Car crashes are destructive and disruptive. You can basically expect your entire schedule to change immediately after a crash. You might have to wait an hour or longer for police officers to arrive and start their report.
After that, you may need medical treatment. Then there’s the damage to your car and the necessary repairs to consider. You may need to spend at least the next few days dealing with the fallout of the crash.
Of all the details you have to manage, money probably isn’t your top concern. Like most drivers hurt by a crash caused by someone else, you probably just assume that insurance will cover all of your costs. Unfortunately, some drivers find out that the person who wrecked their vehicle doesn’t have enough insurance to compensate them for the crash.
Pennsylvania has low insurance requirements
Under Pennsylvania law, drivers should have at least $5,000 in medical benefits for themselves and anyone else covered by the policy. This is no-fault coverage that applies any time an injury occurs.
Drivers also need liability coverage. The minimum they need to pay for is $5,000 in property damage coverage and medical liability coverage. There needs to be $15,000 of protection in crashes with one injured party and $30,000 of coverage for incidents that lead to multiple injuries.
Some people let their insurance policies lapse
Your policy helps cover medical costs regardless of fault and protects you from liability. In addition to being financially smart, carrying insurance is a legal requirement. Still, some people stop paying their monthly premium or even cancel their policy after they register their vehicle.
You could easily get to a crash with someone who doesn’t have insurance at all. Even crashes with those who carry just the minimum amount of coverage could leave you with thousands of dollars in uncovered losses.
You will typically have two options in that situation. You can make a claim against your policy if you carry uninsured and underinsured driver coverage. You may also need to file a civil lawsuit against the uninsured or underinsured driver. Familiarizing yourself with how car insurance works in Pennsylvania is frequently the first step toward getting the compensation you need after a serious crash.