Having the right car insurance coverage can make a world of difference if you are ever injured in a car accident. Georgelis Injury Law Firm has helped countless car accident victims fight for compensation over the years, witnessing first hand the hardship that insufficient coverage can cause victims and their families. That’s why the firm’s attorneys always look for opportunities to educate clients and community members about the importance of proper car insurance coverage.
Georgelis Injury Law Firm’s top attorney, Anthony M. Georgelis, Esquire, took time to share the top three most common questions that people have when deciding what car insurance they need to protect them in the event of an accident:
Q& A with Accident Lawyer, Anthony Georgelis:
1. Does the type of car insurance I have matter if I’m not the cause of the accident?
Yes! If you are injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, the type of car insurance you have will dramatically affect the outcome of your claim. When purchasing auto insurance, be aware, the person or company selling you the insurance may not be focused on protecting you so much as locking you into a high premium. Make sure that you ask questions when purchasing car insurance to ensure that you understand all of the terms contained in your policy and how those terms will affect you if you are involved in an accident. Most importantly, elect the Full Tort Option, purchase higher first party medical coverage, and ensure that you opt for Underinsured and Uninsured (UM/UIM) Coverage.
Here are the top five things you should look for in a car insurance policy:
- Full tort over limited tort coverage
- At least $25,000.00 in medical coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Liability coverage of at least $50,000.00 per vehicle
- Stacked coverage
2. What is Full Tort and UM/UIM Coverage?
In Pennsylvania you have two options when it comes to tort election in your car insurnce: Full or Limited. Understanding the two can mean the difference between recovering money damages for your injuries or not. Full tort coverage allows you to recover for pain and suffering in addition to recovering out of pocket expenses, wage loss, and medical bills after an accident that was caused by another driver. Limited Tort is pitched as less expensive insurance, but saving a few dollars on your premiums may end up costing you thousands if you are injured in an accident.
Having Limited Tort car insurance prevents you from recovering for pain and suffering (the experience of going through the injuries you sustained) and only allows you to recover economic losses like wage loss and medical expenses, unless your situation falls within one of several legislatively-defined exceptions (for instance, the at-fault driver is convicted of DUI or accepted into the ARD program, the vehicle is registered outside of Pennsylvania or you suffer “serious bodily injury,” as defined by Pennsylvania statutory and case law).
Underinsured motorist coverage is something that you can purchase on your own car insurance policy to compensate you in case the person that causes your accident does not have enough insurance. For example, the state minimum liability coverage in Pennsylvania is $15,000. If you are injured by a driver carrying the state minimum coverage and the value of your claim exceeds $15,000, having Underinsured motorist coverage will help compensate you more fully for your injuries.
Uninsured coverage is something that you can purchase on your own policy to compensate you if you are injured by a driver that does not have auto insurance. Without it, you may not be compensated at all if you are injured in an accident caused by someone without insurance.
3. Why do I need a lawyer if I have good car insurance?
Even with the best car insurance, you’ll need to hire an experienced accident attorney in the event of a car accident causing injury. Your insurance company can’t and won’t pursue a claim for you if you are injured by another driver. Typically, they’re just focused on the immediate damage caused by the incident and not looking ahead at any long- term injuries you may face to make sure you are properly compensated. An experienced lawyer will aggressively pursue your claim against the at-fault driver and ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Check out more FAQs from our team of talented attorneys or reach out for a free consultation.
Anthony (Tony) M. Georgelis, Esquire, is the founder and owner of Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. A Lancaster County native, Tony studied political science at the University of Richmond and earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Tony started his career in the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, where he headed up the Child Abuse Prosecution Unit and was the Director of the Child Abuse Prosecution Cadre. Tony founded Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. in 2005, a legal practice dedicated to helping and protecting Lancaster’s injured. For 15 years, Georgelis Injury Law has exclusively handled thousands of claims of those hurt in auto or other accidents, or on the job.