Understanding The Differences Between Limited Tort And Full Tort
When a car accident happens, the path to getting back on the road and resuming your life is not always clear. Injuries may be keeping you away from work, and your monthly bills continue to show up despite the interruption to the normalcy you once knew.
An accident can range from a minor inconvenience to a full-on threat to your livelihood. With this in mind, it is always helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, such as ours at McCormick & Vilushis LLC. We understand the legal options that Pennsylvania state law affords you, and we can help you make sense of the insurance coverage that is involved.
Why The Need For Two Types Of Insurance?
In the state of Pennsylvania, motorists can opt to carry limited or full tort insurance coverage. Before auto insurance was segmented in this way, individuals were able to sue for pain and suffering damages regardless of the scope of the accident. This proved to be a sizable burden on the small claims court system, and drivers were seeing their premiums increase at dramatic rates.
While having auto insurance coverage split into two categories does create for a degree of confusion, it also serves a purpose. How much coverage a driver wishes to carry is up to them, but there are benefits and drawbacks involved in each selection.
Limited Tort Insurance
With limited tort insurance, there are limitations on what a driver can recover after an accident. This type of coverage only allows an individual to sue for financial losses such as vehicle damage, lost wages and medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Even if you selected limited tort coverage on your insurance policy, you are not necessarily bound to that level of coverage. Certain circumstances allow a claimant to “pierce” the limited tort barrier and pursue full tort coverage limits. These circumstances include:
- You suffered a serious injury.
- The vehicle is registered out of state.
- The other driver is convicted of DUI or placed in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.
- The injured driver is operating a commercial vehicle.
Despite these exceptions, this type of insurance is still less expensive to carry due to the narrower options available for recoverable damages.
Full Tort Insurance
Full tort insurance represents a more all-encompassing form of coverage than that of limited tort. While the premiums for this type of coverage are higher, these policies allow an individual to sue for pain and suffering damages if another driver is liable. The severity of the accident is often immaterial in order to file suit, and an individual will only need to prove a certain degree of pain.
Having full tort insurance can be an invaluable asset after an accident, as it gives you a clearer road to maximum compensation. Whether this type of coverage is right for you depends on a multitude of factors, including how much risk you are willing to accept as a driver.