When the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you may still be able to make a claim. In Pennsylvania, drivers usually have to file a claim with their own provider, anyway. However, if their injuries are severe, they would have the option to file a third-party claim under the at-fault driver’s policy. When the at-fault driver lacks coverage, though, victims miss out on this option.
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on your policy, you can submit a claim through your own provider.
Making a Claim Through Your Own Insurance Policy
Even if you file a claim with your own provider, your losses may exceed your policy limits, especially if your injuries are severe. Since the other driver has no insurance policy to seek compensation from, you will have to explore other options to recoup damages.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when you experience an accident with a driver who lacks insurance coverage (uninsured motorist coverage) or when the other driver does not have enough insurance to fully compensate you (underinsured motorist coverage).
In some cases, the at-fault driver’s policy limits may not cover all of your losses. You may be able to make up the difference with your UM/UIM coverage. This type of coverage even applies when you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Pennsylvania does not require drivers to purchase UM/UIM coverage, but you may have purchased this additional coverage when you signed up with your provider. Check your policy to see if you are covered and determine your policy limits.
What I You do Not Have UM/UIM Coverage?
Even if you do not have a policy with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you may still have an option if 1) a family member who is a resident of your household has this coverage – in which case you may be considered an insured or 2) you are a guest in a motor vehicle in which the vehicle owner has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
One other alternative exists if you are legally uninsured (such as if you are a household member who does not own a car). That option is called the Assigned Claims plan. Under that plan qualifying claimants may recover up to $15,000.00. Although not full compensation if you are seriously injured, this at least gives you some recompense.
If the above options have been exhausted and there is not enough coverage, our lawyers can explore with you other types of lawsuits which are sometimes applicable. These other types of lawsuits may include 1) product liability if a vehicle defect contributed to the collision, 2) a road defect case, 3) a dram shop case if you are the victim of a drunken driver and you can prove that a bar served the driver under certain circumstances such as the driver being visibly intoxicated 4) medical malpractice if your post-accident treatment did not meet the standard of care or 5) workers compensation if you were traveling on behalf of your employer at the time. You should also not overlook the fact that if you were rendered disabled you may have a claim for social security disability and a Berger and Green attorney can help you with that.
Unfortunately, UM/UIM coverage does not work retroactively. If you had not already purchased this optional coverage before the accident, you will not be able to apply it afterward.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Liable Driver
When insurance coverage is unavailable, in Pennsylvania the law still gives you the option to take legal action against the liable driver. You can file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit.
Compensation You Can Pursue Through a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver
You can seek both economic and non-economic damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Your potential compensation depends on the extent of your injuries.
A settlement or verdict may cover your:
- Immediate medical expenses
- Ongoing care if needed
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Lost bonuses
- Lost paid time off
- Reduced earning capacity
You can pursue compensation for non-economic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of quality of life
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How Our Legal Team Can Help
Whether you are filing a claim or lawsuit, you have the right to hire a lawyer. Our personal injury team has more than 40 years of experience. We can handle your case from start to finish.
We can fight for fair compensation by:
- Investigating your accident
- Gathering evidence of another party’s negligence
- Handling all the paperwork
- Meeting deadlines
- Negotiating a settlement
- Representing you in a trial
- Identifying potential sources of insurance coverage or alternate avenues for recovery
We can tailor a legal approach to suit your specific situation, even if the at-fault driver lacks insurance.
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You Have a Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you choose to take legal action, you should be aware of the state-imposed deadline. According to Pa. C.S.A. § 5524, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Our firm can help you meet this deadline by working in a timely manner. Still, the sooner you start your case, the better you will be able to protect your rights to compensation.
We Can Take Your Car Accident Case on Contingency
You don’t need to risk further financial losses to work with a lawyer from our firm. At Berger and Green, we handle personal injury cases on a contingency-fee basis.
You don’t have to pay any upfront fees for us to start your case. Plus, we only take our payment from a settlement or verdict when we win on your behalf. This way, we can get to work immediately, and you know we will fight for fair compensation.
Berger and Green Can Handle Your Car Accident Case
After suffering injuries in a car accident, your focus should be on your health. The personal injury lawyers at Berger and Green can handle the legal process for you.
Don’t assume you are out of options if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. We can explore different legal strategies during a free, no-obligation consultation. Make sure you act quickly, though. You have a deadline to meet when filing a personal injury lawsuit. Call us at (412) 661-1400.
Call or text 412-661-1400 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form