Being injured in a car accident can be life changing. You may spend time in a hospital, lose wages from being out of work, have to go through physical therapy or some other rehabilitative process. Meanwhile medical bills and expenses will pile up while your ability to pay them is hindered. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, victims of accidents caused by the negligence of others may be entitled to compensation that will help to offset the financial and property damage incurred as a result of the accident.
It is an unfortunate familiar winter story in Pennsylvania: Multi-vehicle accidents, closed highways and tractor trailers. Tractor trailers are not an inherent danger in and of themselves. But, because of their size and weight, big rigs require considerably more time and distance to stop. If a semi-truck is unable to stop due to road or weather conditions -- or fails to stop due to driver fatigue, distraction or equipment failure -- its size makes the truck fair deadlier than other vehicles on the road.
The terms "underinsured motorist" and "uninsured motorist" are sometimes used in an interchangeable manner. They do have similar meanings, but in Pennsylvania, there are slight differences. An uninsured motorist -- "UM" in insurance parlance -- has no insurance coverage at all. An underinsured motorist (UIM), on the other hand, has insurance, but an insufficient amount to cover the claims in a car accident in which they were involved. In Pennsylvania, a driver is only required to maintain liability coverage, which may not be enough in the event of an accident.
Pennsylvanians who read the local news or drives Route 61 on a regular basis knows that accidents happen. And, when accidents involve a heavy, fast-moving object, like a car or truck, the potential for injury is amplified. Some car accidents are avoidable and some simply are not. In some cases, the victims of an accident are unable to avoid it because they simply do not even see the vehicle coming.