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Steps to Fund Damages After an Auto Accident, Legal or Otherwise

Mar 25, 2008
The whole prospect of getting in an auto accident and what to do afterwards is a little dicey and complex. Of course, barring that someone perished in the event, some immediate and long term actions are needed by both parties when it comes to coughing up the cash for damages. Assuming that the accident is between two cars, as most are in general, the first portion of this article will go over what resources can be used to pay for the damages.

For the most part, there are four main sources of compensation when paying for damages during an auto accident. First is out-of-pocket cost. This is usually something that results from minor damages. If both parties agree that the damages received are not heavy enough to write home about, then they simply pay the cost. It's nice this way sometimes as it can avoid driving up one's insurance premium cost and the payment solution avoids any further damage assessment and investigation that may involve insurance or legal pursuit.

The second, and most common, option is payment through insurance. Depending on what contract you've signed up and what the other motorist is on, insurance covers vehicle damage and sometimes medical damage depending on the state liability law and what was signed up for. Liability Insurances in most states usually have a payment system to cover personal injury in the 10 to 15 thousand dollar range.

If there is any injury, a health insurance provider can possibly cover that -- something outside the car insurance compensation. It can work in conjunction with the above two sources of payment. If you have an HMO they probably will not kick in any compensation unless the auto insurance pays out their portion in full.

Finally, the last option of payment source is from other people who were involved in the accident. In addition to the first three mentioned above, payment for damages can be sought from those responsible and involved in the auto accident.

Now if there are extreme damages, let's say a whiplash or some spinal injury occurred, further payment and compensation is often sought out, either directly with the person at fault or their insurance. Legal matters get a bit dense from there and depending on what state you are in, the course of action can vary. A no-fault state will require that each person refer to their own insurance company for compensation. However, for serious injuries, lawsuits have been known to occur despite the no-fault law. And for some states there are hybrid laws that include both a no-fault and a fault choice. Pennsylvania is such a place.

No-Fault vs. Fault: A Pennsylvania Example

Pennsylvania is unusual compared to most states in that it has a policy where motorists can choose either to opt for a no-fault insurance or not -- called a "choice no fault." No-fault insurance basically waves their right to sue the other person regardless of where the fault lies. This goes for the other party as well; they will not be able to sue the no-fault subscriber.

The no-fault subscriber's personal insurance will be the sole funder of the costs and damages including debilitating health consequences. A Pennsylvania auto accident lawyer can flesh out the details or loopholes for extreme cases when a no-fault victim suffers from severe and debilitating damages.

If the no-fault is waived then the option for lawsuits is available. There are thresholds on the option to sue. It's not giving free reign to sue in any accident consequence; there are certain criteria that have to be met that a Pennsylvania accident lawyer can also go over in this instance as well.
About the Author
Legal Internet Solutions Incorporated (http://www.lenardcohen.com/automobile-liability.php) provides legal services from the offices of Lenard A. Cohen, a Pennsylvania auto accident lawyer, who specializes in acquiring compensation for accident victims. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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