If another’s negligence causes a car accident that results in serious injuries, the victim may decide to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. Although there are many elements that go into this type of case, one of the issues that will matter is insurance coverage – the victim’s and that of the negligent party.
The kind of insurance available could make a significant difference in being able to recover financial losses after an accident. In the state of Pennsylvania, there are four types of coverage that are required and could affect a personal injury insurance claim.
Mandatory Insurance Coverage in Pennsylvania
Medical benefit is a required coverage in Pennsylvania. Regardless of who was at fault, it can cover the insured’s medical costs. The minimum amount required is $5,000. If there is a serious injury, $5,000 may not pay all the bills.
The second and third types of insurance mandated in Pennsylvania are bodily injury liability (minimum $15,000/$30,000) and property damage liability (minimum $5,000). They cover other driver’s medical and rehabilitation costs and damage to property (such as a vehicle) when the insured is at fault. The injured party may file a claim against the negligent party’s insurance to recover damages from these coverages.
The last type of insurance required is tort coverage, available as limited or full. This form of insurance will definitely matter in a personal injury claim.
The Importance of Tort Coverage Type
Drivers who have limited tort coverage will be able to recover medical and other out-of-pocket expenses. But this limits the person’s right to seek other forms of compensation when someone else is at fault for the accident. It doesn’t allow for the recovery of damages such as pain and suffering or other noneconomic losses.
There are limited exceptions that may allow injured parties to pursue compensation as if they had full tort coverage, though. This includes cases of drivers who were driving while intoxicated or who intentionally caused an accident. In accidents where very serious injuries occurred (read: chronic and lifelong) an exception may also be made to the tort coverage rules.
If the injured person has full tort coverage, he/she has the right to file suit when someone else’s negligence was the cause of the accident. There are no restrictions; therefore, not only can the person seek compensation for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, but he or she can seek compensation for other losses such as pain and suffering.
Optional Types of Insurance Coverage
There are other types of insurance that aren’t required but if purchased could impact a personal injury claim. One example is uninsured motorist coverage. Despite laws that all motorists in Pennsylvania must carry insurance, not everyone adheres. The financial burden can be significant if someone is injured in a crash that is someone else’s fault but that person doesn’t have insurance.
Uninsured motorist coverage allows the injured party to collect from his or her own policy. Similarly, underinsured motorist coverage can help pay for costs that exceed the other person’s policy limits. Many other coverage options are available, too, at the discretion of the policyholder. Examine your policy fully to ensure you take advantage of all coverage options in the event of an accident.
If you’re facing mounting medical bills and missed time from work and wish to explore your options to file a personal injury insurance claim, contact an attorney at Cordisco & Saile LLC today: 215-642-2335.