Making an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Pennsylvania after a Car Accident
Uninsured Motorist Benefits are coverage for bodily injury or damages after you were hit by another driver who either had no insurance or who left the scene and who remains unknown. Uninsured Motorist coverage is an important thing to have on your car insurance. It protects you and your family against other drivers at fault who either: (1) have no insurance or (2) flee the scene and remain unknown.
So, you can get money damages for injuries under your Uninsured Motorist benefits on your own policy. This should not raise your rates because you paid premiums for this coverage. Uninsured Motorist benefits are what protect you and your family against drivers who are driving with no insurance or who leave the scene and remain unknown.
If you are injured in a car accident where the other driver either has no insurance or leaves the scene and remains unknown, you need to apply for Uninsured Motorist benefits with your insurance company. You want to notify your company of the claim as soon as possible. Also, especially where the other driver flees the scene, you need to contact the Police and report the accident to the police or to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) within 30 days of the accident. This is very important because it is a requirement to making a claim for Uninsured Motorist benefits. Your insurance company is required to explain the coverages and benefits available on your policy. Make sure they explain the policy to you. Ask them for a written explanation- they must respond to you in writing! It is a good idea to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in Personal Injury and representing clients in Uninsured Motorist claims.
Ask your insurance company for a copy of your policy if you do not have a copy. Make sure you read your policy for the sections dealing with Uninsured Motorist benefits. Ask your insurer questions. If you don't understand or believe that the insurance company is treating you unfairly, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. If the insurance company denies your claim, or acts unreasonably, you have a right to fight them and contest it. You should speak to a lawyer. There are deadlines and requirements under the policy for making these claims, in addition to contacting the Police.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David E. Schreiber
David Schreiber has been licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania since 1994. His focus is on Personal Injury cases including Uninsured Motorist Claims and Insurance Disputes. He is a partner in the firm of Wolpert Schreiber P.C.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.