In this lawyer’s opinion, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may be the most important coverage which are often overlooked. In addition to UNINSURED drivers, low mandatory insurance limits have created a dire need for uninsured and underinsured coverages. The state of Pennsylvania only requires $15,000.00 in liability coverage which is ridiculously inadequate. For example, you may have a broken arm and require surgery to repair the break. That case may be worth in excess of $200,000.00 in pain and suffering. Should the defendant who caused your injuries have either no insurance or $15,000.00 liability insurance (the minimum required by the state) and you are seriously injured you are basically out of luck.
If YOU are not insured adequately to compensate for these shortfalls, YOU are at risk for financial catastrophe in the case of a motor vehicle accident, EVEN if you are not at fault.
You have three options when you are injured in an automobile collision and the person who caused it has either no insurance or state minimum coverage of $15,000.00.
1. Use your own insurance company through the Uninsured/Underinsured endorsement on your own automobile insurance policy to pay for your uncompensated pain and suffering. This is your only option with the possibility of full compensation;
2. Sue the at-fault party personally for compensation. If you do not have uninsured or underinsured coverage you have no practical remedy against the person who caused the accident. It is not possible under most, if not all circumstances to recover any money from the person who caused the accident for many reasons which will not be discussed here, however suffice it to say you cannot get blood from a stone. If the person has state minimum coverage you would be limited to recovering $15,000.00 or nothing if the person is not insured.
3. Suffer the consequences of being financially irresponsible for the damages you have suffered even if the accident was NOT YOUR FAULT.
P.S. If you own more than one vehicle, it is highly recommended that when electing uninsured and underinsured coverages to add stacking to that election.
If you have been in an automobile accident, please call for a free consultation.