Underinsured motorist coverage is an optional provision you can add to your car insurance policy upon purchasing or renewing. The UM coverage kicks in when you are involved in an accident where the other driver's insurance policy does not cover all your medical expenses and property damage. Underinsured coverage is a viable option when a person sustains life-altering injuries, and the other driver only has coverage that meets the state minimum or less. Without this coverage, you are left to pay for any overages the insurance policies do not cover. Many drivers are unaware of their options and fail to tap into their benefits. Immediately contact a Philadelphia underinsured motorist accident attorney to determine what options you have with your current insurance policy.
Who is an underinsured motorist?
The term underinsured driver is uncommon to the average driver. There are several ways a driver is underinsured. When it is deemed that a driver is underinsured, you cannot use the typical legal resources afforded to accident victims. You have options, but you will need a Philadelphia underinsured motorist accident attorney to determine the best route. An underinsured motorist is:
- Driving without enough insurance: When a driver has insurance coverage, but it does not meet the Pennsylvania state minimums, they are underinsured motorists.
- Driver without insurance: An underinsured motorist who does not have any car insurance coverage. The Insurance Research Council reports that one in seven drivers does not have car insurance. The likelihood of being involved in a Philadelphia car accident with an underinsured driver is higher than you might expect.
- Driver using someone else's car: In Philadelphia, insurance policies do not cover drivers who use another person's vehicle. Each driver who uses a vehicle must be on the insurance policy. Insurance companies are unlikely to cover these drivers in an accident. There are cases where implied coverage is possible, but it is difficult to prove.
A Philadelphia personal injury attorney knows how difficult these accidents are on the victims. We also know the legal options available and how to obtain compensation for your damages.
Are there benefits for underinsured motorists benefits?
The main benefit is that uninsured motorist policies will cover your damages if the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage within their insurance policy. You can also settle a claim faster, depending on the accident's details.
Are the claim statutes different?
While the Pennsylvania statute of limitations is two years from the accident, the statute changes when the negligent driver is underinsured or uninsured. You will have four years from the time that the insurance company denies your claim to file a lawsuit. The process is complex, and you will need a Philadelphia personal injury attorney on your team from the beginning to ensure you secure the best outcome for your case.
What do I need for an underinsured motorist claim?
When an uninsured driver strikes you, you have two primary options for compensation:
- Uninsured motorist coverage: You can tap into these benefits if you have this provision on your policy. However, the insurance company can deny a claim if they determine you were at fault for the accident somehow. This policy addition is only accessible when you can prove that the other driver was at fault and does not have sufficient coverage for the damage.
- File a lawsuit against the driver: If your insurance policy does not cover the accident, another legal option in Philly is to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. This option is tricky. While a Philadelphia car accident attorney can win the case, the other driver may not have enough assets to cover the award for damages.
Do not be discouraged after an accident with an underinsured motorist. You have legal options, but you must discuss them with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney. Call Kwartler Manus, LLC at (267) 214-8608 or use the online contact form.