Ice and Snow Causing Accidents: Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
As a Philadelphia car and auto accident firm, we see a tremendous amount of car accidents at this time of the year. In fact, 2015 has been particularly bad because plummeting temperatures have negated the effect of precautionary ice measures such as salt. Refreezing and black ice have created additional hazards this year.
What can you do to keep yourself safe this season? Aside from the obvious (avoiding unnecessary travel in bad weather and keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles), review your car insurance policy. If you are involved in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you will need to make sure that you carry enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries.
First, go to your DECLARATIONS page, and check your tort status. You should be FULL TORT. FULL TORT does NOT mean “full coverage.” In Pennsylvania, you have the option to be either FULL TORT or LIMITED TORT. We have heard from our clients that often times insurance brokers push limited tort coverage. It is slightly cheaper than full tort coverage and most importantly, it saves insurance companies money. They do not have to pay out as much on limited tort policies, and so THEY would like YOU to have limited tort insurance. They can collect their premium from you, and they can avoid compensating you for your pain and suffering unless you have 1. a serious impairment of a bodily function, 2. been fatally injured, or 3. suffered serious and permanent disfigurement. Be very careful about checking your insurance for FULL TORT coverage. If you have limited tort coverage, you should amend your policy as soon as possible. You are putting your entire family at risk without full tort coverage, because your tort choice extends to your resident relatives, or your family members that reside with you.
Next, check your policy for UNINSURED and UNDERINSURED MOTORIST coverage (UM/UIM coverage). This coverage protects you from being under compensated for your injuries when you are struck by someone who has very little or no insurance. In Pennsylvania, the minimum amount of BODILY INJURY (BI) insurance coverage is $15,000, which is not very much, considering that your outstanding medical bills could be that much in an accident. With outstanding medical bills, you may not wind up with anything to compensate you for your pain and suffering or even your lost wages. People often choose $15,000 or the minimum in BI coverage because this signifies the amount the insurance company pays out to someone else when their insured causes an accident. Most people are not very concerned with how much SOMEONE ELSE can collect as compensation for their injuries. However, if you have sufficient UM/UIM coverage, you protect yourself from those people who have chosen the minimum in BI coverage, or those who are not insured at all.
For more information on insurance coverage, check out our October 2014 Blog Posts called Tragedy Avoided: Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Car Accident Attorney: Full Tort or Limited Tort which can be found here http://riziohamilton.wpengine.com/2014/10/. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers give in depth explanations of limited and full tort insurance and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been injured in a car or auto accident, and you need legal advice, call our Philadelphia car accident lawyers. One of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers will give you a FREE consultation and an honest assessment of your case. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers never get paid unless they obtain money for YOU. And our firm’s auto accident attorneys have been battling insurance companies and winning since 1978.