Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?

Car accidents happen every day and many drivers and passengers are left with serious injuries. While people tend to think it is the driver that sustains the most grievous injuries, passengers can suffer even more severe injuries than the drivers. Most passengers are not aware they are entitled to compensation for their injuries after the crash, particularly if they are related to the driver. In 2019, over 76,000 people were injured on Pennsylvania roads. 

One question we get quite frequently at MyPhillyLawyer from passengers injured in a car wreck is: “Who is going to be held liable, or responsible for their medical bills and other related expenses?” Passengers are worried about suing a family member or the friend that was driving. Any passenger suing for compensation for injuries after a car accident is not suing the driver. Any claim filed is against the individual’s insurance company and, no matter who is sued, insurance rates after an accident do increase. 

Car insurance is mandatory in Pennsylvania

Every Pennsylvania driver is supposed to have insurance, to protect others if they are involved in a crash. However, many drivers drive without insurance or with very little insurance coverage. The critical factor in a Pennsylvania passenger vehicle accident is determining the at-fault driver. 

If you were a passenger in a motor vehicle collision, and you have your own car insurance, that policy pays your medical costs to the limit of your coverage. The coverage is also applicable for anyone listed on your policy, such as your spouse or your children. 

If you do not have a car insurance policy, you are covered by the driver’s insurance if you have been hurt in a collision involving their vehicle. It does not matter who was at fault for the crash, the driver’s policy pays for your medical costs to the limits of the policy. 

The crash rates in the state are worrisome, with Pennsylvania ranking in 7th place nationwide in 2019 for fatal car crashes. Each year, over 1,000 state residents die on the roadways. 

Car Insurance Policy Limits

If you reach the limits of your insurance policy or reach the limits of the driver’s coverage, your health insurance kicks in to cover the medical expenses. Be aware this may result in subrogation rights, meaning if your case settles, your health insurance may ask you to repay your medical costs. Our passenger vehicle accident lawyers can explain this to you to keep you fully informed of how your case may proceed.

There are various types of insurance coverage available for injured passengers. Passengers can be compensated for injuries, and the at-fault driver’s coverage is liable for payment. Your insurance does affect how injury claims are assessed and resolved. 

When you buy auto insurance in Pennsylvania, you must have, at the very least, minimum liability insurance and, choose one of two tort coverage options. Your options are Full Tort coverage or Limited Tort coverage.

Full tort coverage allows the driver to file a lawsuit and recover all damages, including pain and suffering and, economic damages. Full tort coverage means paying a higher premium, but this offers the best protection. 

Limited tort coverage means an injured individual can file a lawsuit for all economic losses – including lost wages and medical expenses – as a result of a collision. You cannot file for pain and suffering. Some exceptions apply.

Pennsylvania also has two types of optional coverage, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). UM provides protection when the at-fault driver is not insured. UIM helps injured motorists recover the amount needed to pay for their injuries when the at-fault driver is underinsured.

Each vehicle accident is different. Each person injured sustains different injuries with different outcomes. No two cases are alike. Having an experienced passenger vehicle accident lawyer on your side helps you understand what legal options to seek compensation are available to you.

Pennsylvania No-Fault Law

People think that no-fault laws mean if another driver caused an accident, they are responsible or at fault. No-fault laws do not mean that. Instead, they mean that no matter who is deemed to be at fault for a collision, each driver is responsible for their medical care. 

Put another way, with a Pennsylvania vehicle insurance policy, your insurance company pays the medical expenses through a portion of coverage referred to as personal injury protection (PIP).

When you bought vehicle insurance, you were to select an amount of PIP to buy. You could choose the lowest amount possible, which is $5,000, but that does not cover a lot of medical bills. This is one of the first things a passenger vehicle accident lawyer at MyPhillyLawyer checks.

You may be able to get your car fixed by doing the same thing, but it depends on several factors. One of those factors is the at-fault driver’s insurance company not wanting to admit their policyholder’s responsible and having to pay out on a claim. Instead, the company takes its time to make a decision. Various other scenarios may arise when dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and this is something that your MyPhillyLawyer handles for you. 

Pennsylvania Counties with the Most Vehicle Collisions

There are nine out of 10 Pennsylvania counties that see the most car crashes. Those counties are:

  • Philadelphia
  • Montgomery
  • Bucks
  • Lancaster
  • Chester
  • Berks
  • Delaware
  • Lehigh
  • York

Pennsylvania is also home to deadly, well-known roads that all drivers are aware of and hope they are able to navigate safely. These killer roads include:

  • I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway)
  • The Pennsylvania Turnpike
  • Bridges on I-83, I-80, and Route 30.
  • Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia
  • Market Street in Harrisburg
  • Industrial Highway near York
  • Knights Road and Street Road, the most deadly intersection in the nation

If you were injured in a car accident, you probably have a lot of questions. We have the answers for you. The passenger vehicle accident attorneys and legal staff at MyPhillyLawyer are here to take care of all your concerns and help you move forward with your life. We have decades of experience helping car accident survivors. 

Know Your Rights After a Motor Vehicle Crash

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free (866) 352-4572 to discuss your case, your legal rights and, options. Our passenger vehicle accident attorneys understand how to challenge insurance companies and fight for the compensation you deserve. Your initial consultation is free. No recovery, no fees or costs, guaranteed.

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