Auto Accident Case Results
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Car Insurance Claims for Auto Injuries in Pennsylvania
Two of the most common car insurance claims after a car accident in Pennsylvania are PIP claims and Bodily Injury claims. While PIP claims are made regardless of fault, Bodily Injury claims are ONLY made when another party caused the accident.
A less common car insurance claim is a UIM/UM (Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist) coverage claim. These claims are available when the other, at-fault driver didn’t have enough car insurance to compensate you for your injuries (underinsured) or the other driver can’t be located or was driving without insurance (uninsured). UIM/UM claims are made under your own car insurance policy, if you selected this optional coverage.
Auto injury cases accepted across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. Call for a FREE, no obligation consultation. (610) 825-0500
About Morris Wilson Knepp Jacquette
As a boutique law firm concentrating on personal injury law in Pennsylvania, we’re able to devote the time and resources necessary to achieve the very best results for our clients. Within the past five years alone, we’ve obtained more than $50 million in jury verdicts and settlements. We’re known as skilled trial lawyers who don’t back down from any defendant, including national car insurance companies.
We have achieved recognition both nationally and locally for our client-focused advocacy and dedication to obtaining big results. Since 2016, our firm has been Best Law Firm rated by U.S. News & World Report.
If you need assistance with a car accident injury claim, please contact our law firm for a FREE consultation at (610) 825-0500.
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PIP Claims – Not Based on Fault
Under Pennsylvania car insurance laws, every auto insurance policy issued in this state is required to provide a minimum of $5,000 of PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits to the insured person and members of their household (spouse and children).
Again, PIP covers medical bills incurred in an auto accident, regardless of fault. This means that if you’re injured in a car accident that you caused, you’re still eligible for PIP benefits under your own car insurance policy. PIP also covers lost wages, funeral expenses and household help. However, residents of PA may opt out of lost wage coverage, so that PIP only covers medical bills.
PIP Claims for Auto Injuries in PA – Practical Things to Know
- PIP claims are made under your own car insurance policy (except in certain situations like if you’re a pedestrian and aren’t covered under your own or a relative’s policy).
- The minimum $5,000 limit applies per person, up to a limit of $15,000 per accident. So, if dad and mom are injured in a car accident, each can claim up to $5,000 in PIP benefits individually.
- PIP claims work like medical insurance claims. The doctor bills the car insurance company directly. You won’t get charged for copays or coinsurance.
- To open a PIP claim, you MUST contact your car insurance company.
- If you make a PIP claim, your insurance premiums won’t be increased directly because of it. Car insurance companies may increase premiums based on the overall number/amount of PIP claims made in a given area.
Bodily Injury Claims – Based on Fault
Bodily Injury/Bodily Injury Liability claims are completely separate and distinct from PIP claims. Bodily Injury is a type of coverage that, like PIP coverage, is required on every car insurance policy issued in this state. The minimum required in PA is $15,000, although many folks purchase higher coverage amounts, such as $50,000, $100,000 $250,000, etc.
Remember – Bodily Injury claims are only available to an injured individual, but only if another person is at fault for the accident. This means that an injured individual can make a Bodily Injury claim under the policy covering the negligent driver, unlike PIP benefits which are made under your own policy.
For example, Driver A is injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania which is caused by Driver B. Driver A has a car insurance policy with $5,000 of PIP benefits. Driver A can make a claim for medical bills under the PIP coverage of their own car insurance policy. Driver B has a car insurance policy with $50,000 of Bodily Injury Liability coverage. Because Driver B was at fault, Driver A can make a claim for up to $50,000 under Driver B’s car insurance policy.
|PIP Claims||Bodily Injury Claims|
|Whose car insurance policy applies?||Your own policy (as an insured or household member).||The at-fault person’s policy.|
|Max Benefit Amount||$5,000 (PA minimum)||$15,000 (PA minimum)|
Tort Election – Compensation for Pain & Suffering
Pennsylvania car accident law is pretty complex when it comes to getting compensated for pain and suffering. Your ability to get pain and suffering damages due to car accident injuries will depend on what you selected in your own car insurance policy. There are two tort elections available: Full Tort and Limited Tort. The one you chose may affect your ability to get compensated for pain and suffering. Full Tort means there’s no limitation on making claims for pain and suffering, while Limited Tort means that you can only make claims for pain and suffering in certain situations:
- You suffered a serious injury.
- You were injured by a DUI driver.
- The other car was registered out of state.
- The other driver didn’t have car insurance.
- You weren’t riding in a car at the time (i.e., you were a pedestrian or riding a bicycle).
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