Every driver on the roads of Philadelphia, or the rest of Pennsylvania, is required to have car insurance. If they do not have any car insurance, or do not have insurance that covers enough damage, then they can get fined. The reason for this is to ensure that there are deep enough pockets on hand to compensate someone who gets hurt in a car accident that was not their fault.
Car Insurance Requirements in Philadelphia
To drive legally in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you need to have at least this much car insurance coverage:
- Medical benefits for bodily injury, regardless of fault: $5,000
- Bodily injuries for which you are found liable: $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident
- Property damage insurance: $5,000
If you do not have this minimum level of insurance, then you could face legal repercussions. If the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ever learns that you drove on the state's roads without enough insurance, your vehicle registration and driver's license could be suspended for 3 months. You would also have to pay a $300 fine and a $176 fee to have your registration and license reinstated.
Nevertheless, many people either choose to drive without car insurance in Pennsylvania, or do not have the means to pay for it. Sometimes, another driver's lack of car insurance is nothing more than an oversight on their part: They simply missed a payment or let their coverage lapse. Regardless, it you get into a car accident with one of these drivers, getting the compensation that you need and deserve for a full recovery can become difficult.
Even if someone else has insurance, that is not a guarantee that they are carrying enough of it to cover a serious accident. Whenever there are multiple vehicles involved in a crash or someone suffers severe personal injuries, the minimum amount of insurance required by Pennsylvania often does not cover the damage.
This becomes a problem when it is the driver who was responsible for the crash that does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. When they are only carrying the minimum of $5,000 in property damage coverage, but it totals your $25,000 new car, you would have to get that driver to pay for your expenses out of pocket. Unfortunately, this is not always feasible, because not everyone has enough money in their bank account to pay the often steep price of a serious car accident.
Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Coverage
This is where underinsured driver coverage can come into play. When you buy car insurance, you have the option of also paying for uninsured or underinsured coverage. This aspect of car insurance protects you if you get into a car accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. When this kind of accident happens, your own insurance company will step in and make sure you get the coverage and payments that you need to make a full recovery from the crash. This can make a huge difference if the driver who hurt you is unable to pay anything or falls well short of the full amount necessary to make you whole, again.
What to do if You Get in a Car Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver
Whenever someone drives without car insurance, they are taking a risk. By not paying for insurance, they know they could be personally on the hook for any damage they cause on the roads.
Even though they know they are taking this risk, uninsured or underinsured drivers who cause an accident will often urge you not to call the police. They do this in the hopes that the accident will go unreported and they will not have to pay anything in damages. This is especially true if they are uninsured because of something they have done in the past, like get convicted for driving under the influence (DUI).
If you do not report the accident, however, you could face repercussions down the road if the damage turns out to be more serious than you thought, and you suddenly need compensation to help you out.
Philadelphia Uninsured or Underinsured Accident Attorneys
Car accidents can have countless complexities to them. A lack of insurance is just one of them.
If you get involved in a car accident in or near the city of Philadelphia and the driver responsible does not have any insurance, or does not have enough to cover your damages, you need an attorney on your side to make sure you get what you need to make a full recovery. Contact the Philadelphia car accident attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian online or at (800) 529-6162.