Lepley, Engelman, and Yaw - Attorneys At Law
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Our Attorneys

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Criminal defense lawyer George E. Lepley, Jr.

George E. Lepley, Jr.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Personal Injury Lawyer Douglas N. Engelman

Douglas N. Engelman

Personal Injury Lawyer

Williamsport Divorce lawyer Janice Ramin Yaw

Janice Ramin Yaw

Divorce/Family Law Lawyer

Williamsport Personal Injury lawyer Gary L. Black

Gary L. Black

Personal Injury Lawyer

Williamsport Family Lawyer Meghan Engelman Young

Meghan Engelman Young

Divorce/Family Law Lawyer

Williamsport Family Law Lawyer Heather Lewis

Heather Willis Lewis

Divorce/Family Law Lawyer

Williamsport Personal Injury Lawyer David Wilk

David Wilk

Personal Injury Lawyer

For over twenty years, we have been serving the legal needs of Central Pennsylvania including the Williamsport, Lewisburg, Canton, Towanda, Wellsboro, Sunbury, Shamokin, Danville, Bloomsburg, and Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre areas.


What You Need to Know About Auto Insurance


FULL TORT VS. FULL COVERAGE, WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

When you purchase an auto insurance policy, you are asked whether you wish to select the "limited tort" or "full tort" option.

If you select the "limited tort" option then you are not able to recover for your pain and suffering unless you sustain "serious bodily injury".

"Serious bodily injury" can be established by showing serious impairment of a body function, which involves an inquiry as to what body function, if any, is impaired because of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident and whether the impairment of the body function is serious.

The focus of these inquiries is not on the injuries themselves, but on how the injuries affect a particular body function. Generally, medical testimony will be needed to establish the existence, extent, and permanency of the impairment. In determining whether an impairment is serious, several factors should be considered including the extent of the impairment, the length of time the impairment lasts, the treatment required to correct the impairment, and any other relevant factors. An impairment need not be permanent to be serious.

The insurance industry knows that it is difficult for a plaintiff to overcome this threshold once the "limited tort" selection has been made. This can cost tens of thousands of dollars in a personal injury recovery. It makes it extremely difficult to litigate a personal injury case when that selection has been made barring catastrophic injury.

As a personal injury attorney with more than 30 years experience, I cannot tell you how many clients have stated they have "full coverage" under their policy; yet, when I look and review the policy with them, they have selected "limited tort". The general public at large is not familiar with the intricacies of this selection. Often times an agent may use the phrase "full coverage" and not explain in any detail the difference between "limited tort" and "full tort". The agent should go over the difference in cost to you. Sometimes they do, but too frequently I believe they do not.

Here at Lepley, Engelman & Yaw we strongly encourage you to select the "full tort" option under your policy. This allows you to recover for all injuries and damages suffered in an automobile accident. Do not let yourself be caught short. We believe you should be allowed to recover for the full extent of your injuries and damages when a driver is negligent and causes harm to you.

As for what the agent means by stating "full coverage", it is likely he means you have sufficient coverage as required by law. This means you have essentially the "bare bones" coverage that will not fully protect you and your loved ones if you are involved in an accident.

If you are confused when speaking with your agents in purchasing insurance policies, feel free to contact us here at Lepley Engelman & Yaw and we will be happy to review your policy at no charge.

"Douglas N. Engelman, Esq."


PENNSYLVANIA MOTORISTS, DO NOT BE A VICTIM

As an attorney with over 30 years of experience in personal injury litigation, I can tell you that it is extremely important for you to select the appropriate insurance not only to protect yourself against litigation directed at your negligence, but also to protect yourself and your family against a motorist who is careless and harms you or a family member. The most important insurance you can have to protect you and your family is uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage.

When I was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1981 and shortly thereafter became a personal injury litigator, the minimum insurance requirements for the privilege of driving in the Commonwealth was $15,000/$30,000. That means that if someone is careless and injures you or a family member, the insurance company is only required to pay $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident. That minimum coverage has not been raised to adjust for inflation for approximately 30 years.

Anyone who purchases that minimum coverage is likely to be someone who is not in a high income bracket. They are also not likely to have any assets to attach or go after if a judgment is obtained against them. The only remedy you may have in that situation is uninsured/underinsured coverage which protects you against an uninsured driver or underinsured motorist.

For example, if you are injured in an accident and sustain damages that everyone agrees are in excess of $100,000 but the motorist who hit you was uninsured, if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy you can collect from your policy up to the maximum amount of uninsured motorist benefits under your policy. Similarly, if you are injured by a motorist who was careless and that motorist only has $15,000/$30,000 of insurance (the minimum allowed by law) but your damages are $100,000, you can recover the difference ($85,000) from your own underinsurance coverage.

Too often, because the minimum allowed by law has not been increased for more than 30 years, victims across Pennsylvania are left with staggering medical bills that they are responsible for, but cannot pay. This situation is often times aggravated by the inability to work due to the injuries sustained in the accident. So, not only are you not able to cope with the massive amount of medical bills incurred, but also can't pay your regular bills.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage is the only means you have to protect yourself and your family from this type of catastrophic loss. This type of insurance is the most important insurance you can buy because it protects you and your family. Yet the insurance industry downplays this coverage and routinely recommends dropping or waiving that coverage because it is a means to reduce the amount of the premiums you pay. However, this coverage is fairly cheap and is certainly cheaper than the liability coverage you pay for on the policy. Lepley Engelman & Yaw strongly encourages you to have at least $250,000/$500,000 UM/UIM coverage on your insurance policy. Lepley Engelman & Yaw as a public service is willing to review your policy with you if you bring your policy in for our review (limit of 15 minutes per review without charge).

"Douglas N. Engelman, Esq."

MOTORCYCLISTS, DON'T BE A VICTIM

I have over 32 years of experience as an attorney and approximately 30 years as a personal injury litigator. In that time, I have represented severely injured motorcyclists. In fact, I have handled and recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured motorcyclists across the Commonwealth.

Of critical concern to me is helping motorcyclists select insurance coverage that will protect them. Operating a motorcycle is more dangerous than operating an automobile. The injuries in a motorcycle collision are routinely far more severe than I see in auto collisions. There is no airbag, no seatbelt restraint, and no vehicle shell to protect you.

Under the Commonwealth laws to enjoy the privilege of driving an automobile, you merely have to purchase $15,000/$30,000 of auto liability insurance. That is the minimum required by our Commonwealth. That means that if a minimum covered driver is negligent in causing injuries to you as a motorcyclist, the insurance company will only pay $15,000 toward your injury damages. Many times in catastrophic events, which are far more in motorcycle collisions than auto collisions, the medical bills exceed $100,000.00.

If you don't properly select uninsured and underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage, you may face not only a lengthy physical recovery but significant mental anguish and financial ruin as a result of being held accountable for the bulk of your medical bills, while at the same time not being able to pay your regular bills because you are out of work.

Lepley Engelman & Yaw suggests that a motorcyclist have at a minimum $250,000.00 of UM/UIM. You should discuss this UM/UIM coverage with your insurance agent. Do not let the agent talk you out of this coverage as I believe it to be vital to your well-being.

As a courtesy, Lepley Engelman & Yaw is willing to review your insurance coverage with you. We can explain those coverages to you so you fully understand and appreciate that uninsured and underinsured coverage is extremely important to any motorist and especially to a motorcyclist. If you wish to have your coverage reviewed by an attorney here in the office, you may call and schedule a 15 minute appointment to review your policy at no charge.

"Douglas N. Engelman, Esq."



140 East Third Street, Williamsport (570) 323-3768
238 Troy Street, Canton (570) 673-4081
320 Market Street, Lewisburg (570) 522-0505
(800) 422-5396
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