With driving such a prevalent part of everyday life, chances of getting into an accident are very real. In 2016, about 15 motor vehicle collisions happened every hour according to statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. These crashes involved 1 out of every 43 Pennsylvanians, with 1 out of every 154 people sustaining injuries.
The data only includes accidents that people reported, so the numbers may be even higher. Despite the risk, most drivers do not think twice before hitting the road.
However, now is the time to think about what to do when when an accident happens, as you may be too injured or traumatized in the moment to react appropriately. First, call 911 to report the incident and to request emergency medical care. Next, gather as much information and evidence as possible, including speaking to witnesses if you can. Then notify your auto insurance the accident happened, but you don’t need to go into detail.
Lastly, but importantly, speak to a personal injury lawyer about these three key ways you may be able to pursue compensation.
1. Personal injury lawsuit
The most common approach for receiving damages after an auto accident is by suing the responsible party. The person’s insurer may try to settle but will probably offer a much lower amount than you are eligible to receive. For this reason, you need a qualified lawyer to fight for your full damages, even from your own insurance provider.
2. Workers’ compensation claim
If you were driving for work, you may also be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries. You may qualify even when your occupation is not as a professional driver, such as a trucker or delivery person, if you were on work duty or the company’s premises when the accident occurred. This means that your daily commute to and from your job does not apply, but running a work errand, being on call or traveling for business may.
3. Social Security disability benefits
When your injuries result in permanent disability and you meet other requirements, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. This process is complex and best to complete with legal assistance to avoid error and a denial of benefits.