What Happens When You Are Injured in an Accident in Pennsylvania

Most people do not know what happens or what to do after they sustain an injury in an accident because they’ve never been through the experience before.  Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, fall down accident, dog bite, or other type of accident, the process begins in the same manner.  The first thing to do obviously is to get medical treatment for your injuries.  Depending on the type of accident that caused your injury, there are different steps you should take to protect yourself.

 

Contact attorney Matvey at 724-709-7958

Car and Truck Accidents

Should you be injured in a car or truck crash, the police should be notified and appropriate medical treatment should be obtained.  Your auto insurance carrier should be notified and an insurance claim should be opened.  An injury attorney such as myself can assist you with the paperwork involved in opening the claim and having a lawyer can insure that all of your interests are protected.  There are different coverages available through your automobile insurance to cover your injuries and losses. I’ve written articles on the different types of insurance available in the event of a car accident.  For information on the types of insurance available, click the following links:

If you take the time to read through my articles on insurance and car accident cases, you should gain a fair understanding of what is available to you should you be injured in a car crash.  Since you are now visiting an accident attorney’s website, you are probably considering whether or not you need an attorney for your case.  You can read more on this subject here.  I will tell you that a lawyer can help you immensely with your accident case.  We can deal with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to. A lawyer can insure that all of your rights are protected, and an attorney can negotiate for you to obtain the best possible results for you from your accident case.

The Court system and your accidental injury claim

Instead of rehashing all of the information provided in other pages regarding accident claims, I believe that it would be worthwhile to provide you with information regarding how the court system works for your accident claim. Suppose you are inured in a car accident and you retain me as your lawyer.  The insurance company is not offering what we believe to be a fair settlement so we file your lawsuit.  What happens next?  When we sue someone in Beaver County, we either file an arbitration case or the lawsuit is filed as a jury trial case.  A personal injury attorney such as myself can advise you on the best avenue for your lawsuit.

The Arbitration System and Your Accident Lawsuit

The arbitration system is designed for smaller lawsuits, those with a value less than $25,000.00 in many counties in Pennsylvania.  The arbitration system is a streamlined system designed to get your lawsuit resolved in a shorter period of time.  The discovery process; the exchange of information between parties to a lawsuit; is limited in order to reduce the time it takes to get your lawsuit resolved. The rules of evidence are simplified to reduce the cost of pursuing your lawsuit. The case is tried before lawyers who act as judge and jury in your case which limits the amount of time you spend in court.

The arbitration system in Beaver County is very efficient and can get your lawsuit completed in a reasonable amount of time.  The arbitration system in Allegheny County is also extremely efficient.  When you file your lawsuit in Pittsburgh you get a date for your hearing at the time your lawsuit is filed.  Other counties in Western PA also have similar arbitration systems designed to get your lawsuit completed in a reasonable amount of time.  There are significant rights of appeal associated with arbitration lawsuits but in many instances your lawsuit will be resolved through the arbitration court system.

The Jury System and Your Accident Lawsuit

The jury system for accident injury claims is designed for more serious cases.  In Beaver and Allegheny counties, all lawsuits with a value greater than $25,000.00 go through the jury system.  Other counties have different levels of value for determining jury or arbitration systems, but currently Beaver and Allegheny Counties both have the threshold set at $25,000.00.

The jury system takes longer in all phases of your lawsuit. Suppose your attorney files a lawsuit for you for your injuries stemming from a car accident and the compensation for your injuries and damages is expected to exceed $25,000.00.  Your lawsuit will go through the jury system.  What this means is that the opposing lawyer in your case can insist that you answer a lot more written questions than he could in an arbitration case.  The opposing attorney can take your deposition.  The opposing attorney can have a doctor that he choses to examine you to give him an opinion as to the extent of your injuries stemming from your accident.  The more involved process of these claims means that it will take longer for your case to actually get to trial.

When your lawsuit finally does go to court the process is much more formal than an arbitration and it therefore takes a lot longer.  Meetings may be held between the lawyers and the judge to resolve disputes over evidence and jury instructions.  A jury must be selected. Jury selection can take a day or more before the process is complete. You will have to present your own testimony and the testimony of a physician to support your claim of injury.  The formal presentation of testimony with breaks for the jury will take much longer than the arbitration process does.  All of this means that even a straight-forward motor vehicle accident trial can take several days.

There are appeal rights for both parties following a jury trial.  The rights of appeal are much more limited but can add a significant amount of time before you see a final resolution of your accident claim.  The process can be complicated, time consuming, and frustrating to an injured person.  The advice and assistance of an injury attorney can therefore be extremely beneficial to an injured person.  Contact me today to discuss your legal issues.

Contact Attorney Matvey today at 724-709-7958 to discuss your accident case.