Pennsylvania law requires all motorists to carry liability insurance to cover any injuries that might result if they negligently cause an accident. Unfortunately, far too many drivers in the state violate this law and have no automobile insurance.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver and you suffer injuries, there may still be a way to recover compensation. Pennsylvania’s insurance regulations require that all automobile policies include uninsured motorist coverage unless the coverage is rejected in writing by the customer.
If you have uninsured coverage in your policy and are injured by an uninsured driver, you can make a claim against your own policy for the damages that would have been recoverable from the negligent driver, up to the coverage limits in your policy. The uninsured coverage essentially takes the place of the liability insurance the negligent driver failed to carry.
Pennsylvania regulations define an uninsured motorist to include a hit-and-run driver who is not apprehended or identified. The coverage is available even if you were not driving a vehicle at the time of the accident, as long as a vehicle was involved. If you are a pedestrian and are struck by an uninsured or hit-and-run vehicle while crossing the street, you can recover compensation from your uninsured coverage.
Many vehicle owners choose to add underinsured coverage to their policies in addition to uninsured coverage. This coverage provides compensation if you are injured by a negligent driver who carried insurance, but not enough to cover all of your damages.
In any motor vehicle accident case an experienced personal injury attorney will look into all possible sources of compensation. Uninsured and underinsured coverage can be critical in providing a financial recovery for a car accident victim.
Source: pacode.com, “31 Pa. Code ch. 63,” accessed Jan. 5, 2015