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Accidents with Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers

Car accidents can bring sudden upheaval and distress into your life. Discovering that the driver responsible for the collision lacks auto insurance or possesses insufficient coverage adds to the stress. How do you proceed to secure compensation for your medical expenses in such scenarios?


In Pennsylvania, individuals affected by accidents involving uninsured drivers have options. Delve into the state’s regulations and explore your alternatives.



Understanding Uninsured Motorist Insurance in Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania's insurance policies encompass a range of protections, including uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This coverage ensures that if a policyholder or a passenger incurs injuries due to a driver without liability insurance, the policyholder's insurer will cover the damages incurred by the insured person.


While most insurers adhere to the UM/UIM clause, some might propose insufficient compensation or reject your uninsured motorist claim outright. Subsequently, they could increase your premiums, even in cases where you're not at fault. Some insurers may also attempt to deny coverage.


UM coverage is designed to offer benefits to you or a passenger injured in an accident caused by a driver who either lacks insurance or has inadequate coverage. This coverage is also applicable in hit-and-run incidents where the driver remains unidentified.



Mandatory Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania


To register a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania, one must possess state-approved auto liability insurance. According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation, the required minimum liability coverage includes:


  • $15,000 for bodily injury per person, per accident.

  • $30,000 for total bodily injury when multiple people are injured in an accident.

  • $5,000 for property damage per accident.


Pennsylvania law mandates that all auto insurance policies include UM coverage for bodily injury, adhering to the same minimums. UM coverage only comes into play once the at-fault driver’s insurance has been fully utilized.


Fortunately, Pennsylvania boasts a relatively low percentage of uninsured motorists, indicating a majority of drivers comply with the insurance requirements, enhancing road safety for everyone.



Actions to Take After an Accident in Pennsylvania with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver


Immediately following an accident, it's crucial to contact your insurance provider, especially if the at-fault driver is uninsured. Reporting the incident to the police is also essential. If there are injuries, ensure you summon emergency medical services promptly.


Gathering Evidence Following an Accident


Securing your rights after any vehicular accident involves collecting evidence that supports your potential claim. For UM/UIM claims, essential documents include:


  • Police reports

  • Medical documentation

  • Receipts and records

  • Photographs of the accident scene


These documents are critical in validating your claim should your insurer dispute a UM claim or attempt to minimize the compensation owed to you.



Documenting Your Accident


In hit-and-run situations, documenting the incident thoroughly is imperative. Record the accident's specifics—how, where, and when it occurred, along with witness information (including passengers). Any detail that could aid in identifying the fleeing vehicle, like its color, make, model, year, and travel direction, is valuable. In urban areas where security footage might capture the incident, aiding in the investigation.



Consulting a Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney


Seeking a proficient car accident attorney in Pennsylvania promptly after your accident is advisable. An attorney can navigate the bureaucratic hurdles toward obtaining compensation. Utilizing the evidence you’ve collected, they can commence their investigation, enhancing your recovery prospects.


Experienced attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies effectively, and choosing the right legal representative improves your chances of a successful insurance claim.


In this journey, every step matters, and with NextPhase Community, no one has to walk it alone.



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