What Happens If You Are In An Accident With An Uninsured Motorist in Pennsylvania?
We are all hopeful people will do the right thing and carry insurance for any vehicle they are driving. Unfortunately, some people may unintentionally let their vehicle liability insurance lapse. Other people may cancel their insurance coverage for reasons that do not necessarily make sense or simply never carry insurance at all. Bankrate.com estimates 6% of the cars on the road in Pennsylvania are uninsured.
If you have been in a vehicle accident and go to exchange insurance information you may be shocked to find the person who hit you doesn’t carry insurance! This will leave you with many questions and concerns about how you will be compensated, the steps to take after the accident, and whether you need to hire a personal injury attorney.
The steps you need to take may seem a bit unclear. Below we explain in more detail how you can pursue the financial compensation you may be entitled to.
What Is The Minimum Car Insurance Coverage By Law In Pennsylvania?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot), all motor vehicles subject to registration such as cars, vans, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trucks, and buses must have liability insurance. You are in compliance with the law if you have liability insurance in the following amounts:
- $15,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident
- $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident
- $5,000 for damage to property of another person
Your insurance company sends you an insurance identification (ID) card valid for only the period for which coverage has been paid. Always carry your insurance ID card in your vehicle.
Failure to maintain liability insurance on a registered vehicle may result in a three-month suspension of your vehicle registration privilege.
Is Pennsylvania A No-Fault State?
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, this means each driver’s insurance pays for their personal medical bills after an accident, regardless of fault. To cover these expenses, drivers in Pennsylvania are required to carry $5,000 in medical benefits coverage.
Pennsylvania is also a “choice no-fault” state allowing drivers to opt out of the no-fault system, which would mean there are no limitations when it comes to filing a lawsuit after an accident. Vehicle owners can choose to purchase a full tort or limited tort policy. Full tort policies are more expensive than limited tort, however, they eliminate any roadblock to filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If a driver has purchased a limited tort policy, they can pursue legal action against the at-fault driver only if they have suffered a serious impairment of body function, permanent disfigurement, or death.
How Can Hiring An Attorney Help You?
If you have been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you should hire a lawyer to help you. With an uninsured motorist at fault, it may be difficult for you to recover for bodily injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost wages without an attorney.
Filing An Uninsured Motorist Claim
If you have the proper uninsured motorist coverage, filing a claim based on this policy should be the easiest way to recover the money you need to cover your financial losses and expenses. Your policy should cover your damages up to the limit..
Your attorney will review your insurance paperwork and determine if you carry this optional coverage. If so, they can collect the evidence to prove your case and document your damages. We will file your claim for you and try to negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance company.
Filing An Uninsured Motorist Claim
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, your only option may be to file a lawsuit. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, we may be able to hold the uninsured driver who caused your crash personally liable for the damages you suffered.
Filing a civil suit against an uninsured driver has some downsides. We may win your case, but the driver may not have the assets to cover your damages. In the absence of an insurance company, we can only collect the resources they have. To do this, we need to know their financial standing before filing a lawsuit.
The attorneys at Gay and Chacker have an impressive record of helping car accident victims get the maximum compensation they deserve. Our attorneys understand the challenges victims face after being involved in a car accident. This is especially true if the other party failed to uphold their financial obligations by carrying the minimum liability insurance required by law. Contact Gay and Chacker today at (215) 567-7955 for a free no-cost, no-obligation consultation or fill out our webform below.