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 accident attorney right away for help with your case.
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 Pennsylvania 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.
Car accidents are always upsetting and stressful, especially when you have been injured and need to pursue a claim against the person who caused the accident. But this process becomes even more complicated when the person responsible for the accident is not protected by enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries and other damages. You should not have to deal with these complications alone, especially while you are recovering from your injuries. In these cases, it is crucial to contact a Philadelphia underinsured motorist attorney to help you recover fully for your injuries.
Why You Should Contact An Underinsured Motorist Attorney
When you have been injured in an accident caused by an underinsured driver, you are not out of options to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. In fact, you may even be able to pursue a claim with your own insurance company. Many insurance policies in Pennsylvania provide optional coverage for accidents caused by underinsured motorists, so if your policy does cover underinsured motorist accidents, you can file a claim under your own policy. Your attorney can help you understand whether your policy has this kind of coverage or not.
If you and your attorney do end up filing a claim with your insurance company, there may be certain requirements you have to meet. For example, you may have to file your claim within a certain amount of time after the accident, and you may need to provide certain kinds of records to support your claim. That is why you should get in touch with one of our attorneys as soon as possible. An experienced Philadelphia underinsured motorist lawyer will provide invaluable assistance in gathering the information you need and helping you file your claim in a timely fashion.
Your attorney will also represent you and your interests in negotiations with your insurance company. Many insurance companies are only looking to make a profit and try to avoid paying claims as often as possible. Your lawyer will ensure that your insurance company takes your claim seriously and gives you the full amount of compensation you deserve.
How to File an Underinsured Motorist Accident Claim
There are a number of things that you and your lawyer will have to prove when you file your insurance claim. First, you will have to be able to show that the underinsured driver was at fault and caused the accident. Second, you will need to have evidence of how much your claim is worth. This will include showing your medical records and bills, the amount of property damage caused by the accident, and proving any other damages you are claiming such as pain and suffering.
Your attorney will help you collect the information you need. For example, your lawyer will talk to the police who responded to the accident as well as any witnesses to show that the other driver caused the accident. Your lawyer will also help you gather medical records, bills, and any other pieces of evidence to help you with your claim.
After you file your claim, the insurance company may try to settle your claim. Often, the insurance company will offer you less than your claim is worth, so your attorney will act as your representative when talking with the insurance company to ensure that they do not try to offer you less than you deserve.
If the insurance company will not cooperate and pay your claim in full, your claim may be heard by a panel of arbitrators as specified in your insurance policy. The panel will usually be made up of one arbitrator chosen by your insurance company, one chosen by your lawyer on your behalf, and one chosen by the other two arbitrators. The panel is responsible for listening to your claim and supporting evidence and determining how much to award you for compensation. If your claim is heard before a panel of arbitrators, it is important that you have an experienced Philadelphia attorney to select a qualified arbitrator to hear your underinsured motorist claim.
Our lawyers understand how stressful underinsured motorist accidents can be. We work zealously on behalf of our clients to ensure that they are fully compensated for their injuries, even if the driver who caused the accident is not covered by enough insurance. We always provide accident victims with a free initial consultation to review their claim, either at our offices or at your home or hospital room. Don't hesitate to contact our office right away to get in touch with a qualified Philadelphia underinsured motorist attorney.