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Top Questions about Car Wrecks

Get the facts. Rely on Marcus & Mack, Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers

Finding accurate information after an auto accident in Pennsylvania can be confusing. We hope to clear the air.

At Marcus & Mack, we put experience and resources to work for accident victims in Johnstown, Altoona, State College and other communities throughout Pennsylvania. We want to share our knowledge about car wrecks in Pennsylvania with you.

If you don’t find your specific question – or even if you do – make sure you contact us as soon possible if you were injured in a crash or a loved one was injured or died. We may be able to help with your car accident claim or wrongful death case. Call (800) 488-0338.

Frequently asked questions about auto accidents in Pennsylvania


What should I do if I’m in a car accident?

We strongly urge you to take the following steps immediately after your accident:

  • Call 911 to notify police and request an ambulance if needed.
  • Keep your comments to a minimum. Avoid saying statements like “I’m sorry” or “It was my fault.” Anything you say can be used against you to pin the blame on your or deny your insurance claim.
  • If you need to move your vehicle, before doing so, take several photographs of your accident, including the point of impact for both vehicles. Also take photos of:
    • Skid marks on road caused by accident
    • Street signs near accident
    • Visible injuries on yourself
  • Write down information about your accident, including:
    • Time of day
    • Weather conditions
    • Statements made by yourself to others about your accident
    • Name of contact info of witnesses
  • Contact your insurance company to tell them you’ve been involved in a car accident. Keep your comments brief and stick to the facts. Don’t speculate about what you think might have happened.
  • Contact an attorney. We can explain all the legal options available to you and help you decide the best course of legal action.

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Should I seek medical help after a car accident?

Yes. Even if you feel OK after your accident, it’s wise to be examined by a doctor or other trained medical professional. Some serious and potentially fatal injuries may not be immediately apparent, especially when your adrenaline is rushing after a frightening ordeal. You may feel slightly dizzy or perhaps feel a sharp pain in your abdomen. These could be signs of a traumatic brain injury or internal bleeding. Some victims mistake the pain for something minor. After seeing your doctor, make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your personal physician. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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Can I write about my accident on Facebook or other social media?

We strongly advise against posting anything about your accident on social media. Don’t write a blog about your experience or post anything online about your crash or injuries. Your statements may be used by the insurance company for the at-fault party to reduce your claim or deny your claim.

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Can I post anything on social media?

We suggest that you stop using all of your social network accounts while your car accident claim is pending. Why? Any statement or photo you post could be seen by an insurance company adjuster or attorney and used as evidence that you’re doing great after your accident.

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Should I talk to the at-fault party’s insurance company?

No. Any statements you make can only be used to harm your claim. You have a right to refuse to make any recorded or written statements. If you are contacted by an adjuster for the other driver’s insurance company, decline to comment. You can refer any questions to your lawyer. If you don’t have an attorney, call us as soon as possible. We can handle the adjuster on your behalf.

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Should I accept the insurance company’s offer to settle?

No. Even if the offer seems reasonable, it’s prudent to discuss your situation with one of our car accident lawyers. This is what we do. We know what’s fair and what’s not. Many insurance company adjusters contact victims of negligence soon after an accident and promise to pay them a certain amount. Often, such offers only cover damage to the vehicle or short-term medical expenses.

We think long term at Marcus & Mack. We understand that the impact of a car accident can last much longer than a few hours or days. Many times, people are unable to work for weeks or months after an accident. Through no fault of their own, they lose precious time and money.

Then there’s the long-term physical toll such accidents can take on people over time. You might need physical therapy, additional surgeries and other costly medical treatments years after your accident. You shouldn’t have to pay for such expenses. You didn’t do anything wrong.

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Do I have to go to court to receive compensation?

While no two cases are alike, generally speaking most car accident cases are settled out of court. But sometimes it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit and take the case before a judge and jury. Many insurance companies know people who are not represented by lawyers are not prepared to go to court to obtain money rightfully owed to them after an accident. That’s why they are happy when someone chooses not to hire a lawyer. It saves them money. The insurance company often provides a quick low-ball offer, knowing that victims might not know the true value of their case. This is one way insurance companies make money – by not offering true value for the losses a victim incurred.

But if you have one of our lawyers, insurance companies will know that you mean business. Insurance companies don’t intimidate us. We have years of experience taking insurance companies to court and successfully obtaining the money people deserve for their accidents. We’re proud of our court verdicts and eager to help you.

Our experienced courtroom attorneys thoroughly understand the legal system in Pennsylvania. Whether you were injured in Cambria Country, Centre County or elsewhere in Central and Western Pennsylvania, you can count on Marcus & Mack. Many times, insurance companies will offer a fair settlement once they know we’re representing an accident victim. They know they will be in for a serious legal fight if Marcus & Mack are representing an injured individual.

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What kinds of things can I be compensated for after an accident?

Accident victims should be compensated for a wide range of expenses and other financial matters after a crash. The single largest item most people receive money for is medical expenses, including emergency medical treatment or surgical procedures which can cost thousands of dollars.

But that’s only the beginning when it comes to being compensated after an accident. As your attorney, we can demand that you be compensated for the full cost of your accident. Additional items we routinely obtain for accident victims include:

  • Lost income – If you are unable to work due to your accident, you deserve to be paid for the time you cannot work.
  • Property damage – Repairs made to your vehicle or the cost to replace your vehicle should not come out of your pocket.
  • Physical therapy – Your health matters. If you need physical therapy after an accident caused by another driver, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.
  • Lost future income – Many insurance companies often fail to include this critical expense. If your accident injury prevents you from working for many months or years, you should not have to live in fear of financial ruin.
  • Pain and suffering – Accidents can cause significant physical discomfort. You deserve to be compensated for your pain and aggravation.

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Can I still recover compensation if I was partially at fault?

If you were partially at fault, you still may be entitled to recover money, but the amount will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. However, if it’s determined you are more than 50 percent at fault, you will receive no money.

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What are the reasons for hiring an attorney?

First and foremost, we can help you obtain maximum financial compensation for your accident. But that’s not the only reason why you should contact us.

When you have an experienced, aggressively attorney on your side, you can make sure your legal rights are protected. Whether it’s another driver who refuses to admit responsibility or an insurance company that refuses to cooperate, an attorney can stand up for your rights and make sure your case receives the attention it rightfully deserves.

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you build a strong legal case by carefully investigating your motor vehicle accident. This includes analyzing accident reports, medical records, statements from witnesses and other critical evidence. And the sooner you contact a lawyer, the better off you will be. A delay could affect your ability to be compensated.

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