Pennsylvania imposes multiple requirements on those who want to drive personal vehicles. People need to have a driver’s license and to register their vehicles with the state. They also need to carry insurance.
Ideally, in addition to fulfilling those basic requirements, they will also follow all traffic laws to reduce their risk of a crash. Unfortunately, no matter how well the state communicates the rules to prospective drivers and how clear the possible penalties for violations may be, there are always individuals who break the law when it comes to how they drive and what they do with their vehicles.
There are many people who knowingly drive without insurance and others who lose their coverage because they miss a payment by accident or due to budget challenges, for example. What do drivers in Pennsylvania need to know about the possibility of a crash caused by someone without insurance?
The risk is minor but noteworthy
Overall, the rate of uninsured drivers in Pennsylvania is not nearly as high as it is in many other states. Pennsylvania ranks relatively low among the states based on the percentage of drivers without insurance. According to insurance industry data from 2019, only 6% of Pennsylvania motorists lacked insurance coverage at any given time.
Still, knowing that roughly 1 in 20 drivers don’t have insurance is far from comforting. Individuals can protect themselves ahead of time by adding additional coverage to their own insurance policies. Uninsured motorist protection can be very valuable after a crash caused by someone with a lapsed policy or even after a hit-and-run collision that results in injury and significant property damage.
Frequently, those injured by uninsured drivers will need to take legal action if they want to reduce the financial consequences they suffer. A personal injury lawsuit is often an option when there is evidence that someone was negligent or violated traffic statutes prior to a crash. Unfortunately, the liability-based insurance system in Pennsylvania does leave members of the public at the mercy of others who may not always make the most responsible choices.
Understanding the rights that someone has after a crash caused by someone without car insurance may help people limit the long-term consequences of their circumstances. Seeking legal guidance can provide greater clarity.