Can You Sue if You Are Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Philadelphia?
There are many individuals in Philadelphia who drive without insurance, even though doing so is illegal in Pennsylvania. If you were in a car accident with a driver that was uninsured, you might be wondering how you will recover compensation for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.
Depending on the type of auto insurance you have, you may be able to sue an uninsured driver for non-economic damages in addition to economic damages in Philadelphia. That said, it is important for victims to understand that recovery in cases against uninsured drivers can vary, as their financial ability and assets will largely influence the damages paid to victims. Because of this, our lawyers will explore the possibility that other parties, like other drivers or car manufacturers, might have contributed to your crash in Philadelphia. The deadline to sue an uninsured driver for an auto accident is two years.
To have our Philadelphia car accident lawyers review your case for free, call The Reiff Law Firm now at (215) 709-6940.
Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver After a Car Accident in Philadelphia?
Filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver can be a complicated process, depending on the facts of the case, the at-fault driver’s assets, and the involvement of other parties.
When a negligent driver does not have insurance, it complicates matters for victims. Although Pennsylvania requires drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance, policies are attached with a tort option, depending on the type of coverage purchased. If you have full tort insurance, you can theoretically file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver without having to prove the severity of your injuries. If you have limited tort insurance, you can only sue for pain and suffering if your injuries meet the serious injury threshold as defined in 75 Pa.C.S. § 102.
When you sue a negligent driver directly instead of their insurance company, how much you recover will largely depend on the driver’s assets, whether or not they own the vehicle, and if other parties share fault. In general, claims against uninsured drivers are less viable than claims against insured drivers. If our Philadelphia car accident lawyers uncover a connection between another at-fault party and your accident, exploring that connection may be prudent. If you can properly allocate fault to all involved parties, you may have a greater chance of a better recovery in Philadelphia.
How Philadelphia Handles Victims Hit by Uninsured Drivers
If you are struck by an uninsured driver in Philadelphia, what happens next can vary. You can sue the negligent driver for causing the accident, and a car accident lawsuit may get you the full compensation you need. While you may have other options for recovering compensation, you should always talk to our lawyers about them before accepting any payments.
All Pennsylvania residents are required to have automobile insurance meeting certain minimum requirements. The mandatory minimums for car insurance in Pennsylvania are $15,000 per person for bodily injury, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury, $5,000 per accident for property damage.
Additional coverage may be available for “uninsured” or “underinsured” coverage. This will step in to pay you additional funds if your first-party benefits are not enough to cover your accident and the other driver either has no insurance or their insurance is still too low to cover your needs. Pennsylvania does not require a motorist to have uninsured or underinsured insurance coverage, and motorists must purchase uninsured and underinsured coverage as an addition to their insurance policy. The minimum option for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Pennsylvania is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
Unfortunately, if you are hit by an uninsured driver and suffer serious bodily injury and damage to your vehicle, the minimum limits of uninsured motorist coverage may not cover all your expenses. If your insurance policy cannot cover the costs of your injuries, it may be wise to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
If you need more information about uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Pennsylvania, you should speak with our experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers.
What to Do if You Are in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist in Philadelphia
If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist in Philadelphia, there are some actions you should take if you wish to file a lawsuit later. The first thing you should do is seek medical attention for you or any individuals who were injured during the crash. You should also take the time to call law enforcement to the scene.
Get the Uninsured Driver’s Information
The negligent driver may not have insurance, but there are other pieces of information that you can ask for. You should get the driver’s address, the make and model of their vehicle, their license plate number, and their license and registration info (if their car is registered). You should also take photographs of your injuries and the damage to both vehicles. If there were any people who witnessed the accident, you should ask them for a statement and their contact information for future use. Having witnesses who place a driver at the accident scene and name them as the at-fault party can help your case, especially if the uninsured driver attempts to flee the accident scene. You should also make a note of any adverse weather or lighting conditions that were present when the accident happened.
Taking the initiative to speak to the other involved driver following your crash will be important. If you delay speaking to them, there might be a greater chance that they will drive away, especially if they are uninsured and are at risk of being held financially liable for your injuries. If the other driver attempts to flee, take photos of their car. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers can review statements from eyewitnesses, security camera footage, photographs, and other information to learn the identity of an uninsured driver who fled the scene of the accident without exchanging information.
Call the Police
After any auto accident in Philadelphia, you should call the police. Once the police arrive and inspect the scene of the accident, they will begin writing a police report. You should request a copy of the police report. This can be done by visiting the specific police department tasked with completing your report or by going online. You should also inform your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible.
By calling the police, you not only create documentation of your crash but you also get assistance dealing with an uninsured driver who might be hesitant to provide their personal information. Law enforcement officers can handle that issue while you get the immediate medical care you need for a car accident in Philadelphia.
Go to the Hospital
As mentioned, while getting care from medical professionals is crucial after any accident, it is especially important after a crash that might lead to a lawsuit. Doctors can begin building medical evidence of your injuries during your first visit to the hospital. If you have limited tort insurance, it will be important to prove that your injuries warrant litigation against an uninsured driver. Continuously getting medical care for your injuries can help you achieve this.
File Your Claim
If your insurance policy is not enough to cover the damages caused by the uninsured driver, you can still sue the driver personally. If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver, you should be aware of the filing deadline for your case. In Pennsylvania, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. If you do not file your claim within this two-year window, the court may bar your claim. This law is referred to as the “statute of limitations.”
There are other benefits to filing your case early besides meeting the statute of limitations deadline. For example, the witnesses you procured for your case will find it easier to recount the details of the accident if the case is started quickly. Any evidence you may need to prove your case will also be easier to find and collect if you begin to prepare for a lawsuit as soon as possible. Furthermore, proving causation is often easier when victims sue immediately after an auto accident in Philadelphia.
Compensation for an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Driver in Philadelphia
After your auto accident in Philadelphia, our lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case to determine fault so that you can hold all necessary parties accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.
Uninsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Pennsylvania. If your personal injury protection insurance does not fully cover the cost of your injuries and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may have to file a lawsuit.
In claims against uninsured drivers, compensation depends on a few different things. Because your recovery will largely be based on the defendant’s financial ability, it is wise to go further in your investigation to determine if another party shares fault for your injuries.
For example, suppose you were hit by an uninsured driver, and an investigation reveals that a mechanical issue with the vehicle resulted in the crash. In that case, we could help you file a claim with the manufacturer of the other driver’s car, possibly leading to greater compensation.
Maximizing your recovery is the most important thing after a car crash. To do this, we will explore all potential options in your case so that you know if suing an uninsured driver or other party is best for you and your recovery. Economic and non-economic damages for victims are not limited in car accident lawsuits involving uninsured drivers in Philadelphia.
Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You File Suit Against an Uninsured Driver
Call The Reiff Law Firm’s Philadelphia car accident lawyers at (215) 709-6940 to get a free case assessment today.