Pennsylvania’s drastic changes to joint and several liability this summer are coming home to roost in ways the legislature never expected. I had a conversation with an adjuster on an auto case yesterday who represented the underinsured motorist carrier. There were two potential tortfeasors, and she wanted to know what percentage of blame we were "assinging" to each. Fishing, that’s what it was. Fishing to see if she owed her policyholder a duty in consideration of just one of the potential defendants or both. Are underinsured motorist carriers at greater risk for bad faith in Pennsylvania, after emasculating joint and several liability? Is underinsured motorists coverage one of the most important coverages on your auto insurance policy; even more so than before? Yes to both questions. To understand how this legislation developed, you can download a powerpoint that Scott Cooper in our firm put together. It explains step by step how this bill got passed.
More than ever, personal injury attorneys can assist the injured in protecting their rightful recoveries in a difficult environment…at least in Pennsylvania.