When there is a car accident between 2 cars in Philadelphia, there is usually an at-fault driver, and in many circumstances, the other driver is hurt as a result. The innocent driver may suffer injuries and damages and file a PA car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If the case settles or if the injured driver wins the lawsuit, the at-fault driver’s insurance company would pay for the damages under the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy, i.e., liability coverage. For instance, if the at-fault driver has $100,000 in liability coverage, and the injured driver’s damages are $100,000, then the injured driver would be compensated for the entire amount of damages.
Related: Philadelphia Car Accidents – Legal and Insurance Terms
Philadelphia Car Accident – Multiple Injured Parties
What happens when there are multiple injured parties in the above example? How are the injured parties compensated? If the driver has $100,000 in liability coverage, what happens if there are other injured individuals, like additional passengers? What if each passenger also has $100,000 in damages? How would the $100,000 of liability coverage be disbursed between the multiple injured individuals?
In general, $100,000 in liability coverage means the driver has $100,000/$300,000 limits of liability. What that means is that any single person injured in a car accident can recover for his damages/injuries up to $100,000. The $300,000 kicks in when there is more than one injured individual, and $300,000 is the total amount of coverage for the accident. If there are 3 people injured in the above example and each has $100,000 in damages, then each person would get up to $100,000, thus $300,000 for the accident.
Philadelphia Car Accident – Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
What if there was a fourth person injured who also has damages? Then 1 or more individuals would not be compensated fully for their damages.
For the individual(s) who did not get fully compensated for their damages, they may file an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim with their own auto insurance company. UIM coverage compensates insured injured drivers if the at-fault driver’s liability coverage is not enough to provide full compensation. However, drivers can only file a UIM claim if they purchased UIM coverage on their own car insurance policies. In Pennsylvania, UIM coverage is not mandatory. Therefore, if drivers do not have UIM coverage, they may not file a claim.
In the above example, let’s assume 2 of the injured passengers each have $100,000 in damages, but were only able to recover $50,000 each. Passenger A has UIM coverage and passenger B does not. Passenger A may file a UIM claim with their own insurance company to recover the remaining $50,000. On the other hand, passenger B would not be able to file a UIM claim, and the total he recovers is $50,000.
It is important note that injured drivers may only be compensated up to the amount of UIM coverage purchased. For instance, an injured driver has $200,000 in damages. The at-fault driver has $15,000 in liability coverage, and the injured driver has $100,000 in UIM coverage. The injured driver would receive $15,000 from the at-fault driver and would need to file a UIM claim. However, he may only recover up to $100,000, the amount of UIM coverage he purchased. Therefore, his total recovery is $115,000 and not the $200,000.
UIM coverage is one of the most important coverages in any auto insurance policy. Many drivers do not understand what it is and decide to not get it to save on annual premiums. Unfortunately, many come to find that they should have purchased the coverage.
Help After a Philadelphia Car Accident
Pennsylvania car accident law can be complex, and it is best to have an experienced car accident lawyer by your side. Jordan Namerow, a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, has helped countless car accident victims with liability lawsuits and UIM claims. Free consultations. 215.985.0777
Mr. Namerow was selected by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys as one of the “10 Best” personal injury lawyers in Pennsylvania who has provided exceptional and outstanding client service. Below are what his clients have to say about Mr. Namerow.
“Mr. Namerow was so attentive to my case, frequently updating me of progress or new events. I really appreciated his counsel, his advice and his persistence in attaining the original settlement request. He really delivered!”
“Your firm absolutely helped our family with ensuring that my wife received the proper medical treatment required in her recovery. We now can move on thanks to the wonderful service we received from the firm.”
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