Limited tort coverage is not something that is widely found across the United States; in fact, Pennsylvania is one of only three states in the nation that allows limited tort coverage as an option for car insurance coverage. You may be visiting this page because you were one of those people who opted for limited tort coverage on their car insurance to save money, or you may be visiting this page because you were involved in an accident with someone who had limited tort coverage with their car insurance. You may even be visiting this page because your insurance company told you could not make a claim or because you have tried contacting other attorneys about your car accident claim, and they would not work with you because you have limited tort coverage.
Either way, it is important that you learn what limited tort coverage is as compared to full tort coverage, how it affects your claims in the event that you are involved in a car accident, and what you can do to make sure that you receive adequate compensation following the accident.
Full tort coverage means that, through your car insurance company, you will be covered for full compensation if you are involved in a car accident, even if your injuries are minor. Under limited tort coverage, you are only covered if you are involved in a serious accident that results in serious injuries, like head, brain, or spinal injuries. The limited tort option is cheaper on a monthly basis, so some people choose this option because of affordability even though its coverage is significantly limited.
For example, limited tort coverage will not compensate for pain and suffering like full tort coverage does. In fact, limited tort coverage usually only pays out for pain and suffering if the injury sustained is “severe,” such as injuries that involves the permanent loss of a bodily function such as permanent paralysis, an injury that occurs rarely compared to other serious injuries from car accidents. Otherwise, limited tort coverage only covers out of pocket medical bills, the loss of wages from inability to work, and car repair costs. This will not cover any long-term care or other medical costs incurred after your immediate treatment. Also, even if you or a member of your family are involved in a car accident as a pedestrian, your limited tort coverage will also apply to that accident.
If you have been injured in an accident and only have limited tort coverage, you may wish to pursue a claim based on the fact that you experienced a serious injury. This is called “breaking the tort threshold.” However, proving that your injury was serious can be difficult and may require the experience of an accident lawyer who has dealt with limited tort coverage cases before. The definition of a “serious” injury is vague at best, and the insurance companies will often interpret it to cover a very limited group of injuries, such as paralysis. If the insurance company will not pay to cover your pain and suffering, you might have ended up losing money in the end instead of saving the money you thought you had by buying limited tort coverage in the first place.
If you or a member or your family has been involved in a car accident in any way, you should immediately check your insurance coverage to see if you have limited or full tort coverage if you do not know already. If you purchased the limited tort option, we advise that you contact an accident lawyer right away. The only exceptions are if you have been hit by a drunk driver, if you were hit by a car that was registered outside of Pennsylvania, if you were riding in a commercial vehicle, or if have a pre-existing serious or permanent injury.
Our lawyers have great experience dealing with limited tort cases and know how to make sure that your injury is considered “serious” enough according to Pennsylvania law (which determines a serious injury to cover injuries with permanent bodily function impairments or disfigurement) to have the insurance company pay you the compensation you deserve. Get your case started today by calling our Philadelphia accident lawyers at 215 735 4800.