People who suffer injuries in car accidents due to no fault of their own have a general idea that they should be able to pursue financial damages. Beyond this vague knowledge, however, they don’t know how to judge the strength and viability of their car accident cases. They’ll also have a lot of unanswered questions.
Here are three questions that personal injury plaintiffs might have after serious auto accident injuries:
1. Seatbelts — do I have a claim if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?
Even though seatbelt laws require you to wear a seatbelt in Pennsylvania, failing to wear a seatbelt in a vehicle collision will not preclude you from being able to file a claim for damages against an at-fault party. However, your failure to buckle up could lower the total amount of damages you can claim, in some cases, if the defense can show that not wearing a seatbelt worsened your injuries.
2. Medical records — should I share my medical records with another motorist’s insurer?
You should never share your medical records with another driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster might ask you to sign a release, giving the adjuster the ability to review these records but you should politely decline because doing so could hurt your personal injury claim. You should only sign a release of your medical records in specific circumstances, so make sure that you fully understand your legal rights and options before signing such a release.
3. Do I have to see a doctor after my car accident in order to file a personal injury claim?
Personal injury plaintiffs may want to visit a medical doctor before they file their petitions for damages. A doctor will be able to pinpoint and define the extent of injuries clearly and accurately. The medical records and written diagnoses that a doctor provides could also serve as invaluable evidence to prove a plaintiff’s claims for compensation in court.
If you were injured in a vehicle collision due to an at-fault driver, you likely have a lot of questions about your injuries and how you’re going to pay for the financial damages you’ve incurred. Make sure you receive the medical care you require and understand your legal rights and options as a potential personal injury plaintiff.