As a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer who regularly brings Car Accident Claims against Insurance Companies like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, Erie and others and who regularly files Car Accident Lawsuits in the Courts in Pennsylvania, I can tell you that there are critical choices that you make when you buy Car Insurance that impact your legal rights and the rights of your family members who live with you.
Here are some of the most important choices:
Increased Medical Coverage
Pennsylvania Car Accident Medical Bills are paid on a No-Fault basis which means that regardless of who caused the accident, your own car insurance company pays your medical bills up to the amount of your coverage. There are no co-pays or deductibles and your insurance company pays a discounted rate, so the medical benefits last longer than you might think.
The Pennsylvania state minimum medical coverage and most commonly chosen amount is $5,000. However, I recommend that you choose higher coverage because it’s inexpensive. You can buy coverage of $10,000, $100,000 or even $1 Million. Given that many people have bad health insurance or high deductible plans, it is advantageous to have high Medical Coverage.
Full Tort NOT Limited Tort
When you purchase Car Insurance in Pennsylvania you have to choose Full Tort or Limited Tort. Full Tort costs more but protects your full legal rights to compensation after a car accident. You and your family members who are covered by the policy can recover economic damages, like medical bill and lost wages, and you can also recover non-economic damages, like money for pain and suffering.
If you choose Limited Tort, you pay less in premiums, but your rights to compensation are limited. You can recover economic damages but you waive your rights to recover non-economic damages unless you suffer a Serious Injury – Death, serious and permanent Disfigurement, or Serious Impairment of Body Function.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage (UM/UIM) protects you, your family members covered by the policy and other drivers or passengers in your vehicle in the event of an accident caused by someone else who does not have car insurance or does not have enough car insurance to cover the injuries and damages.
UM/UIM is optional coverage, so many people don’t have it. Because there are many Uninsured or Underinsured drivers on the road, it’s critical to purchase significant UM/UIM coverage to protect your family.
In the event of an accident, if the responsible driver has no insurance or not enough to cover the damages, you can make a claim on your own policy to be fully compensated up to the amount of coverage that you choose. The good news is that the claim will not increase your insurance rates since you paid premiums for the coverage.
I recommend that you purchase as much UM/UIM coverage as you can afford, at least $100,000 but preferably $1 Million or more. I’ve seen many catastrophic injury or death cases in my career in which the victim has little or no UM/UIM and the responsible driver only had the state minimum of $15,000 of Liability Coverage. In those cases, the victim or his or her family faced many financial challenges because of the inability to be fully compensated.
Check Your Policy Today!!!
Please check your Car Insurance Policy to make sure you have this important coverage. Also, for more information, check out my book on Car Insurance and Personal injury cases.