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    Underinsured Motorist Coverage UIM-PA Car Accident Lawyer

    by | Apr 20, 2024 | Philadelphia PA Car Truck Accidents


    Car and truck cases accepted across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County and Bucks County. Our offices are located in Conshohocken, PA (Montgomery County) and Philadelphia, PA. (610) 825-0500

    New Jersey and Pennsylvania have similar auto insurance laws.  Both states have the no-fault system in place.  What this means is that regardless of who caused the accident, the injured driver or passenger’s own insurance company pays for their own medical expenses under their medical benefits coverage, also known as PIP.  Therefore, if a PA or NJ driver sustains injuries after a driver violently rear-ends his vehicle, he will look to his own insurance company to pay for medical expenses incurred related to the rear-end accident.

    UIM/UM Coverage

    Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania auto insurance policies also offer a very important coverage called underinsured motorist (UIM) or uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. 

    UM applies in car accidents where the at-fault driver does not have insurance, or if the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident and cannot be located.

    If the injured driver has $30,000 in UM coverage and his injuries are valued at $30,000, he may recover $30,000 by filing a UM claim with his own car insurance company.  However, if his injuries are valued at $50,000, the injured driver will still only receive $30,000 because that is the amount of coverage he purchased.

    UIM applies in car accidents when the at-fault or negligent driver’s liability coverage is not enough to compensate the injured driver or passenger.  In other words, the at-fault driver is underinsured.  Although UIM cliams are allowed under car accident laws in both NJ and PA, UIM laws in each state are slightly different.  For instance, an injured driver from PA and an injured driver from NJ will recover different amounts of UIM benefits even if the accidents, the at-fault driver’s liability coverage and the injured drivers’ UIM policy limits are the same.  How can that be?  Below are examples that will help explain this confusing issue.

    PA Car Accident & UIM Claim

    A PA driver has $100,000 UIM coverage and is injured in a car accident.  If the at-fault driver has $15,000 in liability coverage, and the value of the injured driver’s injuries and damages exceed $15,000, he will receive $15,000 from the at-fault driver.  He can then recover the rest of his damages by filing a UIM claim.  The maximum amount he may receive from his UIM claim is $100,000.  Therefore, the maximum amount of recovery the driver may receive is $115,000 as a result of the car accident. 

    NJ Car Accident & UIM Claim

    However, using the same scenario above, we get a very different result if the car accident happened in NJ and involved a NJ driver and NJ UIM claim.  That’s because NJ UIM insurance coverage is considered “gap coverage,” i.e., fills the gap between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage amount and the insured’s UIM coverage amount. 

    Even though the driver purchased $100,000 of UIM benefits, the amount he recovered from the at-fault driver, $15,000, is deducted from the maximum amount of UIM benefits.  Therefore, the NJ driver’s maximum amount of UIM recovery from his own car insurance company is $85,000, after the $15,000 is deducted.  The maximum amount of recovery the driver may receive is $100,000.

    Help After A PA Car  & Truck Accident

    If you were injured in a car accident and want to explore your legal rights, call the Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Morris Wilson Knepp Jacquette. Our personal injury lawyers have been handling car accident cases for decades.  Contact our law firm for a free consultation. (610) 827-5191

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    We Accept Medical Malpractice Cases Against Hospitals in the Philadelphia Area

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    Philadelphia County

    Chestnut Hill Hospital

    Einstein Medical

    Hahnemann Hospital

    Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

    Jeanes Hospital

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    Pennsylvania Hospital

    Roxborough Memorial Hospital

    Temple University Hospital

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    Delaware County

    Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland)

    Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill, Upper Darby)

    Springfield Hospital (Springfield)

    Taylor Hospital (Ridley)

    Montgomery County

    Abington Hospital (Abington, Lansdale)

    Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr)

    Einstein Medical (East Norriton, Elkins Park)

    Holy Redeemer Hospital (Meadowbrook)

    Lankenau Hospital (Wynnewood)

    Suburban Community Hospital (Norristown)

    Children's Hospitals

    Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila., West Chester, East Norriton, Meadowbrook, Doylestown, Langhorne, Sellersville, etc.)

    St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

    Shriner's Hospitals for Children

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