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My husband and I were hit by a car in PA and I fractured several ribs. The other driver doesn’t have car insurance. It’s going to take a long time for my ribs to heal. Am I just out of luck because the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?

 

A:

I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate car accident. The answer depends on whether you purchased a specific type of insurance coverage under your own car insurance policy.  If the driver at fault doesn’t have car insurance, you may file an Uninsured Motorist (UM) claim under your own car insurance policy.

UM coverage goes hand in hand with Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.  When you bought your car insurance policy, you may have purchased UIM/UM coverage.  UIM coverage provides extra protection in car accidents where the negligent driver’s liability coverage is not enough to compensate you for your injuries and damages.  UM coverage provides extra protection in car accident cases where the negligent driver does not have car insurance.

Though UIM/UM coverage is not mandatory in Pennsylvania, your car insurance company is required to offer such coverage.  However, you might have waived this type of coverage by signing a very specific waiver form.

Related PA Car Accident Legal Article: The Interplay Of Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Therefore, if you did not waive UIM/UM coverage, you would be able to file a UM claim pursuant to your car insurance policy because the driver at fault does not have car insurance.

If you have multiple cars that are either covered under the same insurance policy or different insurance policies, you may also be able to “stack” your UM coverage.  For example, if you have 2 cars in the household under the same insurance policy, with $15,000 UM coverage, you may be able to stack the UM coverage.  What that means is, instead of recovering only $15,000, the maximum amount you may be able to recover is $30,000 because the 2 vehicles are “stacked.”  However, the potential applicable car insurance policy or policies must be carefully examined to determine whether stacking is available.

PA car insurance coverage and benefits can be very confusing.  Therefore, it is important that you speak to an experienced PA car accident lawyer to properly assess your potential car accident case.

Feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to discuss your case with you. 877.944.8396


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