Permissive Drivers: Whose Insurance Applies?

September 28, 2012,

At some point in time, almost everyone has allowed a friend to borrow their car. A question that many people do not know the answer to is what happens if the person borrowing your car gets in an accident and it is their fault? Who is ultimately liable? Will my auto insurance cover the damages, or is the person you allowed to borrow your car responsible?

First and foremost, auto insurance follows the car. This means that even though your friend was driving your car, your auto insurance will cover the costs of damages, provided you gave your friend permission to use your car.

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PENNSYLVANIA UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED MOTORIST INSURANCE: MAKING SURE YOU ARE COVERED WHEN THE OTHER DRIVER IS NOT.

April 9, 2012,

You are in your car, stopped at a red-light, when suddenly you are hit from behind by another driver that was not paying attention to the road. You suffer extensive injuries that will require thousands of dollars in losses, only to find out the other driver is not insured. Or, maybe they are insured, but you find out that they only have the minimal amount of coverage required by law and that amount is not enough to cover the losses you incur. Under these scenarios, will you be covered for your damages through your own auto insurance policy? Well, that all depends on whether or not you selected the option for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage when you took out your automobile insurance policy.

Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to protect you when the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage is coverage that you purchase to protect yourself in the even that you are in an accident and the other party who is responsible for the accident does not have enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses. Therefore, when you have exhausted the amount of coverage from the policy of the at-fault party, you then look to your own personal insurance policy for the additional amount of money which will compensate, or make you whole, for your injuries and losses.

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Motorcycle Accidents

August 19, 2011,

If you have been the unfortunate victim of a motorcycle accident, you may have suffered from serious pain and injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, scarring, and not to mention damage to your motorcycle. While recovering from your injuries, the last thing you want to deal with is an insurance company that is trying to place the blame for the accident on you in an attempt to refuse insurance coverage for your physical injuries and damage to your property.

A motorcycle accident can be a trying time for the accident victim, as well as the victim's family. While you focus your attention on physically healing from your injuries, you need an attorney to focus on making sure you and your family will have the resources that are necessary to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. These resources can include assisting with the coverage of medical bills by your insurance carrier, making sure you are paid for time missed from work, and ensuring you receive all of the medical treatment you need to recover.

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PENNSYLVANIA AMONG STATES ALLOWING FACEBOOK POSTS AS EVIDENCE IN COURT

July 6, 2011,

As the popularity of Facebook continues to rise, so does the risk that what you post on Facebook may be used against you in court. In the case of McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway, the court ordered the plaintiff to provide the defense with their personal Facebook and Myspace account username and password information so that the defense could comb the plaintiffs account for possible impeachment evidence.

The McMillen case centered on a racecar driver that was rear-ended during a cool down lap in a stock car race. Mr. McMillen alleged substantial injuries in his lawsuit. He then proceeded to comment on Facebook about a fishing trip he went on, as well as a trip to go watch the Daytona 500. The defense asked the court to require McMillen to provide his account information so that they could "determine whether or not plaintiff has made any other comments which impeach and contradict his disability and damages claim."

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Pennsylvania Auto Accidents: Full vs. Limited Tort Insurance Coverage

May 5, 2011,

car crash.jpgThe differences between full and limited tort auto insurance coverage can often times be confusing and difficult to understand. The primary difference between full and limited tort coverage is that full tort coverage allows for the recovery of damages for pain and suffering incurred as the result of an accident for which you, the driver, are not at fault. This means that if you are involved in an auto accident and the other driver caused the accident, then you and other members of your household are able to recover monetary damages for the pain and suffering incurred as a result of the accident.

Alternatively, if you have limited tort coverage, then you and the other members of your household are barred from recovering damages for pain and suffering unless the driver of the other vehicle was at fault and one of the following conditions are met:
1. The accident causes serious bodily injury resulting in death, disfigurement, or other permanent serious injury;
2. The other driver is convicted or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
3. The other vehicle is registered out of state;
4. The other driver intended to injure or kill himself or another person;
5. The other driver is uninsured;
6. The other driver is in the business of designing, manufacturing, maintaining or repairing motor vehicles; or
7. You are injured as the passenger in a vehicle that is not a private passenger motor vehicle, such as a bus or taxi.

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