How Insurance Impacts Your Ability to Recover
Insurance coverage may have a huge impact on how much money you can recover after a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, even if you’ve been seriously injured, limited available insurance coverage may prevent you from being fully compensated. This is a common issue in typical car accidents with small insurance policy limits. But there may be more than one possible defendant (or insurance policy), not easily identified from the beginning – for example, if the other driver is on the job, their employer may also be liable to you. This is another reason why you should consult with The Oakes Firm as soon as possible so we can identify all potential defendants and determine all available sources of money to compensate you for your injuries.
The following are other insurance considerations that may impact your recovery in a car accident:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – PIP coverage from your insurance policy will cover your medical costs up to a certain limit. But if the PIP will not fully cover the medical costs for your injuries, you can then seek payment from another’s insurance policy.
“Fault” vs. “No-Fault” – The majority of States are “Fault” jurisdictions – this means whoever is at fault in an accident is legally responsible to pay your damages. In “No-Fault” jurisdictions – such as Pennsylvania – each party can only collect from their own insurance company, unless certain factors are met.
Full Tort or Limited Tort – When purchasing insurance, you have the option of selecting Full Tort or Limited Tort. In general, the Full Tort– which is more expensive – allows you to file a lawsuit for any and all damages due to a crash. But if you select Limited Tort, you can only file a lawsuit if the crash resulted in death, severe impairment of bodily function, or a permanent/severe disfigurement. This is why we always recommend you select Full Tort if you can afford it. But even if you only have Limited Tort, The Oakes Firm can help maximize the compensation you receive by proving the seriousness of your injuries.
Uninsured (UI) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage – Pennsylvania law requires that all drivers maintain at least a minimum amount of liability insurance in case they case an accident. Pennsylvania auto insurance companies are required by law to offer customers Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. You can waive this coverage, but it is not recommended. UI Coverage allows you to recover losses, beyond your PIP limit, if the at-fault driver has no insurance. UIM Coverage allows you to recover for losses beyond the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy, once PIP limits and the at-fault driver’s coverage has been exhausted.
Stacked Car Insurance – Pennsylvania allows the stacking (or combining) of auto insurance policies. Stacked Car Insurance increases your Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Coverages. Depending on the number of vehicles you insure, it allows you to combine the limits of each vehicle in your household, increasing the total coverage available – stacking all of your policies together.
The Oakes Firm can help you navigate the complexities of insurance coverage. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact us now. We are available 24/7 for a free case consultation to evaluate your potential claims. Learn how an award-winning Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at The Oakes Firm can get you the help you need and the money you deserve.