Pennsylvania law requires all motor vehicle drivers to maintain minimum amounts of liability insurance, also known as proof of financial responsibility. Unfortunately, many motor vehicle owners break the law and drive without insurance. If you get hit by an uninsured driver in Pittsburgh, it is important to work with a specialized uninsured driver accident lawyer and learn what to do to protect yourself.
Report the Car Accident
Pull over at the scene of the accident and report it to law enforcement without delay. Pennsylvania law requires drivers to report car accidents that result in injuries, death, or property damage that prevents one or more vehicles from driving away from the scene. Even if it is only a minor accident, however, you should call 911 to report it if you find out that the other driver is driving without insurance.
Driving while uninsured is a traffic violation in Pennsylvania that could lead to a ticket and fine for the uninsured driver, as well as a suspended driver’s license until the driver purchases car insurance. This can prevent the driver from causing further collisions while uninsured. Obtaining a police report can also provide evidence against the uninsured driver during a car insurance claim and help a specialized uninsured driver accident lawyer in Pittsburgh protect your rights.
Seek Medical Care
A car insurance company – including your own provider – will check to see if you sought prompt medical care after an automobile accident. If you failed to see a doctor right away, this could give the insurer grounds to argue that you did not mitigate your losses. This could interfere with your ability to receive financial compensation for your injuries. Keep in mind that even if you initially feel fine after a car accident, you may have symptoms that are delayed or masked by your adrenaline. Go to a hospital without delay.
Contact Your Own Car Insurance Provider
Pennsylvania is one of only a few no-fault car insurance states in the country. Under this car accident law, your own car insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages connected to a collision up to the coverage limit that you have purchased. Benefits paid by your own insurer do not require proof of someone else’s fault. The minimum required amount of medical benefits for a driver and his or her passengers in Pennsylvania is $5,000.
You may also have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance on your policy. Ask your automobile insurance carrier if you have this type of coverage. If so, it may provide additional compensation for your medical bills and other losses if the other driver does not have insurance. Even if the other driver involved in your crash is uninsured, you can still receive payment up to your limit from your own insurance carrier by reporting the accident and filing a first-party claim.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are certain scenarios where you can sue an at-fault driver outside of Pennsylvania’s no-fault insurance law. This includes if you purchased a full tort insurance policy, or a limited tort insurance policy if your injuries are serious enough to meet the threshold. Even without car insurance, the other driver may be held responsible for paying for your crash out of pocket if found liable for the accident during a personal injury lawsuit.
You or your Pittsburgh personal injury attorney will need to prove that the other driver is more likely than not to be at fault for your car accident. This burden of proof is known as a preponderance of the evidence. A car accident lawyer in Pittsburgh can help you collect evidence and file a personal injury lawsuit against an uninsured driver. Evidence may include a copy of the police report, photographs or video footage, eyewitness statements, and expert testimony. Contact an attorney as soon as possible for assistance if you get hit by an uninsured driver for more information.