By a Philadelphia auto accident & injury attorney
Auto accidents like car, truck and pedestrian accidents are very common in Philadelphia. Injured drivers and passengers are often confused about the insurance process and have many questions, such as, “who pays medical bills after my accident?” or “do I have to talk to the other driver’s insurance company?”
In the aftermath of a car accident in Philadelphia, injured individuals learn a great deal about Pennsylvania’s auto insurance laws and the claims process, both of which are incredibly complex. Below is some basic information about PA insurance law and dealing with insurance companies after an accident in Philadelphia.
More: What to do After a Car Accident in Philadelphia – By a Philly Car Accident Lawyer
PIP Claims for Medical Bills after an Accident in Philadelphia – A Brief Explanation
After a car, truck or pedestrian accident occurs in Philadelphia, the injured individual (driver, passenger or pedestrian) will contact their own car insurance company to report the accident. That’s because of how PIP (personal injury protection) works in Pennsylvania. Under PA car insurance laws, individuals who are covered under a car insurance policy issued in the state are entitled to make claims for medical bills (PIP) under their own car insurance policies. It does not matter who caused the accident. If you’re injured in a car accident, you make a claim for medical bills (PIP) with your own car insurance company. This is the principle of “no-fault insurance” at play.
In making a PIP claim, the insured (injured party) is required to comply with all requests for information from their own car insurance company representatives. This often means being interviewed about the accident and filling out PIP forms. However, what about the other driver’s insurance company? Should you agree to an interview with the at-fault driver’s insurance company?
Should You Talk to the Other Driver’s Car Insurance Company After a Car Accident in Philadelphia?
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Philadelphia, you are under no obligation to speak to or otherwise cooperate with the other driver’s car insurance company. You can and should refuse to speak to the other driver’s car insurance company without first speaking to a Philadelphia car accident lawyer. Of course, you do have to cooperate with your own car insurance company.
Here’s why you should refuse interviews or requests for information from the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will look for any information which can be used against you later on. There are two types of information the other insurance company will be looking for: evidence which shows you caused the accident and evidence that your injuries aren’t as serious as you say they are. Insurance companies representing at-fault drivers have one goal in mind – pay as little as possible. Therefore, insurance agents are trained on how to elicit information that helps their insured (the at-fault driver), not you.
In cases where fault is not clear or is contested, your interview with the other insurance company may be used to support their argument that you caused the accident or at the very least, contributed to it. For instance, during an interview, an agent may bring up statements of purported eyewitnesses who saw you looking down just before the accident occurred. As a result, you may agree and admit you weren’t paying attention. Then, during the lawsuit, your interview will be used to argue that you were fully or partially at fault for causing the accident.
More: What is a UIM claim in Pennsylvania?
If you were injured in a car accident in Philadelphia, it is important to speak to a car accident and injury lawyer as soon as possible. Knowing your legal rights at the outset can prevent issues later on. Call our Philadelphia car accident injury lawyers for a FREE CONSULTATION. (866) 641-0806
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