If you are like most drivers in Pennsylvania, you probably understand very little about your car insurance policy beyond the fact that you have the coverage the law requires. Without having a clear understanding of your policy, you leave yourself open to many complications if you should be in an accident.
Pennsylvania insurance options are among the more complex because of your choice of traditional tort liability or no-fault coverage. You may wish to learn as much as possible about each so you can act with confidence if you need to file a claim or pursue damages after an accident.
Fault or no-fault?
No-fault insurance plans may be losing popularity across the country, but this state still offers drivers that option. With this type of coverage, your insurer covers your damages no matter which driver was at fault. Unless you suffer catastrophic injuries, no-fault coverage forbids you from filing a lawsuit against the other driver.
With traditional coverage, the other driver's insurer covers your costs, and you have the option of suing for damages like medical costs, damage to your car and lost wages, but also for non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
You are also vulnerable to a lawsuit with this type of insurance, and you may have to wait longer for your payment while the insurance adjusters determine who was at fault in the accident.
What happens after an accident?
Once you inform the appropriate insurer that you were in an accident, you can expect an adjuster to contact you and offer a settlement. This means the insurer wants to give you a check for your injuries and damages before you file a lawsuit. Each county in Pennsylvania handles this a little differently, so you would be wise to have legal counsel to ensure you are receiving a fair settlement.
The type of insurance you carry affects the way you will seek financial benefits after an accident. Whether you have no-fault or traditional liability, you may face confusing and stressful decisions, and the insurer may exert pressure on you to make a quick decision before your doctor has even reached a complete opinion about your prognosis. Having a skilled and experienced attorney on your side means having an ally who will answer your questions, deal with your concerns and work to obtain fair and complete compensation after your accident.