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What’s the Difference between Limited and Full Tort for Pennsylvania Drivers?

All states have different laws regarding auto insurance. For Pennsylvania drivers, the “right to recover damages” is labeled as “tort options” in car insurance policies. An individual’s level of tort coverage defines his/her ability to seek compensation for an accident in which that person is injured by the actions of another driver. As part of the 1990 Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL), policy holders are required to elect either “full” or “limited” tort coverage in Pennsylvania, and it’s important to understand the implications of both.

“Limited tort” plans give drivers limited rights for seeking monetary compensation for injuries caused by another driver. Specifically, the victim (and members of his/ her household) may only sue for monetary losses as it pertains to medical bills, lost wages, or other things that can be given tangible monetary worth. Because the insurance company is responsible for less coverage, “limited tort” premiums cost less than “full tort.”

When electing “full tort,” individuals (and members of their household) retain full legal ability to pursue monetary remuneration (including all medical and out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and other non-monetary damages) for any losses caused by another driver in a crash.

Sometimes, even when an individual has elected a limited tort policy, he/she is entitled to pursue additional monetary reimbursement for accidents resulting in serious injuries (law describes this as permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, death, etc), or potentially when the person is harmed by 1) an impaired driver, 2) an out-of-state driver, 3) as a pedestrian, and 4) in a commercial vehicle.

Issues involving auto insurance tort coverage can be extremely complex. If you’ve suffered an accident at the fault of another driver, you may wish to consult with a Pennsylvania car accident injury lawyer who can help guide you through the legal process.

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