Being a passenger in a car crash almost always means you are not liable for anything – usually, it’s the drivers that carry the responsibility. But if you were injured as a passenger, you are likely faced with mountains of medical bills and other related expenses, and you deserve to know who is responsible to pay for these losses.
In Pennsylvania, the answer depends on your insurance situation.
Your Own Auto Insurance Policy
Pennsylvania follows a no-fault system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, which means that a driver’s own auto insurer would pay for his/her bills, regardless of who was at fault in the crash. So if you are a Pennsylvania driver, you likely carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, and this can cover your expenses if you were injured as a passenger. In other words, you can file a PIP claim with your own insurer to pay for your medical bills.
Your Parents’ Policy
If you do not carry auto insurance but your parents do, you are likely covered by their policy. Thus, you can make a PIP claim with your parents’ insurance provider.
The Driver’s Insurance
If you do not have auto insurance and are not covered by anyone’s policy, you should be paid by the insurance company of the driver of the car you were in. Again, this is regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Other Insurance Policies
The minimum PIP coverage in Pennsylvania is $5,000. If you have extensive injuries and huge expenses, this coverage can be quickly exhausted. When that happens, you cannot ‘stack’ PIP benefits – for example, you cannot use the driver’s PIP coverage after you have exhausted your own. Instead, you can use another form of coverage such as your own private health insurance.
Considering A Lawsuit
Most injury claims are settled satisfactorily outside the court, but in some accidents, the injuries and losses can be significant enough to merit a lawsuit. If you believe you should pursue your case in court, consult with a lawyer to determine your next steps. You must act as soon as possible because Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations of two years, which means you have two years from your injury date to file a lawsuit.
Whether you are making an insurance claim or are thinking about filing a suit, The Brod Law Firm can help you identify your best options and build your case for the most favorable results. Our firm has helped hundreds of Pennsylvania accident victims get rightfully paid, and we can do this for you, too. Tell us about your accident in a free consultation. Call 1-888-HELPWIN (1-888-435-7946) today.