What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance in a Philadelphia Car Accident?
Ryan Zavodnick | November 24, 2022 | Car Accidents
The aftermath of a car accident can be confusing. You might not know who hit you or what to do. But if the other driver isn’t insured, the situation can be infuriating. Why should you have to pay the consequences for someone else breaking the law? And what can you do about it? Fortunately, you do have options, and an experienced car accident lawyer from Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers can help.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transporation, all registered vehicles must have liability in the following minimum amounts:
- $15,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident
- $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident
- $5,000 for property damage to another person
These are the minimum amounts required by law. Anyone who is found to violate these laws is subject to penalties, including a minimum fine of $300 and a suspension of their license.
Personal Injury Protection in Pennsylvania
Most states operate under an “at-fault” system, meaning that the driver who is at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the damage they cause. However, some states use a different approach, known as a “no-fault” system. In these states, injured victims turn to their own insurance policies for coverage.
Pennsylvania is a little different. Our state operates under a “choice” system, letting you choose between the at-fault and no-fault systems when you purchase your insurance policy. Drivers have the right to “opt-out” of the no-fault system, in which case they could pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. Or, if they chose the no-fault system, they would turn to their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to pay for their medical expenses.
Even if you chose the no-fault system, you might still be able to make a claim against the at-fault driver if you were seriously injured or your damages exceeded the amount of your PIP coverage. PIP coverage does not deal with property damage.
Options for Recovering Compensation After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the type of insurance you have, you may be able to recover compensation after a car accident in Pennslyvania through:
- Your PIP coverage – PIP coverage can pay for your medical expenses if you were harmed in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- The other driver’s liability coverage – The other driver’s liability coverage can pay for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses you sustained in the accident if you opted out of the full tort system, you suffered a serious injury, or your losses exceeded your PIP coverage.
- Your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – Your UI/UIM coverage could help pay for damages if the at-fault driver was not insured at the time of the collision.
- Your collision insurance – If you have “full coverage,” you probably have collision insurance, which pays for your vehicle’s damage in the event of a collision, regardless of who is at fault.
A personal injury lawyer can advise you of other options, including whether a lawsuit would be worthwhile.
How To Determine Who Is At Fault for an Auto Accident in Philadelphia
If you have opted out of the no-fault or limited tort system, you will need to show the other driver was at fault in order to have their insurance cover the damages or to have them personally liable for your losses. Insurance companies consider the following when determining fault:
- Pennsylvania law
- The circumstances surrounding the collision
- The driver’s statements
- Witness statements
- Accident report
Your lawyer may also conduct an investigation to gather additional evidence that can be considered by the insurance company when determining fault.
Contact a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer for Legal Help
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Philadelphia and have questions about pursuing compensation, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options. Most car accident lawyers in Philadelphia offer a free consultation to review your case, so it won’t cost you anything to reach out.
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.