What To Do If You're in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
Roughly 12% of drivers in America are not insured. This can create confusion and uncertainty when a motor vehicle accident involves such a motorist. Despite the legal mandate requiring drivers to maintain car insurance, some do not carry valid coverage. In this article, you will learn about Pennsylvania’s car insurance requirements, penalties if you do not have insurance, the difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, as well as how the law offices of Lepley, Engelman, Yaw & Wilk can help you if you find yourself in an accident involving an uninsured driver.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements
In Pennsylvania, car owners must adhere to the state's legal requirement for certain minimum car insurance coverages to operate their vehicles legally. This includes a no-fault "medical benefits" coverage of $5,000, responsible for covering medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. There is a mandatory coverage of $15,000 for bodily injury per person and $30,000 per accident if the policyholder is at fault. A $5,000 coverage per incident is also required for property damage if the policyholder is found responsible. Comprehensive car insurance policies are also recognized in Pennsylvania, provided the total coverage is at least $35,000. It's important to understand that if the damages you cause from an accident exceed your policy limits, you may have to cover the remaining costs from your assets.
Penalties in Pennsylvania
Driving without the necessary liability insurance in Pennsylvania carries serious penalties set by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Offenders can expect to be hit with a minimum fine of $300, alongside a potential three-month suspension of both their vehicle registration and driver's license. To regain these, they will also be required to pay restoration fees. Their vehicle use may be restricted. These penalties significantly escalate if the uninsured driver is responsible for a vehicular accident, potentially resulting in a far more significant financial burden. This introduces the pressing need for uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. This vital coverage shields you from the economic challenges of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverages are insurance provisions that protect you from financial hardship by covering medical bills, lost income, and other damages. While they usually exclude vehicle damage or towing, they are still highly recommended by legal experts. This coverage, which can be acquired from your insurance provider, can come in handy in various scenarios, such as hit-and-run incidents, accidents resulting in passenger injuries, or cases involving pedestrians or cyclists. The multitude of expenses covered under UM and UIM includes but is not limited to property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, car repairs, collision insurance deductibles, funeral costs, loss of income, medical bills, pain and suffering, and rental car costs.
Uninsured and Underinsured coverage is the most important coverage you can have on your policy. WHY? Because it is through these coverages that you PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY from an uninsured or underinsured driver. Many drivers who have bad driving records that drive up their insurance premiums, drivers with DUI(s) on their record or who are habitual traffic offenders normally have the cheapest coverage. If you have damages in excess of $15,000.00 and the at fault driver only has minimum coverage you will not be able to recover the full value of your damages unless you have the right coverage. You MUST have uninsured and underinsured coverage in the right amounts to PROTECT YOUR FAMILY. Lepley, Engelman, Yaw & Wilk, LLC will review your policy for free to ensure if you are in an accident you are PROTECTED!
What if you Find Yourself in an Auto Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
If you find yourself involved in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you should do the following:
- Ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Should the situation warrant it, don't hesitate to call emergency services.
- Despite the other driver being uninsured, gathering as much information as possible at the scene is crucial. This should include the driver's contact details, the make and model of their vehicle, as well as any pertinent details related to the accident.
- It's also advisable to contact a reputable law firm such as the Law Offices of Lepley, Engelman, Yaw, and Wilk, LLC. Their experienced team specializes in such cases and can provide invaluable guidance through the often-complicated process of filing a claim against an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
How Can We Help?
For further advice and legal counsel, do not hesitate to contact us. With offices in Williamsport, Lewisburg, and the Southern Tier in Pennsylvania, The Law Offices of Lepley, Engelman, Yaw, and Wilk is committed to guiding you through the complexities of dealing with uninsured motorists' accidents. We will answer any questions, help you understand the full extent of your rights, and represent your interests effectively. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation and insurance coverage review. Schedule a free consultation and insurance coverage review with us today. Experience the reassurance of having your rights defended by a team of experienced and dedicated legal professionals.