs are addressed, start documenting the scene of the accident. Take videos and pictures of the damage to your car, the other car, and all your personal possessions inside of your car. Be sure to gather the following information:
    • License plate of the other driver
    • Name and contact information
    • Insurance information
    • The accident location
  • Do not leave the scene of the accident until the responding police officer says it is okay to go.
  • Do not admit fault to the police, the other driver, any witnesses, or the insurance company.
  • Contact a Munley Law car accident attorney. They will work with a team of expert witnesses, accident reconstructionists, and expert car accident lawyers to help prove the fault of the other driver. Call today for a free consultation with a seasoned Wilkes-Barre car accident attorney to discuss all your legal options moving forward.

Work with an Experienced Wilkes-Barre Car Accident Lawyer and Find Out Today

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, speak to a Wilkes-Barre car accident lawyer about your case. Our team of lawyers at Munley Law has been helping injured victims in Northeastern Pennsylvania for more than 60 years. We will help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve to recover from your accident. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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