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Understanding Full Tort vs. Limited Tort in Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Law

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If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you’re going to need financial assistance to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and car repair. You might also be able to get compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other so-called “noneconomic” damages. What you can receive and how you go about getting it depends on what kind of insurance you have, which in Pennsylvania can be difficult to follow. Pennsylvania law offers two options under auto insurance policies – full tort and limited tort – and these options significantly impact your rights and potential compensation after an accident.

Below we explore the differences between full tort and limited tort in the context of Pennsylvania auto insurance law and car accident claims. If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident in Philadelphia, contact Benedum Law to speak with an experienced and successful Chestnut Hill personal injury lawyer.

What Is Tort Coverage?

Tort coverage in auto insurance policies relates to your right to seek compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident. Specifically, it determines your ability to recover damages for pain and suffering, which are considered non-economic losses. Pennsylvania’s unique insurance laws require drivers to make a choice between full tort and limited tort options when they purchase their auto insurance policy.

Full Tort Coverage

Choosing full tort coverage provides you with unrestricted rights to sue for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages after a car accident, regardless of the severity of your injuries. This option offers the broadest protection and allows for the fullest recovery after an accident. It’s particularly valuable for ensuring that you have the legal leverage to seek comprehensive compensation for your injuries, including those that may not have immediate financial implications but affect your quality of life. The burden is still on you to prove your case for damages to the insurance company or a jury if trial is necessary, so getting effective legal representation is crucial to making the most of a full tort claim.

Limited Tort Coverage

In contrast, limited tort coverage restricts your rights to sue for pain and suffering unless you suffer injuries that meet the legal definition of a “serious injury” in Pennsylvania. This typically includes injuries that result in death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement. Limited tort policies come with lower premiums, but they significantly reduce your ability to claim for non-economic damages, which could be a substantial part of your recovery in the event of a severe accident.

Considerations for Choosing Between Full Tort and Limited Tort

When selecting between full tort and limited tort, it’s important to consider the long-term implications of each choice. While limited tort might seem appealing due to the lower upfront costs, it’s crucial to weigh this against the potential need for comprehensive coverage in the event of a serious accident. Full tort coverage, despite its higher premiums, ensures that you retain the full spectrum of your rights to seek damages, offering peace of mind and protection.

Contact Benedum Law for Help After a Serious Car Accident in Philadelphia

At Benedum Law, we understand the complexities of Pennsylvania auto insurance law and are committed to helping our clients in Philadelphia and beyond navigate their car accident claims. Whether you have full tort or limited tort coverage, our experienced team is here to provide the legal guidance and support you need to secure the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been hurt in a crash and want to make sure you get the maximum benefit available, call Benedum Law in Chestnut Hill at 215-529-7848 for a free consultation.

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