Uninsured Driver Accidents: Who Pays Your Bills?
Auto insurance is required by law in every single U.S. state (except New Hampshire), and drivers must carry their state’s minimum requirements to legally drive a vehicle. In Pennsylvania, you’re required to have bodily injury and property damage liability coverage and personal injury protection coverage. That second type of coverage—personal injury protection—is particularly important because it determines how much you are paid after an accident, regardless of fault.
Pennsylvania is one of several states that has a “no-fault” policy. This means that regardless of fault, both parties must turn to their own insurance companies in search of compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Unfortunately, most insurance companies will only cover up to a certain percentage of reimbursement, choosing whichever option has the lowest cost attached to it.
Once your wages and bills exceed your policy limits, you are accountable for paying the remainder through your own personal health insurance or out-of-pocket.While you can sue the other driver for damages, what if they are uninsured? If they’re not paying for insurance, they probably don’t have enough money to cover your expenses, so what’s there to do?
One of the best things you can do is to purchase uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. While Pennsylvania doesn’t require it, it covers any injury expenses you or passengers in your car suffer. It will also cover damages to your car, although you’ll have to negotiate with an adjustor during the claims process to determine the other driver’s liability.You can also purchase underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). If you’re hit by an underinsured driver, the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover some of your damages, while your insurance will cover the rest. It’s a bit confusing because it’s a departure from the “no-fault” rule, but that’s just how it works.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, please contact our Philadelphia auto accident attorneys at The Beasley Firm. Our firm has recovered over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for victims of serious injuries and deaths. Tell us about your case to see if our firm can help.
Call (215) 866-2424 or contact us online for a free consultation.