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How Limited Compensation Available After a Tragic Accident Affects a Victim

The last thing we think about every day when we kiss our wife and children goodbye and head to the office is that we will be involved in a tragic catastrophic car accident.  When a tragic truck, car, or motorcycle accident occurs, in an instant a victim’s life is forever changed.  Medical bills accumulate,  lost wages accumulate and when nursing services are required, a victim and their family have the winds knocked out of their sails financially and emotionally.

Unfortunately one of the most difficult aspects of my life as catastrophic injury lawyer is to tell the family of a catastrophically injured paraplegic who has also suffered a brain injury that the insurance proceeds or coverage is only enough to compensate them for a limited amount of time because the responsible party did not have sufficient insurance coverage.

Insurance Coverage For Car, Motorcycle, and Trucking Accidents

Many times, catastrophic medical expenses must be covered by Medicare and Medicaid and become burdens to taxpayers.  In the last few months, I have seen a rash of corporate bankruptcies coupled with mandatory minimum insurance policies adding to the crisis.

Catastrophic injuries in trucking and motorcycle accidents are not rare occurrences.  I salute the efforts of U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright who recently introduced HR 2730 in support of mandatory higher insurance limits for commercial truck operators.  Although Congressman Cartwright has wrongfully been attacked for allegations of improper motives due to his family’s association with a personal injury firm in Scranton, nobody knows better than Matt Cartwright, the need for higher liability limits.  He has been on the battlefield first hand as an attorney protecting the rights of victims and now as a U.S. Congressman, he has the ability to make a difference with meaningful legislation.

Pennsylvania has mandatory automobile insurance coverage.  However, the minimal limits of $15,000 have not changed since I first began to practice law in 1979.  Pennsylvania motorists are still living in the “Flintstone” age due to the fact that limits so dangerously low they barely cover the cost of an overnight stay in a hospital.

Since 1974 when these minimal rates were first established and mandated by the legislature of Pennsylvania, they have never even been adjusted for inflation.  Neighboring states such as Maryland and Virginia increased mandatory minimum coverage.  Something to think about – in 1974, a six-pack of Coca-Cola was less than 90 cents, a Hershey bar was 15 cents, and a box of Corn Flakes was 43 cents.

While the prices of these goods have more than doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled, insurance coverage has not and all it takes is one catastrophic injury to wipe out a victim’s hopes and dreams.

The Reiff Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an accident you may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Rieff & Bily can help. For your free legal consultation, call us at (215) 246-9000 or visit us online today.


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