The results of a car accident can be made exponentially worse if an uninsured driver is involved. Although all drivers are required by law to possess insurance, many are driving without.
In some states, drivers need only to have minimum insurance requirements. This means that even if a motorist that causes a crash has insurance, it may not be enough to cover the victim’s injuries. If the liable driver has no insurance or is underinsured, the injured party may find themselves in an unfortunate situation.
Pennsylvania Minimum Insurance Requirements
All Pennsylvania auto insurance policies must meet the state’s minimum requirements. This includes:
- $5,000 in medical benefits; which is also known as personal injury protection, or PIP. It will cover medical expenses for the policy owner.
- $15,000/$30,000 bodily injury liability. The bodily injury liability provides for the victim’s medical costs, with a cap of $30,000.
- $5,000 in property damage. Property damage monies are used for the victim’s damaged property.
In addition, Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, and all drivers must have personal injury protection on their policies. No-fault auto insurance laws require every driver to file a claim with their own insurance company after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Injured parties must first file claims with their insurance companies, no matter who is liable for causing the accident. This is where their personal injury protection can come into play. Severely injured car accident victims can only sue if their case qualifies, based on how severe their injuries are.
Choosing Proper Coverage
Since many motorists drive without insurance or are underinsured, policy owners may want to consider paying for added protection. Having adequate insurance coverage can be beneficial, should these situations occur.
Uninsured motorist coverage, while not required in PA, is an option that provides benefits to policy owners when at-fault drivers are lacking in insurance.
Underinsured motorist coverage can pay for property damage and medical expenses when the liable driver does not have enough insurance to cover those costs.
Adding both of these options to a policy costs more, but may be worth it, especially for serious accidents.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Insurance companies handle Uninsured Motorist claims like other liability claims. An adjuster will contact the claimant about the at-fault driver and other pertinent details, including the extent of the auto damage and injuries. For an underinsured motorist claim, the injured party must first contact the at-fault driver’s insurance agency to discuss the claim.
Afterwards, the injured party needs to call their own agency to see if they can collect the difference. These claims do have coverage limits, including the type of accident, where it occurred, and medical payments.
If the liable driver has no insurance at all, there is the option of suing that driver by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the at-fault driver is unable to pay, the court may be able to arrange a set payment plan.
In these cases, defendants sometimes pay the plaintiffs each week. If the payments are not made, the plaintiff may have to return to court.
The Allegheny County Car Accident Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Help Clients with Uninsured Motorist Claims
If you were in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, contact an experienced Allegheny County car accident lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. for assistance. Call us at 412-765-1888 or fill out an online form. From our office is in Pittsburgh, we represent clients in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and Western Pennsylvania.