Filing an Insurance Claim When You Got Hit By a Speeding Driver in Pennsylvania

June 27, 2024

Speeding is a leading cause of car and truck accidents in Pennsylvania and nationwide. The National Safety Council (NSC) identifies speeding as “a major factor in traffic deaths and injuries,” and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speed is a contributing factor in nearly a third of all fatal accidents in the United States.

If you got hit by a speeding driver in Pennsylvania, you have clear legal rights. Speeding is negligent, and when negligent drivers cause serious accidents, they can—and should—be held accountable. In most cases, seeking just compensation for a car or truck accident that involved speeding means dealing with the insurance companies. But, dealing with the insurance companies is not easy, and accident victims must be very careful to protect their legal rights.

7 Key Facts About Filing an Insurance Claim for an Accident that Involved Speeding

With this in mind, what do you need to know if you were injured in an accident caused by a speeding driver? Here are some key facts for accident victims in Pennsylvania:

1. Liability Insurance Covers Accidents that Involve Speeding  

The first thing you need to know is that liability insurance covers accidents that involve speeding. This means that if you got hit by a speeding driver—and the driver has liability insurance—his or her policy should provide coverage. At a minimum, all drivers in Pennsylvania must have liability insurance coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. However, many drivers choose to purchase more; and, as we discuss below, even if the driver who hit you only has minimal coverage (or is uninsured), you may have other options for fully recovering your accident-related losses.

2. It Is Up to You to Prove that the Driver Who Hit You Was Speeding

When you file an insurance claim after a car accident or truck accident, it is up to you to prove that the driver who hit you was speeding. The insurance companies are not going to accept responsibility without evidence, and it is not the police department’s responsibility to provide evidence to the insurance companies on your behalf. While there are a variety of ways to prove that a driver was speeding, you need to be able to present adequate evidence in light of the unique facts and circumstances of your case.

3. You May Be Able to Obtain Coverage Under Your Insurance Policy

In addition to seeking financial compensation from the speeding driver’s insurance company, you may be able to obtain coverage under your insurance policy. At a minimum, you should be able to file a medical benefits claim, and you should have at least $5,000 in coverage available (this is the minimum coverage amount under Pennsylvania law).

If the speeding driver’s insurance coverage isn’t enough (or the driver is uninsured) and you don’t have grounds to file a claim outside of auto insurance, you may need to consider filing an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist claim under your policy as well. But, both of these are optional forms of coverage in Pennsylvania, so first you will need to determine if this coverage is available to you.

4. You Need to Know if You Have “Full Tort” or “Limited Tort” Coverage

When reviewing your insurance coverage, you should also confirm whether you have “full tort” or “limited tort” coverage. If you have “full tort” coverage, you can seek full compensation for your losses (including your pain and suffering) regardless of the severity of your injuries. However, if you have “limited tort” coverage, you may be limited to seeking compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses—unless one of Pennsylvania’s “limited tort” exceptions applies. These exceptions apply in cases involving:

  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Commercial vehicle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Accidents resulting in serious bodily impairment
  • Accidents involving vehicles registered outside of Pennsylvania

5. If the Speeding Driver was at Work, His or Her Employer May Be Liable

In some cases, accident victims can file claims for just compensation outside of personal auto insurance. One scenario in which this is the case is when a speeding driver is working at the time of a collision. Under Pennsylvania law, employers are generally responsible for their employees’ negligence on the job—and this means that accident victims can hold speeding drivers’ employers financially accountable in appropriate cases.

6. It Is Up to You to Prove How Much You Deserve to Recover

As we mentioned above, it is up to you to prove that the driver who hit you was speeding. But, this is not all that you need to prove in order to assert your legal rights. You also need to prove how much you deserve to recover. Unless you are limited to filing a “limited tort” claim, you are entitled to seek just compensation for your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Other out-of-pocket costs
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The amount you are entitled to seek in each of these categories depends on your individual circumstances. To make sure you are seeking the full compensation you deserve, it will be important for you to work with an experienced lawyer who can accurately calculate the total cost of your accident-related injuries.

7. While Settling is an Option in Many Cases, a Fair Settlement Is Not Guaranteed

Finally, while many accident claims settle, a fair settlement is not guaranteed. In fact, you are not guaranteed a settlement at all. If you aren’t careful, you could end up without any financial compensation for your injuries. To give yourself the best chance of recovering the financial compensation you deserve, you should discuss your case with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Talk to a Lawyer About Protecting Your Legal Rights for Free

Were you injured by a speeding driver in Pennsylvania? If so, our lawyers can advise you and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf at no out-of-pocket cost. To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 888-777-7098 or tell us how we can help online today.