In Pennsylvania and around the country the percentage of uninsured and underinsured motorists operating vehicles is growing at an epidemic rate. So too, is the rate of increased hit and run accidents. In 2016 alone, a rash of hit and run accidents have affected drivers in Center City and throughout Philadelphia. In particular, Roosevelt Boulevard has been a hotspot of hit and runs. Some of the reasons for hit and run accidents include an individual’s fear of facing the legal and financial repercussions from the crash. However, even when the driver remains at the scene of an accident, you may face issues if he or she is uninsured or underinsured. Therefore it is essential that you purchase the right type of car insurance so you have coverage when you truly need it.
Since 1979, the experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers of The Reiff Law Firm have been investigating and handling uninsured and underinsured motorist claims in Pennsylvania and highly recommend that all automobile owners and operators immediately get coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist protection in case they or a family member sustain a catastrophic injury or fatality. As a result of an unpredictable car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance protection will cover a claimant should you be in a hit and run accident or if you are involved in an accident and the other person does not have enough insurance to fully cover your loss. At least if you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you protect yourself. Proper insurance coverage reduces the financial impact of an unpredictable accident and as Louis Pasteur was once famously quoted as saying “Chance favors the prepared mind”.
What Happens if the Other Driver Lacks Insurance Coverage or Hits and Runs?
If the other driver does not remain at the scene of the accident or lacks sufficient insurance coverage, you could face problems getting your insurance company to cover the full extent of your damages and medical bills. While Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state, your insurer will only pay for injuries and damages up to your specific policy limits. Furthermore, your decision to purchase a limited tort or a full coverage option will affect your legal ability to pursue additional damages from the other driver. If you elect to purchase limited tort coverage rather than full tort coverage you will only be able to sue provided that you meet the state’s serious injury threshold. Typically this requires a life-altering injury like a broken bone or severe disfigurement.
If your policy limits are insufficient to pay for your injury and damages you would ordinarily seek additional compensation from the at-fault party or parties. However, when these parties are underinsured, uninsured, or unidentified your ability to receive compensation may be limited by your auto policy decisions.
What Does Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
To be fully covered for the damages one can suffer in a Pennsylvania car accident, one must also have uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Simply because you elect a full tort policy does not mean that you have a full coverage policy. While UM coverage can provide additional compensation for accidents with an uninsured driver a UIM policy does the same for accidents with an underinsured driver. These policies apply after other sources of coverage are exhausted.
Does Pennsylvania Require Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Pennsylvania does not require uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance protection even though all Pennsylvania drivers are required by law to have mandatory minimal automobile insurance. Mandatory minimum insurance coverage consists of sufficient coverage for personal injury (PIP), bodily injury liability, and property damage liability. UM and UIM coverage is purchased in addition to the state minimum coverage.
At The Reiff Law Firm, our car accident attorneys strongly recommend that our clients do not purchase minimum coverage. While full tort, UM, and UIM coverage may cost a few extra dollars a month, paying for coverage of this type can make all the difference in the world when you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. We feel strongly about this and we are proud to offer a free, no obligation car insurance “check-up”.
Work with Strategic and Aggressive Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured involved in an accident with an individual that has no automobile insurance and you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company steps in to pay for your financial losses. It is important that you consult with a highly experienced uninsured motorist accident lawyer to make sure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you. Most insurance companies put profits above all else and will look for every excuse to defend, delay or deny a payment.
The Philadelphia uninsured and underinsured motorist lawyers at the Philadelphia car accident firm of The Reiff Law Firm specialize in representing drivers, pedestrians, passengers and victims of hit and run accident who have suffered injuries resulting from car accidents with uninsured and underinsured drivers. If you were involved in an accident with another vehicle or were a passenger in a car involved in an accident with another vehicle or were a pedestrian struck by another vehicle and have your own automobile insurance, underinsured motorist coverage would be available to pay the injured person the difference between the minimum value of the other person’s insurance (assuming that it was the minimum statutory requirement) and the full value of your claim. This difference is often quite significant and should always be pursued.
The Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Rieff & Bily
The experienced underinsured and uninsured car accidents lawyers at the Philadelphia car accident law firm of The Reiff Law Firm have handled thousands of uninsured and underinsured motorist claims since 1979. If you would like more information about the uninsured or underinsured motorist law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, please call one of our expert Philadelphia uninsured or underinsured accident lawyers at (215) 246-9000 or contact us online.