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Steps to Take After a Personal Injury Traffic Accident


By Dennis Plank, Lancaster Personal Injury Lawyer

All drivers in Lancaster County (and elsewhere) have a duty to exercise reasonable care when they are on the road in order to keep people safe. If someone injures you or a loved one in a car or truck collision, you often have a right to recoup your losses for personal injury. A Lancaster personal injury lawyer can help you get financial compensation for items such as medical bills, loss of work, loss of future work, and in many cases for pain and suffering.

If someone has injured you or a family member in a car or truck accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, there are two important steps you should take:

First, see a Doctor.

Failing to get prompt medical attention, no matter how minor your injuries may seem, can have serious physical – and legal – consequences.

A Lancaster personal injury lawyer will inform you that an exam from a doctor after a traffic accident helps you identify delayed symptoms. You may not see any blood. You may not feel any pain. But even a seemingly minor traffic accident can cause internal bleeding and other internal injuries that can get worse – or even life-threatening – if not treated. Sometimes these injuries may not produce symptoms for hours or even days after an accident. Additionally, your body may respond to the trauma of a traffic accident by producing endorphins, a type of hormone the body releases in response to pain and stress. When combined with adrenalin, endorphins can mask pain and delay injury symptoms.

Lancaster Personal Injury Lawyers Advise Seeing a Doctor Immediately After a Collision To Establish a Medical Record

Be sure to tell your doctor about any and all symptoms you may be experiencing after a car or truck accident, even if they seem minor. Symptoms that seem insignificant to you may be signs of serious injury. Don’t self-diagnose or heroically suffer in silence. A doctor will record the details of your traffic accident and the symptoms you are experiencing, whether it’s something obvious like headaches or something vague like inability to sleep or confusion. A doctor will also record his or her own observations after a complete examination. Remember, if it’s not in your medical records, it will be hard to prove in an insurance claim.

Failing to See a Doctor After a Car Accident Could Cost You

If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, it is important to see a doctor within 72 hours of a car or truck collision. This is the time period insurance companies often use when evaluating a claim. If a victim fails to get prompt medical attention or prematurely reports that they are not injured, it is easier for insurance companies to drastically reduce settlement amounts or even deny claims.


Next, Consult with a Lancaster Personal Injury Lawyer

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. This means that each party in a traffic accident receives compensation for medical expenses and lost wages from their own insurers, regardless of who is at fault. As part of their insurance coverage, PA drivers can select the full tort option. A full tort option allows them to seek compensation for pain and suffering from an at-fault driver. Even drivers with limited-tort coverage may be able to seek compensation depending on the extent of their injuries.

While victims may think they know who is at fault in an accident, this is not always the case. Under Pennsylvania law damage awards may be reduced if a jury determines the victim was partly at fault. If you?ve been injured in a car or truck accident, contact Going and Plank. We can help you collect the necessary evidence, in order to pursue a successful claim again the at-fault driver.

A Lancaster Personal Injury Lawyer Can Negotiate a Fair Settlement

A settlement is a negotiated agreement that allows the injured party to forego a lawsuit in favor of the immediate payment. Many insurance companies prefer a settlement over a jury trial because it is quicker, less expensive, and doesn’t rely on a jury decision. A personal injury lawyer can help injured parties determine a fair value for their settlement, based on factors such as lost wages and medical bills. A Lancaster personal injury lawyer will also factor in intangible such as mental anguish, pain, and suffering. Mitigating factors, such as shared liability or failure to seek prompt medical treatment, may reduce the value of a claim. When an insurance company rejects the initial claim, a lawyer may be able to continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached. Contact me at Going and Plank to help you negotiate a fair settlement.

Your Lancaster Personal Injury Lawyer Can File a Lawsuit if Appropriate

If the other side fails to negotiate in good faith, or if the settlement offer is substantially lower than what you believe is fair, you may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit. Pennsylvania residents have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, giving them adequate time to determine the full impact of the injury, from long-term medical problems to loss of wages. A personal injury attorney can help injured parties file a lawsuit, gather evidence, and prepare for trial. A lawyer also has knowledge of prior verdicts and settlements in similar cases.


A Car or Truck Collision Can Injure You in Many Ways

The impact and stress of a traffic accident can result in serious harm. Many types of injuries qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, including bone fractures, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, development of neck and back pain, chronic pain, nerve damage, deep lacerations, physical disfigurement and scarring, severe burns, cranial and skull damage, brain injury, cognitive impairment, harm to mental acuity, loss of body parts, damage to mobility or dexterity, damage to eyesight, damage to hearing, dental damage. Any injuries that prohibit a victim from doing their job or requires them to find a new job also qualify. Contact Going and Plank to review your case and identify your options.

Going and Plank offers free consultations with a Lancaster personal injury lawyer to discuss your personal injury case. Contact us today to ensure you are fairly compensated.

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