UM/UIM Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, laws require every motor vehicle that needs to be covered by financial responsibility. Yet, more than 8% of Pennsylvania drivers do not have car insurance. Across the nation, more than 14% of drivers do not have car insurance and, in some states, the percentage of uninsured motorists is as high as 25%! It means that the average driver has a significant risk of getting in a car accident with an uninsured driver.
Getting in an automobile collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist is frustrating. An uninsured driver is someone who did not have any insurance, had insurance that did not meet state-mandated minimum liability requirements, or whose insurance company denied their claim or was not financially able to pay it. An underinsured driver is someone who met minimum legal financial responsibility requirements, but did not have payment limits high enough to cover the damage they caused.
Fortunately, insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Uninsured motorist coverage is a form of insurance offered by all automobile insurance companies. Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage you purchase from your own insurance company that pays for bodily injury losses to you and your passengers from an accident with a driver who is legally responsible for the injuries, but has no liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage also covers injuries sustained in a collision with a hit-and-run vehicle, whose owner and operator cannot be identified.
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) pays for bodily injury damages to a policyholder and/or his or her passengers as a result of a collision with an at-fault driver who has liability insurance, but with limits that are lower than the injured party's underinsured motorist limits.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will pay the compensation for the collision that you cannot recover from the uninsured motorist who was at fault. However, even if you have uninsured motorist coverage, getting your insurance company to pay may be difficult. In many cases, an arbitration claim against your own insurance company must be brought to recover the compensation. At the Lassen Law Firm, we have helped many clients get compensation by arbitrating uninsured motorist coverage claims. If you or a passenger has been injured by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver, you need to seek help of an experienced personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania. The Lassen Law Firm is a reputable personal injury law firm in Philadelphia that focuses on helping clients recover compensation if they have been in motor vehicle accidents, including uninsured motorist accidents.
What should I do if I have been in a car accident with an uninsured motorist?
First of all, you need to determine whether you have uninsured motorist coverage by examining your insurance company policy, declaration sheet and any exclusion that it may contain. Uninsured benefits and figures representing the maximum coverage per individual and accident are shown on a separate line on the declaration sheet. If you have questions about any items on a declaration page, your insurance company agent can answer those questions. A competent Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can expedite the process of finding out whether the other driver is uninsured and whether your policy contains uninsured motorist coverage (UM).
What should I do if I have been injured in a hit-and–run accident?
If an unidentifiable driver caused the accident and your injury, you will have to prove that the at-fault driver's car made physical contact with yours. Unfortunately, a collision resulting from the aggressive or reckless driving of a vehicle that did not make actual physical contact with yours is not covered by most uninsured motorist policies. Proving that you were struck by a hit-and-run driver and sustained injuries as a result of it can be extremely hard. Therefore, you need to contact a personal injury attorney soon after the hit-and-run accident. Your interests will be best protected if you hire a competent Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer who will work to obtain financial compensation for your injuries. At the Lassen Law Firm, we represent drivers who sustained injures in hit-and-run accidents and help them recover money to pay for their medical care.
Who needs to prove that the driver who hit me is uninsured?
If you have been in a collision, sustained injuries and have not retained an attorney to represent you, it is your responsibility to request the insurance policy of the driver who hit you from his/her insurance company. If you know the identity of the driver, you can order his or her driving record and insurance information from your state's Secretary of State Office.
If the other driver's insurance company provided you with documentation you requested, you need to examine it carefully to see if there is any lapse, or cancellation of insurance coverage. If the insurance company provides you with the documentation confirming nonexistence of an automobile liability policy for the individual, you need to present your own insurance company with the facts.
At the Lassen Law Firm, our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers urge you to call the police immediately if you have been in any accident. In addition, you need to collect contact information from any witnesses who may have been seen the accident. It is also important to take pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident. If the other driver stopped after the accident, you need to get his or her driver's license information and insurance information while you are waiting for the police. Unfortunately, if a person sustains severe bodily injuries in an accident, he/she may not be able to collect contact information of the other driver. It is best to call a Pennsylvania car accident attorney who will advise you based on the facts and circumstances specific to your case.
If you or your passenger has been injured in a car accident, you should get as much information from the other driver as possible and seek medical attention immediately. Then, you should read your insurance policy. Do not delay doing so, because some policies require you to submit to a sworn statement within 30 days of the accident. Contacting a personal injury attorney will help you save time and aggravation of dealing with an uninsured motorist claim. The Lassen Law Firm, one of the top Pennsylvania personal injury firms, fights hard for its clients in getting them the highest compensation available.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
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Authored by: Christian Lassen