When a person suffers severe injuries from a car accident that wasn’t their fault, it is easy to become stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. The state of Pennsylvania requires all vehicles to be insured, which provides protection to individuals involved in car accidents. However, not everyone abides by the law or chooses to have the highest amount of coverage possible, leading to uninsured or underinsured motorist claims (UM/UIM claims). This can cause even more concern after being involved in a motor vehicle accident, because you now need to know what to do to get the proper coverage for your injuries and medical bills.
What is an uninsured or underinsured motorist?
An uninsured motorist in York is a driver who does not have car insurance, and an underinsured motorist is a driver who does not have enough insurance coverage to cover the full cost of your injuries. An underinsured or uninsured motorist can be a motorcyclist, truck driver, or car driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance or any insurance at all when driving or operating a motor vehicle. This is a big problem, because almost all 50 states in the United States require car insurance (including Pennsylvania). However, a lot of people do not follow the laws, thinking that they will never be in a collision or get caught without insurance.
Who can file an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim?
Under Pennsylvania law, UM/UIM insurance covers you, your family members, and any passengers who were injured in the vehicle accident with you. The claim is filed by the policyholder of the coverage.
An example of how UM/UIM coverage may be beneficial
UM/UIM coverage can be beneficial in a number of ways.
For example, say a car slammed into the rear end of your vehicle, causing your head to hit the dashboard. Due to the impact and the severity of your injuries, you now need dental and facial surgery. You also suffer a traumatic brain injury from the accident and need ongoing medical care. If the person was uninsured or underinsured, UM/UIM coverage can help cover those costs.
UM/UIM coverage can also be beneficial if you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident. Because most hit-and-run drivers aren’t found, your UM/UIM policy can protect you when there is no defendant to sue for damages.
Note: Pennsylvania allows you to “stack” your UM/UIM policies. That means that, for an additional cost, you can add together the coverage for every driver on your policy. So if there are three vehicles on one insurance policy you can stack the amount of coverage per vehicle to cover your costs. Or, if you are listed on more than one policy, you can stack the coverage from both policies to cover your costs.
Is it mandatory to have UM/UIM coverage in York, PA?
UM/UIM insurance coverage is no longer a requirement in Pennsylvania. Instead, according to Pennsylvania Title 75 Subchapter C Section 1731 (a), insurance companies are required to offer individuals this type of coverage on all car insurance policies. It is a wise decision to purchase this type of insurance coverage, but many people choose to opt out in order to save money.
If you do not want UM/UIM coverage, you must be the first name on your insurance policy, and you must sign a form stating that you waive this type of coverage. If you do not do this, Pennsylvania Title 75 Subchapter C Section 1731 (c1) explains that your insurance policy will automatically include UM/UIM coverage, and it will pay for your bodily injuries caused by the underinsured or uninsured driver. Unfortunately, property damage is not covered by UM/UIM insurance coverage.
Whose insurance pays out on a UM/UIM claim?
UM/UIM claims are filed with your insurance company. Therefore, if you were involved in a wreck with another driver who is underinsured or uninsured and it is their fault that the accident occurred, you may be eligible to file a UM/UIM claim.
How a York car accident lawyer can help you file a UM/UIM claim
We recommend that you work with a York car accident lawyer from our firm to file a UM/UIM claim. If your car insurance company does not take your claim seriously or fails to act quickly and fairly, your attorney will handle all forms of communication with them, stand up for your rights, and aggressively advocate for a fair amount of compensation for your injuries.
If you need to file a UM or UIM claim, a York, PA car accident attorney from KBG Injury Law will help you file this type of claim against your insurance company. Our team is experienced and fluent when it comes to these claims, and we understand how to talk to, negotiate, and handle any issues that arise with insurance companies. We know that this process may seem intimidating, but you can rest assured knowing that our car accident attorneys are here to help you through every step along the way. If you reach out to our skilled lawyers, we will review your case, investigate your accident, and make sure that your UM/UIM claim is settled as fast as possible.
If you need help filing a UM/UIM claim, get in touch with a car accident attorney from KBG Injury Law today. Our attorneys will ensure that your insurance company initially offered you UM/UIM coverage, and if it did not, we will make sure that you are given this coverage to pay for your injuries. Even if you chose to waive UM/UIM coverage, call or contact KBG Injury Law immediately to schedule a free case evaluation and learn about the legal options you may have to begin paying for your losses. We serve clients in York, Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Lancaster, and Hanover.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.