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Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Accidents in Western PA

Pittsburgh auto accident lawyers

What to do and not to do in an accident

Many people do not know what to do or who to notify when they are involved in an automobile accident. Anytime you are involved in an automobile accident, you should call the police and exchange names, addresses, car registration information, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers and insurance information with the other driver. In addition, you should also seek medical treatment if you are hurt, notify your insurance agent or company of the accident, and take pictures of your vehicle if it is damaged because of the accident.

There are also certain things that you should not do when you are involved in an automobile accident. You should not move your car until the police arrive, unless you are blocking traffic, admit fault, or leave the accident scene. If the other driver leaves the scene, be sure to get a police report. Do not be afraid to get medical attention even if you are not sure whether you are injured. In addition, do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company or anyone representing the other driver without seeking the advice of an attorney.

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Coverage to protect against negligent drivers without insurance or without sufficient insurance

Let’s face it: It is a well-known fact that even though Pennsylvania law requires that every owner/operator of a motor vehicle carry insurance, a lot of persons carry only the minimum requirement of liability insurance, such as $15,000. It is a further fact, that countless others are illegally driving vehicles without any insurance. You will likely never know who those persons are, until you are involved in an accident. And think about it, if you suffer a serious injury that requires an operation, will $15,000 adequately compensate you for your damages, including medical expenses and lost wages?

Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UIM) exists to protect persons who are involved in an accident, caused by another driver, and later discover that the other driver lacks adequate amounts of insurance to cover all of the damages.

Uninsured Motorists Coverage (UM) exists to protect persons who are involved in an accident, caused by another driver, and later discover that the other driver lacks any insurance to cover the damages.

Although it is a state law to have automobile insurance, there are still many drivers that do not have automobile insurance or only have minimum coverage. Therefore, it is important for you to have uninsured and underinsured coverage included in your automobile insurance policy. This will give you protection in the event that you are in an accident with another driver who does not have adequate coverage. If you own more than one vehicle, you can stack this coverage to gain more coverage. You should never waive your right to stack coverage.

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Making an uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage claim

If you have a UM/UIM claim, you should notify your insurance company within thirty (30) days of the accident. This process opens a UM/UIM claim.

When dealing with UIM Coverage, if you have an underlying claim against the other driver, you will want to contact an attorney, to make sure that you receive the maximum benefits available under the other driver’s liability limits and your own UIM Coverage. Often times, if you settle for less than the other driver’s policy limits and/or do not receive the consent of your UIM carrier to settle with the other driver’s insurance carrier, your rights to bring a UIM claim may be unintentionally limited by you.

When filing a UM/UIM claim, you are essentially dealing with your own insurance company. However, you are dealing with a coverage that is different than first party medical benefits coverage. A UM/UIM adjuster is often not your friend, as his or her job is to not only investigate the claim, but also to reduce the amount of payments owed to you.

Questions that may arise when dealing with a UM/UIM adjuster include:

  • Is my claim being handled properly?
  • How much is my case worth?

You should also be aware that under Pennsylvania law, an employee that is eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits is also entitled to UM/UIM benefits. So, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident while working, you may be entitled to additional benefits over and above those provided for you under the Workers’ Compensation laws.

UM/UIM coverages are often confusing. They are also great coverage benefits that can assure that you are adequately compensated for your injuries and damages. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your claim is handled correctly from the beginning. In order to protect your rights, contact Rudberg Law Offices, LLC for a free consultation at once if you have been involved in a car accident. While you have four (4) years to file a claim for UM/UIM benefits, it is always best to contact an attorney as soon after the accident as possible.

For more information on insurance coverages, you should contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Department at www.insurance.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Contact a skilled accident lawyer in Pittsburgh

If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by the careless or wrongful actions of others, call the Pittsburgh accident attorneys of Rudberg Law Offices, LLC for assistance at (412) 488-6000, (866) 306-2667, or complete our quick contact web form.