What to Do In Car Accident with Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist
You may be asking yourself, If I’m involved in a car accident, and the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance, what happens to me? In Pennsylvania, that answer largely depends on the type of insurance coverage you have, including underinsured motorist coverage. Typically, however, you can file a compensation claim with your own insurance company or file a personal injury or car accident lawsuit against the other driver.
Pennsylvania Drivers Are Required to Carry Insurance
In Pennsylvania, drivers are required to carry insurance coverage. Known as no-fault or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, no matter who is at fault in the accident, the initial medical bills are covered by your own insurance company, up to a certain amount.
However, it is estimated that 6% of Pennsylvania drivers are uninsured, so if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver, your injury compensation past the point of your car insurance coverage may become blurred as to who is going to pay.
Some insurance company policies offer you the options to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Though not required by law, if you do have this sort of coverage, you may be able to obtain compensation equal to or less than the amount of your liability coverage. This type of insurance also helps if you are involved in a hit and run accident. You need to contact your insurance company to see if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you need to contract a personal injury or car accident attorney as you may be able to make a claim against the uninsured or underinsured driver personally.
Does the process change to make a claim if the other driver does not have insurance?
Regardless if the other driver has insurance or not, you need to follow the same steps following an accident as you would if the uninsured or underinsured driver did have liability insurance, collision coverage, and more from their insurance company. This includes:
- Seeking medical attention.
- Keep a log of any and all medical treatment received as a result of the accident.
- Call the police so they can begin an investigation.
- Get documentation including photos, traffic camera footage, eyewitness testimony, etc.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver.
- Report the accident with your insurance company.
If the at fault driver doesn’t want to get the police involved, this may serve as a red flag to you that the driver is uninsured or does not carry sufficient insurance. Call the police anyway. You deserve the compensation for your injuries and damages sustained to your vehicle by the at fault party.
What To Do If the At-Fault Party Does Not Have Car Insurance
What happens if the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance? Just because the at fault party does not have insurance does not mean you are without options.
Check with your insurance provider to see if you have uninsured or underinsured coverage. In Pennsylvania, insurance companies are required to offer underinsured motorist coverage with minimum limits of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per incident. Remember though, you do not have to take this underinsured motorist coverage policy so do not assume you have it.
However, if you hold this type of policy, you may be able to seek compensation against the at fault party through your policy in addition to your auto insurance coverage.
If, however, the at fault driver has a small amount of insurance, but it does not cover your damages that are in excess of your own insurance, you will likely need an attorney.
For both insurance purposes and your claim, you will need proof of your injuries, medical treatment, vehicle damage, etc., so an investigation can be conducted. If your claim is for insufficient compensation from your insurance company, you may need a car accident lawyer well-versed in insurance law. If you are seeking damages for injuries, a personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer will be able to help.
Involved in an accident with an uninsured driver? Call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
Getting into an accident is stressful enough, but when you learn the at fault driver doesn’t have car insurance, or underinsured motorist coverage, you may feel like hope is lost. Don’t give up. With representation by Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our car accident lawyers will help you make a claim against your car insurance or personally against the at fault party.
Just because the other driver does not have car insurance or underinsured motorist coverage, does not mean you have to pay out of pocket for the damages sustained. You should not be held responsible for damages you did not cause.
Do not delay. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash with an uninsured at fault driver, or an at fault driver who is inadequately insured, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is ready to fight for you. Call today at (570) 209-5514 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation with a car accident lawyer.