Steps to Take After a Car Accident as an Injured Passenger
If you were injured in a car accident when you were riding in a vehicle as a passenger, you may have multiple options for pursuing financial recovery for the expenses and losses you incur due to your injuries. It is important to know what claims you can file after being hurt as a passenger in a car accident.
Filing a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver
You may be entitled to obtain financial compensation from the liability insurance coverage of the driver who was at fault for causing the car accident. This may either be the driver of a vehicle that hit the car you were riding in, or it may be the driver of your vehicle. However, you should keep in mind that you can only recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance up to the coverage limit under the policy. Many drivers in Pennsylvania only have the minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage required by law. In these circumstances, you might also be entitled to pursue a claim directly against the at-fault driver’s assets, if they have any significant financial resources beyond their liability insurance coverage.
In addition, you should also know that if the car accident was caused by multiple drivers, you can only recover compensation from insurance up to the total limit of your losses. In other words, you cannot “double dip” by recovering the full amount of your losses from each at-fault driver.
Finally, you should also know that if you are a member of the same household as the driver of your vehicle, you likely will be unable to pursue compensation from your driver’s liability coverage, since you will probably be considered an “insured” under the terms of the policy and therefore ineligible to pursue a liability claim.
Seeking No-Fault Coverage from Your Driver’s Policy
Car insurance policies in Pennsylvania are also required to provide personal injury protection coverage. PIP coverage pays for medical bills and lost wages incurred due to injuries suffered by any of the occupants of the driver’s vehicle. PIP coverage is available regardless of who caused the accident, which is why PIP is sometimes called “no-fault” coverage.
If you have your own auto insurance policy, you likely will also be entitled to file a claim for PIP coverage from your insurer.
Obtaining Coverage from Your Own Insurance
In addition to filing a PIP claim with your own car insurance provider, you may also be entitled to file other insurance claims against your policies. First, if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of your car insurance, you may be entitled to file a claim with your insurer if the at-fault driver or drivers don’t have liability insurance coverage, or if their coverage limits are insufficient to fully compensate you for all your expenses and losses.
You might also be entitled to obtain coverage for your medical expenses through your health insurance. However, you may need to check the terms of your policy, as some health insurers may decline coverage for medical expenses incurred due to an auto accident or may require that your health insurance coverage be secondary to PIP or other auto insurance coverage.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC represent clients injured because of car accidents in Butler, Cranberry Township, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 310 Grant St. #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.