LET’S TALK CAR INSURANCE IN PENNSYLVANIA . . .
FULL TORT VS LIMITED TORT: WHAT IN THE WORLD IS IT AND WHICH TORT PROTECTS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BEST?
When deciding on a new car insurance plan, or if you want to change your existing coverage, deciding if you want Full Tort or Limited Tort is a choice you need to make. Unfortunately, most drivers aren’t 100% sure what it means, or that it even exists! Many drivers aren’t even aware that a selection was made by their insurance carrier at the time they obtained their insurance coverage. Andris Law can’t stress enough how important this decision is when selecting your car insurance coverage.
We want to help make car insurance coverage stress-free and explain the difference between Full Tort vs. Limited Tort in Pennsylvania.
To summarize, choosing Full Tort vs Limited Tort determines to what extent you can sue the at-fault driver for money damages after an accident. The option you choose is a clause that is contained in your car insurance policy that only comes into play if you are injured after an accident. Choosing Full Tort instead of Limited Tort could mean the difference between thousands of dollars, or much more, if you or a family member is ever injured in a car accident.
At Andris Law, we highly recommend Full Tort coverage. Full Tort is for your protection. While Full Tort coverage has a slightly higher premium than Limited Tort, keep in mind, that cheaper is not always better, especially when it comes to insurance protection! You get exactly what you pay for with car insurance.
Let’s break down the difference between the two Torts:
What is Limited Tort?
Limited Tort coverage is less expensive, so it appeals to consumers as a way to save on their insurance premiums. However, it is extremely important to point out that by choosing this option, you give up your ability to sue for what is called “pain and suffering” unless the injuries suffered are considered, and proven to be, a "serious injury" as defined by Pennsylvania law.
Under Pennsylvania law, a “serious injury” is defined as a personal injury resulting in death, a serious impairment of a body function or permanent serious disfigurement. In most instances, herniated discs or broken bones don’t qualify as a “serious injury.”
So by choosing Limited Tort, you sacrifice full monetary protection for you and your family members who are covered under your car insurance policy.
It is important to point out that Limited Tort even applies when you or your children are injured as passengers in someone else's car, or even as a pedestrian.
What is Full Tort?
On the other hand, if you choose Full Tort coverage, so long as the accident was not your fault, you are allowed to file a claim for pain and suffering, in addition to your other claims for monetary damage such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc. regardless of how minor the injury is, i.e. the injury does not have to be “serious.” In other words, you will not be required to first prove that you suffered a “serious injury” from the accident before you can recover monetarily for pain and suffering.
Which Should I Choose?
As you can see, the major difference between Full and Limited is the access to monetary damages for pain and suffering. Access to damages for pain and suffering can provide you or a loved one with substantial compensation that would not be available under a Limited Tort policy.
Unfortunately, often times, car accidents lead to serious injuries and long-term disabilities that last for months and many times, years. Do not limit your right to receive compensation for pain and suffering if you are injured in Pennsylvania by choosing Limited Tort coverage.
Please be mindful that should you choose Full Tort coverage, you need to expressly notify your insurance carrier that this is the option you want; otherwise, in many instances your auto insurance policy will not automatically choose it for you. It is important to review your yearly declarations page with each renewal of your policy to confirm that you have elected Full Tort coverage.
And if you were involved in an accident, or if you ever find yourself involved in an accident, chances are insurance companies may contact you to give a recorded statement, sign papers and even accept a settlement offer. Do not agree to do anything until you have contacted Andris Law and know your legal rights.
If you need help deciding which tort option is best for you or if you have been involved in an accident and need advise or representation, please call Andris Law. 610-585-1256