Bill Harrington
May 6, 2024

What happens if you are at fault in a car accident in Pennsylvania?

Being involved in a car accident can be a very stressful experience, especially if you are at fault. In Pennsylvania, there are several important considerations to be aware of in the aftermath of an accident due to negligence or wrongdoing.

Car Accident

What's the Difference between an At-Fault State and a No-Fault State?

In at-fault states, a driver responsible for a car accident bears full responsibility for all the losses suffered by the victims. Conversely, in states labeled as no-fault states, medical expenses are paid through each driver's personal injury protection (PIP) coverage rather than the at-fault driver's insurance, regardless of who caused the accident.

Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault State?

Pennsylvania is among the few states that use a "choice no-fault" state system, which means drivers have the option to choose between no-fault and traditional fault-based insurance. Drivers can opt into the no-fault system by choosing limited tort coverage or opt out by choosing full tort coverage.

How Long Does an At-Fault Accident Stay on Your Insurance Record?

In Pennsylvania, at-fault accidents typically remain on your record for three to five years and may affect your insurance rates during this time. Depending on the severity of the accident, your premium could increase significantly.

What Happens if You Get Into an Accident Without Insurance in PA?

Driving without insurance in Pennsylvania can have serious consequences. According to PennDOT, even if you're not at fault for an accident, you may face the following penalties as an uninsured driver:

  • A $300 minimum fine
  • A three-month suspension of your car registration plus a vehicle registration restoration fee
  • A three-month suspension of your driver’s license plus a driver's license restoration fee and, if applicable, a commercial driver’s license restoration fee 

The Most Common Ways People Are at Fault in a Car Accident

Some common types of car accidents where drivers are at fault include:

  • Rear-end collisions: Often caused by following too closely or not paying attention to the road.
  • Left-turn accidents.These accidents occur when a driver fails to yield the right of way during a left turn.
  • Intersection accidents.These accidents happen when drivers run red lights or fail to yield at stop signs.
  • Speeding can lead to loss of control and rear-end or side-impact collisions.
  • Distracted driving. Examples include texting, eating, or talking on the phone while driving.
  • DUI accidents. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair judgment and reaction times.
  • Accidents due to poor signaling. Failing to signal a turn can result in a collision with an oncoming vehicle.

Average Car Accident Settlement Amount in PA

A car accident settlement amount can vary widely based on the specifics of a case. It may be higher or lower depending on factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. If you have questions about how much compensation you're entitled to, you should consult with a Pennsylvania car accident lawyer at WPH Law. Our attorneys can evaluate the severity of your injuries and damages sustained in the accident to calculate a more accurate estimate.

PA Car Accident Attorneys That Are on Your Side

If you've suffered injuries in an accident in Pennsylvania, speak with a committed car accident lawyer at WPH Law for free. Our experienced team can help guide you through the process and fight for your right to fair compensation.

Attorney William P. Harrington, Jr., ESQ.

Bill Harrington

Bill is an experienced attorney in estate planning and administration, credit card debt litigation, bankruptcy, and personal injury. He lives in Kinzers, PA, with his wife and three children.
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