Car crashes can be incredibly dangerous, resulting in life-changing injuries for those involved. If this happens to you, the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in your car insurance may be worth far less than the value of all your damages.
The question becomes: what do you do?
You do not want to try to pay these expenses out of your own pocket. Medical treatment for a severe injury is often quite expensive and many people do not have the means to pay these bills as they come up. That is why so many people are in debt because of health care expenses.
Fortunately, there may be multiple options for recovering the remaining compensation. It is important to note these claims are complicated and it is generally best to work with a licensed attorney. Insurance companies routinely deny or undervalue claims. They often refuse to increase a settlement offer when victims try to negotiate on their own.
Schmidt Kramer is here to help at no upfront cost to you.
Filing a Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance
If your damages exceed your policy limits, you may be able to file a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance, if the other driver is at fault. Liability insurance is third-party coverage that pays for medical expenses and other damages suffered by another party in an accident caused by the policyholder.
Pennsylvania requires drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. However, many drivers choose to carry more, just in case they need it.
While this is a possibility, these claims can be complicated, as fault becomes an issue. In a first-party claim against your PIP coverage, you do not need to prove another driver is at fault.
Crash victims should strongly consider seeking legal representation to help pursue compensation.
Using Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This coverage is specifically for situations when the at-fault driver’s coverage runs out. This might happen after you exhaust your PIP coverage and the other driver’s liability coverage.
While this coverage is technically not required, insurers are required to offer it and it must be rejected in writing if drivers do not want it. However, many drivers choose to purchase this coverage. You never know when you may get into a crash with a driver who does not have much insurance. Medical costs and other damages can quickly add up, especially if you suffered a severe injury.
Pursuing a Third Party for Compensation
There are times when multiple parties are involved in a car crash, and those parties share some amount of liability. Victims may be able to seek compensation from those other parties, particularly if you exhaust the limits of your policy.
For example, you may be able to seek compensation from a government entity responsible for maintaining a road or a product manufacturer, if a defective product contributed to the crash.
Other third parties that may bear liability include:
- Restaurants or bars
- Car repair shops
Stacking Underinsured Motorist Benefits
It is possible to stack coverage based on the number of vehicles on your policy. If you have two cars on your policy with limits of $100,000/$300,000 and you stack coverage, you could have coverage limits of $200,000 and $600,000.
You could stack coverage with other types of vehicles besides cars. For example, you could stack coverage between a car and a motorcycle.
There is no way to know if your damages from a crash might exceed the limits of your insurance coverage. It is important to meet with an experienced lawyer to discuss the situation. Those who hire lawyers often recover more compensation than those who do not.
Have Questions About Your Options? Call Schmidt Kramer Today
You do not need to deal with the insurance company alone. You can hire an attorney to help you, and you can do so at no upfront cost.
Schmidt Kramer’s Harrisburg auto accident lawyers take car crash cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees or obligations. In fact, our attorneys do not get paid for representing you unless you receive compensation.
Give us a call today to learn more. We are here to help you recover the maximum compensation to help you move forward with your life.
Schmidt Kramer. We are here to help. (717) 510-1782