Greg Prosmushkin
Dec 30, 2022

If a collision occurs and the amount of damages exceeds the available insurance coverage, the accident victim can pursue a claim against the driver directly. They can also make a claim with the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage if such a policy is available. 

Pennsylvania Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements 2022

In simple terms, if damages exceed the defendant’s insurance policy limits, you may pursue to a judgment. A legal judgment may help you to obtain more than policy limits. The amount of the judgment can be pursued by garnishing the defendant’s wages or by putting a lien on their property.

According to Pennsylvania law, all motor vehicles need to be insured. Motor vehicles may include cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and others. Drivers must carry an auto insurance policy with minimum requirements:

Coverage Minimum Amount
Bodily injury liability coverage $15,000 per person
Bodily injury liability coverage $30,000 per accident
Property damage liability $5,000

Liability insurance refers to insurance coverage that pays when the policyholder causes a crash that damages others. At-fault motorists who possess insurance coverage thus pay the bills and damages of the accident victim. Drivers may expect to have minimum coverage that will safeguard them. 

How To File A Claim Against Additional Defendants?

Depending on the accident circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit against more than one defendant. In such cases you may pursue reimbursement from multiple insurance policies. A collision victim may file a lawsuit against more than one defendant only when the facts support the liability of more than one party. 

For example, if a driver is driving for a company, you can sue both the company and the driver. Similarly, if you collide with a truck, you can sue both the truck driver and the trucking company. If you file a claim against two or more parties, you may pursue compensation from their policies equivalent to their degree of fault. 

When To Report A Pennsylvania Car Accident To The Police

Pennsylvania requires the report of an accident to the police if it occurs when an individual sustains injuries on a road open to the public.

Crashes that are non-reportable include:

  • No party sustained injuries;
  • No vehicle was towed;
  • The collision happened on private property;
  • The crash happened during a cyclone, earthquake, lightning, or other natural calamity

Reporting an accident is always a good practice whether mandatory or not. A report will help the parties if a dispute arises. Furthermore, the police report will help if any of the parties decide to pursue compensation in the future. 

How To Pursue Compensation Under An Umbrella Policy

Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance that can provide coverage for claims exceeding regular insurance policy limits.  People purchase umbrella policies to protect their assets. 

Most often, trucking companies, corporate companies, and wealthier people obtain umbrella policies. In pursuing compensation for an accident, the victim must ascertain what sort of policy the defendant has.

Recovering under the “Unfair Insurance Practice Act”

In Pennsylvania, the Unfair Insurance Settlement Practice Act (UISPA), provides wronged customers the right to file a complaint against an insurer engaged in deceptive practices or operating in bad faith. 

An unfair claim practice refers to a practice in which the insurer tries to delay, reduce, or avoid the settlement amount given to the insured party. 

How Often Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed Policy Limits?

A victim may have various routes to recover additional reimbursement exceeding the driver’s policy limits; however these settlements rarely happen. Some cases may have more than one party responsible and some insured parties will use an umbrella policy if they possess such policies. 

It may be difficult to prove an insurance company is acting negligently and to sue them for bad faith.  Most settlements are for the policy limit or less. 

Can I Recover More Than The Insurance Policy Limits?

The accident victim is not bound by the careless driver’s policy limit and may seek additional compensation exceeding the policy limit. The legal system may permit you to pursue compensation for personal injury, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses to reduce financial crisis. Schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to discuss your case and find efficient and experienced counsel to help you navigate the claim on your behalf.