Pennsylvania, like all other states, requires drivers to purchase and maintain minimum liability insurance coverage to protect others in the event they cause a motor vehicle accident. Liability insurance pays compensation to victims of a car accident. Examples of damages that a victim may claim in a car accident include medical expenses, loss of income, property damage, emotional suffering, and physical damage.
The minimum liability insurance requirements for Pennsylvania drivers are:
- Bodily injury liability insurance in the amount of $15,000 for one person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance in the amount of $5,000
- Medical benefits coverage in the amount of $5,000. Medical benefits coverage pays your medical bills and the medical bills of others covered under your policy regarding of who caused the accident.
Unfortunately, minimum liability insurance does not cover 100 percent of the damages in all motor vehicle accidents. In many cases, the accident victim does not receive full compensation because his or her losses far exceed the state’s minimum insurance requirements.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?
Because many drivers choose to carry the minimum liability coverage to save money, we strongly urge our clients to consider purchasing underinsured motorist insurance coverage. Underinsured motorist insurance coverage protects you in the event your damages exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver. In other words, your insurance company should pay your damages above the coverage amount of the at-fault driver up to the policy limits of your underinsured motorist coverage.
For example, if your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages exceed $15,000, you are responsible for the payment of your damages if the other driver has minimum insurance coverage. You may try to sue the other driver for the additional damages; however, unless the other driver has substantial assets, you will not recover any additional compensation.
If you have underinsured motorist insurance coverage, you can file a claim against your insurance policy for the remaining damages up to your policy limits. Therefore, underinsured motorist coverage can help you avoid a very costly bill for another driver’s negligence.
Should I Hire an Attorney to File My Underinsured Motorist Insurance Claim?
As with any other car insurance claim, we strongly urge you to seek the advice of an experienced Erie car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Filing an underinsured motorist insurance claim can be difficult, even though you are dealing with your insurance provider. Your insurance company treats your claim as it handles all other accident claims — it wants to find a way to pay the least amount of money to settle your claim. It is best to have an experienced Erie car accident attorney on your side from the beginning of the case to ensure your right to receive full compensation for your injuries is protected.
If you or your family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, our Erie car accident attorneys offer free, no-obligation case evaluations and legal consultations. Please call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free appointment with one of our attorneys. We want to help you fight for the compensation you are entitled to receive when a negligent or careless driver injures you. Let our attorneys and our staff of legal professionals take care of your claim while you focus on your health, your family, and your recovery.