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Elements of a Strong Auto Accident Claim

When you file a car accident claim in Pennsylvania, you may need to prove that someone else is at fault for the crash. You might also need to establish the extent and severity of your injuries before an insurance company will offer you a fair settlement. There are steps you can take early on in your case to build the strongest possible auto accident claim.

Clear and Convincing Evidence 

In Pennsylvania, an individual can hold another driver responsible for a car accident outside of the state’s no-fault system if the driver has “full tort” car insurance or if his or her injuries are severe. Bringing a fault claim against another party, however, requires clear and convincing evidence of that person’s fault.

You can build a strong claim by collecting evidence while still at the scene of the car accident. If possible, take photographs of the scene and gather eyewitness information. Write down the other driver’s name, vehicle description, license plate numbers and insurance information. Report the crash to the police immediately and obtain a copy of your accident report.

Detailed Injury Documentation 

If you are requesting financial compensation for injuries and medical bills, you will also need to provide compelling proof of these losses. The best way to obtain evidence of an injury is to seek professional medical care immediately. Go to a doctor or the nearest hospital right away and explain that you were involved in a car accident. 

Follow your doctor’s treatment orders while you recover from your injuries. Keep copies of all of your medical records, including x-rays, test results, treatment plans, prescriptions and notes from your doctor. Take photos of your injuries as they heal. It can also help to keep an injury journal, where you document how you feel physically and mentally each day.

Proof of Negligence 

Most auto accident claims are based on the legal theory of negligence. Someone is negligent if he or she fails to use the amount of care that a reasonably prudent person would have in the same circumstances. Common examples of driver negligence that result in car accidents include speeding, breaking traffic laws, running red lights, texting and driving, and driving while intoxicated.

If you file a claim with another driver’s car insurance company, the insurer will investigate the crash to determine fault and causation. You can provide proof of negligence during the investigative stage to strengthen your case. While evidence varies from case to case, it may include the police report, eyewitness statements, photographs, and testimony from hired expert witnesses (e.g. crash reconstruction specialists or medical experts).

Legal Representation  

Finally, the mark of a strong auto accident claim is a car accident lawyer advocating for the victim’s rights. A specialized car accident attorney in Pittsburgh knows how to establish a case using strong evidence and compelling storytelling techniques, including connections to highly qualified subject-matter experts. An attorney can accurately calculate your damages, including your economic and noneconomic losses, to fight for the settlement that you deserve.

You can trust your Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer to take over negotiations and communications with a car insurance company while you focus on healing from your injuries. While most auto accident cases in Pennsylvania reach settlements, an attorney also has the power to represent you at trial, if necessary, for maximum compensation. To discuss an auto accident claim with a lawyer at no cost, contact Dallas W. Hartman P.C. today.

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