I Was Hit By a Driver Who Does Not Have Insurance – What Can I Do?
December 8, 2022 | Car Accidents
Most of us trust that insurance covers medical bills and other expenses if we are involved in a car accident. However, what happens if the person who hit you does not have insurance? Is there anything you can do?
Understanding Pennsylvania Minimum Car Insurance Requirements?
The first step is to understand what the law requires drivers to purchase for car insurance coverage in Pennsylvania. The minimum automobile insurance coverage in our state is:
- $5,000 in medical benefits that cover medical bills for you and covered individuals regardless of who causes the accident (also known as “no-fault insurance” coverage)
- $15,000 for bodily liability insurance coverage ($30,000 per accident) to pay damages for accident victims when you cause a crash
- $5,000 for property damage liability coverage to pay for damages to another person’s vehicle when you cause an accident
In addition to the minimum insurance requirements, you can purchase optional coverage, including uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. In the next section, we will discuss how purchasing UM coverage can benefit you in more detail.
Pennsylvania also requires drivers to choose between limited or full tort coverage. You can save money on your insurance premiums if you choose limited tort coverage. Still, it could prevent you from suing an at-fault driver for non-economic damages unless you meet one of the exceptions to limited tort coverage.
What Happens When an Uninsured Motorist Hits My Car in Pennsylvania?
Failure to have required insurance coverage can result in fines and vehicle impoundment by the state. Therefore, the uninsured driver is punished by the state for failing to have insurance coverage. However, what does that mean for you?
You could sue the uninsured driver for damages if you purchased full tort car insurance coverage. If you have limited tort coverage instead, you must sustain a serious injury that qualifies as an exception to the limited tort rule to sue the driver.
Unfortunately, suing an uninsured driver does not guarantee compensation for your damages. A jury might find the driver at fault for the cause of the accident and award you a considerable amount for damages. However, if the person does not have assets or income to pay the judgment, you do not receive anything for the lawsuit.
On the other hand, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you might receive compensation from your insurance provider.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Harrisburg, PA
Your uninsured motorist coverage may pay damages for an auto accident if you prove the following:
- The other motorist caused the automobile accident;
- The other motorist did not have insurance coverage;
- The accident caused your injuries; and
- You sustained damages because of the accident.
If you chose limited tort coverage, your claim is restricted to economic damages that would be available in a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage. However, suppose you have full tort coverage, or you could sue the driver because of an exception to the limited tort rule. In that case, you could recover compensation for non-economic damages too.
Therefore, you could receive compensation for an uninsured motorist claim for your:
- Medical bills and the costs of treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery
- The cost of assistance with household chores and personal care
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income, including benefits, past lost wages, and future decreases in earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Impairments and disabilities
- A decrease in your quality of life
Remember, you have the burden of proving that the uninsured driver caused the accident. Do not assume that because you are dealing with your insurance provider, you automatically receive compensation for an uninsured motorist claim.
The insurance adjuster will use the same tactics to undervalue and deny your insurance claim that they would use to fight a claim by a third party. For example, the adjuster might allege contributory fault and failure to mitigate damages, among other defenses.
Steps To Take After a Harrisburg Accident Involving an Uninsured Driver
Drivers in Pennsylvania must stop at the accident scene to exchange information. In most cases, people call 911 to report the accident to the police, and the police handle gathering that information. However, if you are in a situation where a driver tries to talk you out of calling the police or claims to have left their insurance card at home, call 911 immediately to report the crash.
It can also help to prove fault if you document the accident scene.
Take photographs of the vehicles and the accident site. Also, make a video of the accident scene. However, avoid doing things that could cause yourself or others additional harm or injury.
As soon as possible, seek medical treatment for your injuries and talk with a Harrisburg personal injury lawyer about your case.
Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case Today
Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
Wyomissing Law Office
Car accident lawyer in Wyomissing, PA
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
Carbondale Law Office
Car accident lawyer in Carbondale, PA
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101, Carbondale, PA 18407