Dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident is difficult, no matter how minor the collision. The process is especially challenging, though, if the at-fault motorist was uninsured or underinsured. In these cases, you may worry that you will cover your related expenses out-of-pocket. By having comprehensive insurance coverage, you could save yourself from experiencing financial pain on top of your physical pain.
How UM/UIM coverage can help you
Pennsylvania follows a no-fault insurance system. The rules of this system provide that any claim you file after your auto accident must go through your own insurance company. You may think, then, that carrying uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is unnecessary. Yet, it will protect you if you sustain injuries in a collision with a motorist who lacks proper coverage. In Pennsylvania, UM/UIM coverage does not cover property damage.
Keep in mind that Pennsylvania motorists are not required to carry UM/UIM coverage. Insurance companies must offer it to drivers, though, when they purchase auto insurance.
How tort coverage can help you
Working with insurance companies can be difficult, and yours may have rejected part of – or all – your claim. If it did, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The damages you can pursue, though, depend on your tort coverage. If you have limited tort coverage, you cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering or other noneconomic damages. And while it allows you to pursue a lawsuit against an underinsured motorist, you cannot file one against an uninsured motorist if you already filed a claim through your UM/UIM coverage. Full tort coverage, though, gives you unrestricted rights to pursue damages against the at-fault motorist. No matter your coverage, under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations you have two years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit.
Having proper insurance coverage can save you after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. By consulting an attorney, you can understand your options for receiving appropriate compensation.