As most people are aware, Pennsylvania law requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 in liability insurance. However, the sad reality is that there are many people on the road who operate their vehicles without the required insurance coverage. A pedestrian or passenger of a vehicle who are injured by an uninsured driver, and who do not own a vehicle and therefore do not have access to uninsured motorist coverage through their own insurance policy, may qualify for benefits under Pennsylvania’s Assigned Claims Plan.
Under Pennsylvania’s Assigned Claims Plan, an eligible claimant (injured person) may recover medical benefits up to a maximum of $5,000. Eligible claimants may also recover for losses or damages suffered as a result of the injury up to $ 15,000 per person and $ 30,000 in the aggregate. However, the amount of medical benefits recovered or recoverable up to $5,000 are set off against that amount. Unfortunately, no income loss benefits or accidental death benefits are payable under the Plan. In order to qualify for benefits under the Assigned Claims Plan the claimant must satisfy the specific requirements set forth in 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1752:
1. You are a resident of Pennsylvania;
2. You have been injured in a vehicle accident that occurred in Pennsylvania;
3. You are not the owner of a vehicle required to be registered in Pennsylvania;
4. You are not the operator/occupant of a vehicle owned by the Federal Government, any of its organizations, authorities, or departments;
5. You are not the operator/occupant of a vehicle owned by a self-insurer or any individual or entity exempt from liability for benefits;
6. You are not permitted to receive first party benefits under section 1711 (required benefits) or 1712 (availability of benefits) applicable to the injury(ies) resulting from the vehicle accident;
7. You are not the operator/occupant of a recreational vehicle unintended for highway use, motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, motorized pedal cycle, or similar vehicle that is to be registered under this title.
One of our personal injury attorneys can help determine whether you qualify for coverage. In addition, one of our lawyers can also determine whether there exist grounds which would make you ineligible for benefits. A potential claimant is ineligible to recover benefits if any of the following contributed to your injuries:
1. The injury occurred as a result of you intentionally injuring yourself or attempting to intentionally injure yourself or another;
2. The injury occurred while engaged in a felony;
3. The injury occurred while seeking to elude lawful apprehension or arrest by law enforcement;
4. The injury occurred while knowingly converting a vehicle.
In addition, in order to qualify for benefits, an eligible claimant must bring a claim within four years from the date of the accident. 75 Pa.C.S. § 1757(a). However, if the eligible claimant is a minor, an action must be commenced within four years of turning 18 years of age. 75 Pa.C.S. § 1757(b).
If you or someone you love has been injured in an uninsured motorist, you should speak with a lawyer about making a claim.