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Understanding Insurance Coverage When You are Facing an Automobile Accident

Posted on February 28th, 2016

In a motor vehicle accident, insurance can potentially come from multiple sources. However, there is not always an easily determined answer. This question, to see which parties involved in the accident will need to tap into their motor vehicle insurance policies, is an essential one because insurance money is usually the source of an injured person’s financial recovery. This financial recovery is also a significant factor in their full physical recovery after the accident as well. Insurance companies will fight against one another in inter-company arbitration courts to establish who will or will not be forced to cover the damages resulting from a car accident.

Before the companies reach that point however, they first look to Pennsylvania Statute 1713. The statute states that a “person who suffers injury arising out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle shall recover first party benefits against applicable insurance coverage.” This injured person does not need to be individually insured, it would just mean that the first two options for the source of benefits would be ineligible to be used. The first insurance coverage to be used is “for a named insured, the policy on which he is the named insured.” This means if the injured individual is the insured policy holder, then that person’s insurance will be utilized.

The second highest priority of insurance coverage is “For an insured, the policy covering the insured.” This means that any policy that covers the insured party, who is now injured, will be second in line to cover the costs of their damages.

The third highest source of benefit comes from the policy on the motor vehicle itself. Therefore, if a person is in a car not owned by them as a passenger, the car owner who is also an occupant of the car during the accident, their insurance policy on the car will be used. This assumes that the first two source of insurance coverage cannot be used for a certain reason. Some of these reasons could be if the injured individual is not insured, and neither is anyone in his household. The person within the household only needs to have a car or health insurance, not both. For this third source, the person who owns the car must be an occupant of the vehicle.

Lastly, if the owner and policy holder of a car in a motor vehicle accident is not present during the accident and neither of the first three sources are available, the car’s policy holder will be the source of the insurance coverage and will need to compensate the injured party for his or her injuries. This is an intriguing rule as the owner of the car might have nothing to do with the accident at all, yet his policy is leaned upon when no one else’s can be.

Ciccarelli Law Offices has decades of experience handling motor vehicle accident cases and the subsequent personal injuries. Sincerely dedicated to their clients, our attorneys work hard to ensure the proper outcome of any accident related case. If you are injured in the accident, you deserve to compensated for your series of injuries, regardless of whose fault it is. Contact us for any legal assistance you may need at 610-692-8700 or toll free at 877-529-2422. Our main office is located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, but we have satellite offices in many surrounding counties.