Your monetary recovery may be limited to the amount of insurance coverage available. Most people do not have significant assets which can be attached to satisfy a judgment. Even when there are assets, if they are held jointly by a husband and wife, they cannot be attached to satisfy a judgment against just one spouse. Thus, if you are injured, go through a lawsuit and trial and obtain a judgment against the person responsible; the amount you can actually collect may be limited to the amount of his or her insurance if there is any. Keep in mind that the minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage required in Pennsylvania is only $15,000.00 per person and $30,000.00 per accident.
However, you can protect yourself by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage with your motor vehicle insurance policy. These are options that have to be offered in Pennsylvania. Uninsured motorist coverage would pay for damages sustained as a result of the negligence of the operator of an uninsured motor vehicle. Underinsured motorist coverage would pay for damages in excess of the liability insurance coverage of the operator of the motor vehicle responsible for the accident. You select the limits of this coverage, which will set the limit you can obtain from your own insurance company. This coverage can be stacked if you select the stacking option under your own motor vehicle insurance policy. Stacking allows you to combine the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for multiple vehicles under your own policy or policies, along with any uninsured or underinsured coverage in the policy of other relatives you live with.
For example, if you are injured by an uninsured vehicle and driver and have uninsured motorist coverage of $15,000.00 on two cars under a policy, and you have a stacking option, your total coverage would be $30,000.00. While you can’t control whether another operator has insurance or the amount of their insurance, you can protect yourself. If you don’t have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage under your policy, get it and stack it. If you do have it, increase it to the maximum amount allowed (its limit is the amount of liability insurance coverage you have under your policy), if you can afford to.
Our office serves Northeastern Pennsylvania, including, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Stroudsburg, Tunkhannock, Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Monroe County, Wyoming County and Carbon County.