Drivers often don’t realize the impact of selecting a limited tort auto insurance policy until it’s too late – after an accident occurs. Only then does that a driver asks “what did I give up?” The answer: Possibly a lot.
In Pennsylvania, drivers have to choose “full tort” or “limited tort” when they buy their auto insurance. Car owners typically select “limited tort” insurance coverage in exchange for payment of a lower premium on the policy.
Limited tort purchasers give up their right to make claims for “non-economic” loss, generally referred to as “pain and suffering.” The law allows recovery only if you sustain a “serious injury” or a “serious impairment of bodily function." These terms are legally squishy, to say the least, and they can only be answered by a jury, not the injured party.
Drivers with “full tort” policies have no such limitations on the right to recover if injured, regardless of someone else's interpretation of the seriousness of their injury and pain.
The insurance premium savings limited tort policy holders gain in the short run may well hurt them in the event an accident occurs. Drivers must weigh the rights waived with a limited tort insurance policy against the benefit of a lower auto insurance premium.
In future posts I will address how a limited tort automobile insurance election impacts the other members of the household.
Please contact Scott M. Amori, an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney at Amori & Associates, (570) 421-1406 for a no obligation consultation.