Car accidents are stressful. Your vehicle may get damaged. You may have physical injuries, incur medical bills, and miss work. As a result of missing work, you may lose wages. Moreover, you may experience pain and suffering and emotional distress from the incident.

When the other driver is at fault, you may assume that their insurance will cover your expenses. However, what happens when they have no insurance or do not have enough insurance to cover your expenses?

Finding out the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover the costs of the motor vehicle accident or has no insurance at all makes the situation incredibly stressful. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage is a good way to protect yourself financially if you find yourself in a car crash with an uninsured driver or a driver whose insurance will not cover all the costs associated with the accident. An uninsured motorist claim lawyer at Simon Hyde Legal can help you get compensated for losses associated with a car crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Are Pennsylvania Vehicle Owners Required To Have Auto Insurance?

Pennsylvania law mandates vehicle liability insurance for all vehicle owners. This law applies to all vehicles, including:

  • Cars
  • Vans
  • Motorcycles
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Trucks
  • Buses

Generally, the penalties for failing to maintain vehicle liability insurance are:

  • A $300 fine
  • A three-month suspension of the vehicle’s registration
  • A three-month suspension of the driver’s license of the uninsured driver
  • A fee to reinstate the vehicle’s registration
  • A fee to reinstate the driver’s license
  • A fee to restore a commercial driver’s license

 

No one—not even an uninsured driver’s family and friends—is allowed to drive the vehicle when the vehicle’s registration is suspended.

Although Pennsylvania law requires vehicle owners to have insurance, you may still find yourself in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Not all Pennsylvania drivers abide by the law. The Insurance Information Institute reports that about 13 percent of United States drivers are uninsured. Moreover, the Insurance Information Institute also says that six percent of Pennsylvania drivers are uninsured—despite Pennsylvania’s law requiring drivers to purchase vehicle liability insurance.

What Are The Minimum Requirements For Liability Insurance In Pennsylvania?

Vehicle owners in Pennsylvania must have a certain level of vehicle liability insurance coverage under Pennsylvania law. Pennsylvania vehicle owners must have at least $15,000 of vehicle liability insurance coverage for the injury or death of one person and at least $30,000 of vehicle liability insurance coverage for injuries or deaths of multiple people. Additionally, Pennsylvania law requires vehicle owners to have at least $5,000 of vehicle liability insurance coverage for damage to another person’s property.

How Are You Compensated For Accident Related Damages If The Driver At Fault Does Not Have Insurance?

If the driver at fault does not have vehicle liability insurance or does not have enough vehicle labiality insurance to compensate you fully, you may file an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident claim with your insurance company. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at Simon Hyde Legal will be able to help you with this process.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage In Pennsylvania?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you get into a car accident caused by a driver who lacks vehicle liability insurance. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will cover a certain amount of the costs associated with the accident.

Also, this type of insurance protects you if you are in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver who remains unlocated. In this case, the uninsured motorist coverage would treat the hit-and-run driver as uninsured and cover a certain amount of the costs associated with the accident.

What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage In Pennsylvania?

Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you get into a car accident caused by a driver who has vehicle liability insurance, but their vehicle liability coverage is not enough. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will cover a certain amount of the difference between what the driver at fault’s insurance pays and what costs remain.

Uninsured motorist coverage can be beneficial if Pennsylvania law’s minimum requirements for vehicle liability insurance are not enough to cover the financial costs associated with your car crash.

What Does Uninsured And Underinsured Coverage Cover?

Generally, uninsured and underinsured coverage includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Most uninsured and underinsured coverage excludes property damage. This means that uninsured and underinsured coverage will not cover damage to your vehicle.

What Does Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage Include?

Generally, uninsured and underinsured coverage extends to people in addition to you. These people include:

  • Other listed drivers
  • Passengers in the car at the time of the accident
  • Relatives in your household

 

Should You Purchase Uninsured And Underinsured Coverage?

Pennsylvania law does not require you to have uninsured and underinsured coverage. However, roughly one in eight drivers in the United States are uninsured. Even when the driver at fault is insured, their car insurance may not be enough to cover the costs associated with the accident. Indeed, Pennsylvania’s minimum amount of vehicle liability insurance coverage may not be enough to compensate you fully. Thus, purchasing uninsured and underinsured coverage may be a good idea. Uninsured and underinsured coverage would protect you financially if you were to get into an auto accident with a negligent, uninsured, or underinsured driver or if you become the victim of a hit-and-run accident.

What Should You Do If You Do Not Know If You Have Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage? 

Pennsylvania law mandates insurance companies offer you uninsured and underinsured coverage. You must explicitly waive it via a written waiver if you do not want this coverage. If your own insurance company cannot show that you waived uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, Pennsylvania law will require your insurance company to provide coverage. Thus, unless you waived coverage, you may have it. A skilled lawyer at Simon Hyde Legal may help negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf to get the financial compensation you need.

Can You Sue An Uninsured Driver In Pennsylvania? 

You may file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver. However, doing so may not lead to the financial compensation you deserve. Even if the court issues a judgment against the uninsured driver, the uninsured driver may not have the money to pay you. Obtaining uninsured and underinsured coverage before an accident occurs is better to ensure that you receive financial compensation for an accident.

Pennsylvania Uninsured Motorist Claims Attorney

Car accidents are stressful, and a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver comes with an additional layer of complication. Despite Pennsylvania’s vehicle liability insurance mandate, six percent of Pennsylvania drivers do not have insurance to cover the costs of injuring you in a car accident. Moreover, Pennsylvania’s vehicle liability insurance amount requirements are often not enough to cover the total costs of an accident. Obtaining uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you from financial hardship because of a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

If you find yourself the victim of a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver, you should reach out to the skilled personal injury lawyers at Simon Hyde Legal. Call (484) 886-4271 to request a free consultation or contact Simon Hyde Legal here.