Fault – How is fault determined in a Pennsylvania Car Accident:
- Proportional Comparative Fault: also known as “Modified Comparative Negligence – 51% rule”
- Pennsylvania has adopted “proportional comparative fault” as a measure to determine the recoverable amount of damages a person may recover, based on the percentage of fault of that person. In Pennsylvania, the amount of proportional comparative fault is determined for each person involved in a car accident. If the injured person is more than 51% at fault, they may not recover for their injuries. If the injured person is 50% or less at fault, they may recover damages, reduced by the percentage of his or her fault.
- For example: Katie and Matt are in a car accident and Katie is injured. It is determined that Katie is 51% at fault. Under Pennsylvania proportional comparative fault, Katie may not recover any damages for her injuries. In comparison, if Katie were 49% at fault, she would be able to recover damages under Pennsylvania proportional comparative fault minus her percentage of fault.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements and Limits: the following types of coverage are required in Pennsylvania:
- Medical Benefits
- Bodily Injury Liability
- minimum limit is $ 15,000 for one injured person
- minimum limit of $ 30,000 for total available for one accident
- Property Damage Liability
- minimum limit is $ 30,000
- Limited or Full Tort Coverage
- option for limited or full tort coverage – will determine type of recovery available in a tort action3
Pennsylvania Small Claims Limit:
If a claim for damages in a car accident is $10,000 or less it should be assigned to the small claims court of the appropriate jurisdiction in Pennsylvania. A District or Justice Court is $8,000.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Statue of Limitations:
In Pennsylvania, a person should bring a personal injury claim within two (2) years of the accident or within one (1) year for libel, slander, and invasion of privacy. 2 PA Con. Stat. Sections 5523, 5524
Pennsylvania Statues Online: Pennsylvania Codes Online.
- Pennsylvania Accident and Personal Injury Laws:
- Statue of Limitations for Personal Injury
- The Pennsylvania Code, 2 PA Con. Stat. §§ 5523, 5524
- Insurance Requirements
- Pennsylvania Statute, 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1702
- Small Claims Limits
- Philadelphia Statutes Annotated, Title 42, Part II, Subpart A, Article D, Ch. 11, Subchapter B, § 1123
- Title 42, Part II, Article E, Ch. 15, Subchapter B, §§ 1511-1520.
- Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Actions and Proceedings Before District Justices, Rules 201-325
- Philadelphia Municipal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 101-134
- Claims Against Public Entities
- Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 8541, 8542
Pennsylvania Car Accident Reports
- Police Reports
- To obtain a copy of a police report from the Pennsylvania State Police, you will need to fill out and submit request form ‘SP7-0015 - Application to Obtain Copy of Police Crash Report,’ no sooner than 15 days after the accident. The request must be accompanied by a money order or certified check for $8.00 payable to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” To receive a police report from local police, call or visit the police station for information on how to receive an accident report.
- For car accidents in Pennsylvania, if the police do not investigate the car accident and someone has died or been injured, or the car must be towed, a Driver’s Accident Report (Form AA-600) must be filed with PennDOT within 5 days.
Most auto insurance companies require prompt reporting of a car accident from their policy holders. If your insurance company is not notified within a VERY short timeframe, your insurance company may deny you of coverage for your car accident. Check with your insurance policy for notice requirements.