WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE FULL TORT COVERAGE ...Since the passage of the auto insurance law in 1990 providing for limited and full tort options, we have had a number of people who have discovered the hard way what it means to choose limited tort on their policies. Back in 1990, we had advised our existing clients to retain the full tort option and many have done so. It is now 2010: IF YOU HAVE LIMITED TORT OPTION, YOU SHOULD CHANGE YOUR COVERAGE TO FULL TORT OPTION TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES
FULL vs. LIMITED TORT
In Pennsylvania, if you have full tort option, and you are involved in an auto accident and you are not at fault, you can sue the negligent person to collect your economic damages, such as medical expenses or lost income which may exceed the coverage you have on your own policy. You may also sue the other person to collect non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
If you have limited tort option, you give up your right to sue the negligent party for your non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, unless you suffer a serious injury or fall within one of the exceptions listed below. Serious injury has been defined as death, serious impairment of a body function or a serious permanent disfigurement. If you select the limited tort option, and are involved in an accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may find yourself unable to collect for your non-economic damages. This could have dramatic effect upon your life if you have an injury which is not easily placed within the serious injury category. Although you may ultimately be able to prove that your injury was serious within the meaning of the Act, you can bet that the insurance company will give you a run for your money proving it!! If you have full tort option you will not have to prove this simply to collect your non-economic damages.
Limited Tort Option Exceptions: Under the Act, there are several exceptions to the application of the limited tort threshold as discussed above. The most commonly relevant exceptions are as follows:
(a) If the tortfeasor (this is the person who was negligent and caused the accident) is a convicted or ARD drunk driver.
(b) If the tortfeasor is operating a motor vehicle registered out of state.
(f) If plaintiff is an occupant of a motor vehicle other than a private passenger motor vehicle.
(g) If plaintiff suffers a personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of a body function, or a serious and permanent disfigurement.
Our office remains ready to assist you with any questions you may have. Do not hesitate to call us. While we realize that everyone is watching their expenses in this economy, it is important to plan ahead.
The insurance company says you are not covered? You have limited tort.
The auto accident was not your fault. You have limited tort.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, you say? You have limited tort.
The insurance agent said not to worry about it, "If you are really injured, you will be covered." You have limited tort.
Saved you some money on the premiums, did it? YOU HAVE LIMITED TORT!!!!
Don't get caught in the trap...protect your family. Get full tort coverage on your auto policy...NOW.