Many states, including Pennsylvania, have what is called no fault auto insurance. Some believe that this means that if they hit another person with their car, each party pays for his own damage. This is incorrect.
No Fault Refers to Medical Bills
If you are a victim of a crash because of someone else's negligence, that person's auto insurance will pay to repair your car. Your own insurance will pay for your medical bills due to the physical damage you suffered, up to a certain amount. That amount relates to your PIP (personal injury protection.) Most people have $5,000 to cover medical bills that result from a car accident. This is rarely enough money, since even minor injuries can cause a trip to the hospital, which, as we all know, is extremely expensive. It is important to make sure you have enough insurance to cover yourself if you are seriously hurt in an accident. In Pennsylvania, your health insurance will normally take over once your PIP is exhausted.
Won't the Other Insurance Company Cover Medical Bills?
After an accident, the other insurance company may or may not cover your medical bills. This is where having a good attorney is so important. The reason for this is that there are many reasons that the other insurance company might refuse to pay your bills.
Pennsylvania is No Fault - With a Choice
In Pennsylvania, you actually have a choice about your insurance. Your choice is between full tort and limited tort. This choice is extremely important. If you choose limited tort and you suffer only a minor injury, you cannot recover for pain and suffering. This means you could be out of work for a few days and suffer a lot of inconvenience, never mind some serious pain, but get no compensation for this experience. If you have full tort, you can recover for pain and suffering. It is critical to choose full tort, if you are able to do so.
Why is Pennsylvania No Fault?
No fault insurance saves both time and money. In many accidents, the amount of damage people suffer is minimal. However, if your own insurance company didn't pay for your medical bills, you would have to seek to get the other person's insurance company to cover them. This would mean you would end up in small claims court litigating a case over several thousand dollars in medical bills. This would take up a lot of time and resources for everyone involved. It is less expensive for the insurance companies to pay out the small claims for medical bills than it is for them to send a lawyer into court to litigate responsibility of a car accident over what is, to the insurance company, a small amount of money.
Seek Help from an Attorney
If you simply suffer property damage in a car accident, you will rarely need to retain a lawyer to help you. But, if you are injured, you ought to consider retaining an attorney to assist you. Insurance companies are not known for easily handing out money and you want to make sure that you obtain the full compensation to which you are entitled.