According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state saw 104,475 reportable vehicle accidents in 2020. The government agency also reports that 61,248 individuals suffered injuries as a result of these crashes that same year.

If you are among the number hurt in vehicular accidents, you may have worries about affording healthcare and living costs as you recover, especially if you are unable to return to work for a period. You may be wondering if the other driver has an obligation to provide compensation.

Pennsylvania holds to a by choice “no-fault” policy

Regardless of who is responsible for the wreck, you need to first apply to your own indemnifier to pay for your medical bills and lost income. You do so by filing a personal injury protection claim with said insurance company. However, your insurer may only pay up to a certain amount. What you are able to do next generally depends on the type of insurance you purchased. Pennsylvania allows individuals to choose between limited tort (no-fault) and traditional full tort liability policies. The latter allows you to pursue compensation from the other party’s insurance company if you were not responsible for the incident. The former generally does not.

There is an exception for those with no-fault coverage

While possessing limited tort insurance generally means you are unable to sue the other driver for emotional distress, suffering or pain, you may pursue non-monetary damages if your injury is “severe.” Specifically, there are injury severity thresholds that once met qualify you to file a claim. In general, impairment, death or serious permanent disfigurement count as “severe.”

There is a statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit. Depending on your insurance, you may qualify for compensation either from your own insurer, the other driver’s insurer or both.