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What is PA No Fault Insurance?

Pennsylvania is one of 13 states that functions under a No Fault System in regards to automobile insurance. 

Under no fault, when you have an accident, your insurer automatically pays for your damages up to your policy limit, regardless of which party was actually at fault. However, in return, you give up your forfeit your right to sue the other driver. 

That’s how it would work under a pure no fault system.  Instead, Pennsylvania, and the 12 other states that adopted no fault, have adopted a modified no-fault system.  

 Under the modified no-fault system, the insurance company still pays for your economic damages, but you may be allowed to sue for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, if the amount exceeds your tort threshold.  However, these lawsuits are limited to only serious injuries. 

In Pennsylvania and New Jersey,  Insurers recognize yet another type of no-fault, choice-no fault.   This lets drivers decide if they want to be insured under a pure no-fault system or a modified no-fault system, favoring tort rights.

Pure No-fault  systems do not compensate for non-economic damages.  Under choice no-fault, you can choose to retain your traditional tort rights, and sue drivers who have also chosen to retain their tort rights.  However, if you  have opted for choice no-fault, and you are involved in an accident with a driver who has opted for the pure no-fault, you will not be able to sue the other driver.

 

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