In Pennsylvania, all drivers are required to have auto insurance. Although it is illegal to drive without coverage, people still do so. On average, 1 out of 7 drivers is uninsured, and thousands more are underinsured. Some states require that all drivers obtain uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. Pennsylvania does not require such coverage, but it is a very good idea to get some. Those who select the coverage have to pay a slightly higher premium, but enjoy the benefit of being able to collect money in the event they are injured in an accident by an uninsured driver. However, if you do not have UM coverage, and if the uninsured driver does not have assets, there may be no way for you to receive any money for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.
Jury Awards $250,000
Recently a Pennsylvania jury awarded a man $250,000 for damages suffered while driving a vehicle insured under an uninsured motorist policy through Progressive Advanced Insurance Company. The plaintiff was driving a car owned by another person when he was rear-ended by the defendant who had no insurance. The plaintiff suffered neck pain, thoracic pain, and lower back pain. The plaintiff also suffered from several herniated and bulging discs, which were found to be permanent and directly related to the car accident with the uninsured driver.
As a result, a suit was brought against the uninsured driver. Because the defendant was not insured at the time of the accident, the vehicle owner’s insurance company, Progressive, was brought in as a defendant. The plaintiff demanded the $15,000 policy maximum limit, however, Progressive countered with an offer to settle for $4,500. Settlement discussion proved to be unsuccessful. Ultimately, after a two-day trial proving the plaintiff’s injuries were a result of the auto accident, the jury awarded the plaintiff $250,000 for past and future pain and suffering, as well as loss of life’s pleasures.
75 Pa. Cons. Stat. 1731 governs uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. The law requires that all insurance policies must offer the option to obtain UM coverage. In Pennsylvania, those who suffer injury arising out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle are covered. The policyholder, other drivers covered by the policy and any passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accidents who suffer injured are covered.
Notably, the law provides a limitation on recovery. A person who recovers damages under uninsured motorist coverage cannot recover under underinsured motorist coverage for the same accident. Additionally, a person seeking to recover noneconomic damages may not recover from uninsured or underinsured motor damages.
Need Legal Help?
Have you been injured in an auto accident? Do you have expensive medical bills? Did you have to take time off work? If so, you may have a claim to damages. The attorneys at Solnick & Associates LLC have helped thousands of people injured in all types of accidents. Contact our experienced auto accident attorneys today at 215-481-9979 for a free consultation.