Pennsylvania law requires all drivers to have insurance coverage in order to legally drive their vehicles in the state. Drivers are legally required to have a minimum of $5,000 of coverage for medical benefits (to cover medical bills for yourself and others in the event of an accident), as well as bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.
However, some drivers neglect to obtain the required car insurance coverage, or they let their policies lapse and are no longer legally covered by auto insurance. In fact, in 2012, around 6.5% of drivers did not have auto insurance coverage. If an uninsured driver causes a car accident, it could leave the victims of the accident without the ability to recover from the driver for their injuries and any property damage. In these situations, you should contact a Philadelphia uninsured motorist accident attorney right away for help with your case.
Uninsured Motorist Accidents
Car accidents are stressful and upsetting enough without the additional complication of being unable to recover from the driver who caused the accident. No accident victim should have to deal with these issues alone, especially while they are recovering from their injuries. Your attorney will be there with you every step of the way to help you with your claim.
After you have received medical attention for your injuries, contact your uninsured motorist accident lawyer right away. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine whether your own insurance policy covers situations involving accidents caused by uninsured drivers. Although this is optional coverage in Pennsylvania, many drivers elect to have this coverage as part of their policy. This kind of coverage will pay for your medical bills if you were injured in the accident, as well as any property damage that the driver incurred to your vehicle.
If you are not sure whether you are covered by uninsured motorist coverage, your attorney will help you look at your policy and understand your coverage. It is important to contact your attorney right away, because you may be required under your policy to file your claim within a certain amount of time after your accident, usually thirty days after the accident.
Your attorney will also make sure that you have all of the records and information required to file a claim with your insurance company. This will include gathering medical records and bills, vehicle repair or replacement bills, and witness statements from the accident. Having the assistance of your attorney will allow you to recover from your injuries without worrying about tracking down this information needed to file your claim.
The Complications of an Uninsured Motorist Accident
Part of the reason that uninsured motorist accidents are so challenging is that the laws governing recovery for accident victims is complex. First, the accident victim is required to show that the uninsured driver is the one responsible for causing the accident. Then, the victim has to prove that the driver who caused the accident is in fact not covered by car insurance. These two elements are required to pursue a claim with your insurance company. It is the accident victims responsibility to prove these things to the insurance company, which is where your attorney can come in to help with the investigation and gathering of information.
You and your attorney will need to track down witnesses to the accident to help prove that the uninsured driver caused the accident. If a police officer responded to the accident, his or her report may be useful evidence as well. In addition, even if the other driver claimed that he or she had insurance coverage, your lawyer will contact their insurance company to make sure that their policy has not lapsed or was canceled.
Your lawyer will also be of invaluable assistance when speaking with your insurance company. Your company may try to deny your claim in order to avoid having to pay, or they may try to offer you less in compensation than your claim deserves. An experienced attorney will know how much your claim is worth and will ensure that the insurance company does not try to offer you less than you are owed under your policy.
Your policy may also require that your claim be handled in arbitration rather than in court. In these situations, your lawyer will select an arbitrator on your behalf to sit on the arbitration panel that will hear your case. It is important that you work with a knowledgeable uninsured motorist accident attorney who will be able to select a qualified and fair arbitrator who will carefully consider the facts of your case.
Finally, your lawyer may also be able to help you apply for Pennsylvanias Assigned Claims Plan (ACP), a fund that can provide up to $15,000 to help cover medical bills or property damage as a result of an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Your attorney will help determine if you qualify for the fund.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, be sure to contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.