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FAQ About Car Accidents

Honest answers from lawyers you can trust

Finding accurate information after a car accident can be challenging. Friends or family might tell you one thing. Insurance companies might tell you something else. Separating fact from fiction can be a challenge.

That's why we compiled this list of some of the most frequently asked questions about car accidents. This list is based on many of the questions people often ask us at Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C., based in Philadelphia.

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Our attorneys take their jobs very seriously. That's because we know what's at stake - your health, your financial well-being and even your peace of mind. That's why we want to help you every step of the way. Simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation today.

What is your question?

Why do car accidents happen?

Accidents involving two vehicles often occur because one driver did something reckless or negligent. Sometimes, it's because one driver wasn't paying attention. (Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents). Other times, it's because someone was driving recklessly. (Speeding, jumping in and out of lanes and drunk driving are prime examples). Whatever the cause, each accident is unique.

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What are common car accident injuries?

Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries. Some of the most common motor vehicle accident injuries include:

  • Head injuries and concussions
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
  • Neck injuries, including whiplash, and low back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Paralysis
  • Fractured or broken bones

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How much is my car accident worth?

Initially, the other driver's insurance company will make a determination of the value of your accident. But that may just be the beginning of the process. If you disagree with the insurance company's value, a judge or jury ruling on your case may ultimately decide how much your accident is worth. That's why we want to meet with you and review the details of your case. We can provide you with an accurate estimate, then vigorously fight to help you obtain the money you rightfully deserve either with a settlement or a jury verdict.

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Who decides how much my car accident is worth?

Initially, the other driver's insurance company will likely determine the value of your accident. But that may just be the beginning of the process. A judge or jury ruling on your case may decide how much your accident is worth. That's why we want to meet with you and review the details of your case. We can provide you with an accurate estimate, then vigorously fight to help you obtain the money you rightfully deserve.

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What items are covered by car accident claims?

When determining the true value of a car accident, it's important to think long term. Don't just take into account short-term expenses associated with your car accident. Think about how your accident will affect you and your family for the rest of your lives. That's because you often only have one opportunity to obtain all the money you will need for your entire lives to cover all your accident-related expenses. Such expenses can include:

  • Emergency medical care immediately after the accident
  • Future medical expenses, including medications and surgical procedures
  • In-home health care
  • Physical therapy
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs
  • Lost income during your initial recovery
  • Lost future income if you cannot return to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Home modifications if you or a loved one sustained a permanent disability in an accident

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Should I accept a settlement offer for my car accident?

Always be suspicious of settlement offers you receive immediately after an accident, especially if the offer is from the insurance company for the other driver. In most cases, settlement offers from insurance companies don't even come close to covering all the costs, damages and pain and suffering associated with your accident. Insurance companies simply want you to accept their low-ball offer and go away. But the reality is if you do accept that offer, you could end up paying for accident-related expenses out of your own pocket. Once you've taken the insurance company's money, your claim is closed, and you can't go back and ask for more - even if the cost of the accident turns out to be much greater than you originally thought. That's why you should always consult an experienced attorney before accepting an offer from an insurance company.

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Can I ask for more money for my car accident?

Yes. You can and very likely should demand more compensation for your car accident. But doing so can be very challenging. That's because insurance companies will often do or say anything to make you believe that their last offer is the "best" offer. That's why you need our experienced legal team on your side. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies. We know how to negotiate with them - and know how to win.

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Should I talk to an insurance company if they contact me after my accident?

No. Anything you say to the insurance company (especially the one representing the other driver) can be used to reduce or deny your claim altogether. Simply politely tell the insurance company official that you have hired a lawyer and direct the insurance company to refer all their questions to your attorney. We know how to deal with them and exactly what to say.

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Can I negotiate with an insurance company after my car accident?

Yes. Negotiating for more money for your car accident with the insurance company is a perfectly reasonable and common thing to do. But doing so on your own without an accident lawyer can be very difficult. That's because insurance company negotiators often have years of experience handling such claims. And they know how to get the upper hand and pay you as little as possible. They don't intimidate us. That's why our law firm would be proud to negotiate for you on your behalf.

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Can I sue an insurance company after my car accident?

Technically no, not directly, but you can sue the at-fault driver and their insurance company will be responsible for paying your award, up to the limits of their liability policy. This often turns out to be the best way to get the money you rightfully deserve for your accident. That's why it's important to talk to an attorney at our law firm right away.

Often, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action after a car accident. This deadline is known as the "statute of limitations." This deadline can vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit is 2 years.

That might seem like a long time. But filling a successful lawsuit often takes a tremendous amount of work. And the longer you wait to take legal action, the harder it can often become to find the evidence you need to build a successful case.

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How can a lawyer help me after my car accident?

Car accidents are complicated. And each step along the way toward obtaining the financial compensation you deserve for your crash, you will often encounter many obstacles - whether it's getting your car fixed, getting medical bills paid, filling out forms or dealing with insurance company investigators.

Our attorneys can help you every step of the way. We understand how the legal process works. We know what evidence to look for, what questions to ask. And when it comes to insurance companies, we know how to negotiate with them. And if they refuse to cooperate, we're prepared to take them to court.

You often only have one opportunity to obtain all the money you deserve for your accident. A lawyer can help you demand the compensation you need for your accident-related expenses. Put your trust in us. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation.

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