Limited Tort Insurance
Buying automobile insurance is a necessary fact of driving. In Pennsylvania, you are offered 2 selections when purchasing, or renewing auto insurance. These are the Full Tort or Limited Tort Options. We always recommend that you select the Full Tort Option. However, should financial conditions prevent you from the extra cost to do so, and you select Limited Tort, you still have legal rights following a collision, and we may still be able to help you successfully recover for your injuries.
With Limited Tort, you have no restrictions on your right to recover “economic” damages such as medical bills, wage loss and other out-of-pocket expenses. You might still be able to recover for your pain and suffering if you can show that you have suffered a “serious injury.” In order to prove this, you must show that your injuries have had a serious impact on your day-to-day activities of life. This is very fact specific and not the same for everyone. For instance a hand injury to a concert violinist sustained in a collision might overcome the Limited Tort threshold, while that same injury to an office worker might be insufficient. I the 25 years since this law went into effect, the courts of the Commonwealth, and juries, have had to decide whether particular injuries overcome or “pierce” the Limited Tort threshold. This has caused much litigation and uncertainty.
In Limited Tort cases, often, the other driver’s insurance company will use your selection of Limited Tort as leverage against you and offer very little or no settlement, even where the other driver is the sole cause of the collision.
This is why you need an experience Limited Tort lawyer who will make sure that you get appropriate medical treatment and medical tests to document the severity of your injuries. You must also be able to show that your daily routine has been affected for an extended duration. Your inability to continue work is another factor that suggests that your injuries are “serious.” While you need not have sustained a permanent injury to overcome the threshold, the types of injuries that can be considered “serious” range from spinal injuries such as herniated cervical and lumbar discs, significant scarring, head injuries and fractures.
While selection of Limited Tort is a hurdle to recovery, it is not impossible to successfully recover for your injuries. We will also thoroughly investigate to see if there are any exceptions to Limited Tort, by law, that your case is applicable for, and we will always acquire the documentation from your own insurance company, establishing that you actually selected this option. In Pennsylvania, it is the other driver’s obligation to prove that you selected Limited Tort. As such, they must produce documents that you have signed, selecting Limited Tort. If these documents are not prepared properly, or they are unable to be located, you automatically become considered Full Tort for purposes of the pending action.