Being involved in any car accident can be confusing and complicated. However, if you are struck by an uninsured driver, the situation can be even more difficult to deal with. There are millions of uninsured drivers on the roadways in the United States, with many here in Pennsylvania. We want to talk about what you can do if you are hit by somebody who does not have car insurance and causes damages or injuries.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Fault
Pennsylvania is one considered a “choice no-fault” state when it comes to vehicle accidents. This means that drivers have a choice to have no-fault insurance or fault insurance. This choice must be made at the time insurance is purchased.
No-fault insurance (limited tort) means that each party, regardless of who is at fault for the accident, secures compensation for the incident from their own insurance carrier. This type of insurance coverage will pay for a person’s medical bills as well as lost wages. A person who uses this type of insurance will not be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering damages, even if the other driver was completely at fault (unless certain criteria to be defined as a “serious injury”).
Fault insurance (full tort) means that the driver who was not at fault has more options to recover compensation. They will file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier who will pay for medical bills and lost income. A person with fault insurance will also be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for pain and suffering damages.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is optional in Pennsylvania. This type of coverage is designed to protect drivers who are struck by those with no insurance or who do not have enough coverage to pay for all of the damages.
If a driver chooses to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, the policy will include them, other drivers covered by the policy, and any passengers in the vehicle at the time an accident occurs.
For those who have chosen to use the fault insurance (full tort) coverage, UM/UIM coverage can be especially helpful. One of the benefits of using no-fault insurance is that you do not generally need to rely on the other driver’s insurance carrier. However, that is not the case with fault-based claims. If you have a fault-based insurance policy in Pennsylvania, UM/UIM coverage offers protection in the event you are struck by an uninsured driver. This coverage will also cover expenses from a hit-and-run accident.
If you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage and are struck by a driver with no insurance, you will file a claim with your insurance carrier who will then pay for your medical bills and property damage expenses (up to the limits of the policy you have chosen).
Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices today
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our knowledgeable and experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys are ready to help you secure the compensation you are entitled to. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 215.228.0100.