Nearly 3,000 vehicles are stolen each year in Pennsylvania and even more are stolen in New Jersey. The most popular vehicle among thieves are Honda Accords, Civics, Ford Trucks, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altimas. Sometimes thieves are out joyriding in these cars or being chased and cause an accident.
What if you are injured by someone in a stolen car?
Sometimes people suffer injuries while a criminal act is in progress. That’s certainly not unheard of in the context of an innocent bystander being injured as a result of the recklessness of the driver of a stolen car. According to 6ABC, that’s what happened recently in West Philadelphia when the driver of a stolen car that was being pursued by police for a traffic violation struck the front of a car that was driven by a woman who was traveling in the opposite direction. Her car then careened into a 16-year-old pedestrian who suffered a fractured ankle. The stolen car then struck two parked cars, one of which was occupied by a man who suffered unknown injuries. The female driver, pedestrian and occupant of the parked car were transported to different hospitals.
Except for rare occasions, since a stolen car was the cause of the injuries to the three people, the insurer of the person who owned that car has no duty to compensate the crash victims for their injuries. That means the victims were all injured by an uninsured driver. So how might they cover their damages?
Medical benefits coverage
Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. It requires the owner and driver of any car that’s being legally driven to carry medical benefits coverage which is also known as limited tort coverage. With limited tort coverage, some people think they can’t sue for other damages like pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement or permanent disability. This is not always the case. As seen in the video below, Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Edith Pearce is an expert on insurance coverage. In fact, she used to work with an insurance company:
So what about the boy?
The teen who was injured in the occurrence might own a car of his own. Nearly all Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage insures the policyholder if he or she is injured as a pedestrian by an uninsured driver. That’s just one benefit of having UM insurance. Another benefit is that it usually covers members of a named insured person’s family members who are residents of that policyholder’s household, even if they’re injured by an uninsured driver as pedestrians. If the teen didn’t have uninsured motorist coverage for himself, a claim might still be made if somebody in his household had the coverage. Here’s a video explaining a little more about uninsured motorist coverage:
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer
UM claims and lawsuits are highly detailed and legally complicated. You’re required to make the claim against your own insurer, and you can expect to be treated with indifference while the medical bills continue to come in the mail. We know how to get that insurance company’s attention though. We’re experienced, aggressive and respected Philadelphia personal injury lawyers. We might be able to help you on your medical benefits or UM claim. You can call us or email us to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll listen to the details of your case carefully, and then we’ll let you know what we think we might be able to do for you.