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Limited Tort Insurance

Full Tort or Limited Tort Insurance in Pennsylvania

Your car insurance offers two very different options. Full tort or limited tort insurance. You may not understand the difference between the two. Your insurance company will offer a discount when you select limited tort. This discount not only tempts most drivers, it also reduces your rights. Selecting limited tort can hurt you financially.

What is Limited Tort Insurance?

In most cases, limited tort insurance allows an injured person to only seek actual money lost as the result of an accident. If you are in an accident, the limited tort option dictates the losses you can claim. If you weren’t at fault, limited tort allows you to only recover actual out-of-pocket costs. These costs would be after your personal insurance is exhausted. In an example, you can only sue to recover out-of-pocket medical costs and time missed from work. There are a few exceptions. We discuss the exceptions below.

limited tort insurance vs full tort - Lancaster car injury lawyer

Limited Tort in Pennsylvania

Limited tort originated as a way to reduce insurance costs. Since it’s inception, insurance rates have continued to rise while insurance companies pocket the savings from denied claims. Still, the government requires insurance carriers to offer limited tort for private passenger vehicles. As stated above, limited tort allows you to only seek reimbursement for actual out-of-pocket medical costs and time missed from work. Any actual costs from a crash that you have receipts for. Even then, insurance may deny some costs.

Several Exceptions To Limited Tort In Pennsylvania

Limited Tort Exceptions

In Pennsylvania, there are several exceptions to the limited tort clause. These exceptions allow a victim to sue for damages beyond medical bills and missed work.

Here are the exceptions:

  1. If the victim suffers a serious injury. Death, impairment of body function and permanent disfigurement are serious injuries.
  2. If the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The driver must be convicted or accept accelerated rehabilitative Disposition (ARD).
  3. If the at-fault driver was driving a vehicle registered out-of-state.
  4. If the at-fault driver intended to injure themselves or another person.
  5. When the at-fault driver does not have financial responsibility as required (i.e. uninsured)
  6. The injured keep full tort rights against vehicle manufacturers and repair facilities. If there is a defect in the craftsmanship or repair service, full tort applies.
  7. If the at-fault driver was not operating a private passenger vehicle. This applies to people injured by company vehicles, or while riding public transit.

Again, the above allows a victim to pursue full tort in Pennsylvania.

Full Tort in Pennsylvania

The full tort option allows a victim to seek payment for pain and suffering. It also allows a victim to seek punitive damages in addition to pain and suffering. Punitive damages financially punish a person or company for their neglectful actions. This punishment is motivation for most people or companies to become safer. In addition, punitive damages are large sums of money paid to the victim.

How to get a Fair Settlement with Limited Tort Insurance

Getting a fair settlement is often difficult with a limited tort policy. In Pennsylvania, you normally need to have one of the exceptions listed above. Of course, don’t assume you don’t have a case. Comparatively every case is different. An injury that isn’t serious at first, can progress into a serious injury. There might be circumstances that help you in your case. Speaking with a good lawyer will help you understand what to expect. They will help you understand your legal options. Additionally, they can help establish a timeline in your case. In simple terms, you will know how you can proceed. Our lawyers are available to answer your questions free of charge. We’ll explain your options in addition to the statute of limitations.
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