“When choosing your car insurance coverage be sure you check optional “Full Tort” coverage. You will not regret it.” John Fox, Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
How Pennsylvania Car Insurance Laws Affect your Rights
Pennsylvania No-Fault Law
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state with a choice-no-fault program. Knowing your rights under the Pennsylvania No-Fault System will help you to be fairly compensated for your injury.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault system, a driver is compensated for injuries through his or her own insurance policy, regardless of who caused the accident. Pennsylvania medical benefits are covered by PIP Insurance. PIP covers the medical benefits for you and others included in your policy, regardless of fault.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements
PIP Insurance is required by all Pennsylvania drivers. Pennsylvania drivers must carry PIP coverage, bodily injury liability coverage, and property damage liability coverage. A minimum of $5,000 of PIP coverage is required in Pennsylvania. Bodily injury liability pays for the medical and rehabilitation expenses of anyone injured in a car accident where you are at fault. The minimum limit is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident; the $15,000 pays for injuries to one person, while the $30,000 is the total available to all claimants for one accident. Property damage liability covers the cost of repairing or replacing property damages that you caused in an accident where you are at fault. The minimum limit is $5000 of coverage. Unfortunately, PIP insurance may not be enough to cover your property damage, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages from auto accidents.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance: Mandatory Insurance is not Full Insurance Coverage
To be fully covered for a car accident in Pennsylvania, you need more than the mandatory Pennsylvania Car Insurance coverage required by law. In addition to the mandatory Pennsylvania Car Insurance, you need to choose the optional full tort, the optional Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, and the optional Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance: Uninsured Motorists (UM) and Under-insured Motorists (UIM) Coverage
If the at-fault driver has limited insurance or no insurance, your UM or UIM insurance will cover the additional amount of damage caused by the negligent driver. Compensation through UM and UIM can be complicated and is best handled by an experienced Personal Injury attorney.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance: Full Tort and Limited Tort Options
Under Pennsylvania’s choice-no-fault system, drivers can choose between two insurance options: full tort or limited tort. With full tort, you can sue in court for all damages, including pain and suffering. With limited tort, you are able to recover all out-of-pocket medical and other expenses, but you cannot recover damages for pain and suffering. There is an exception to this rule. If the accident has resulted in “death, serious impairment of bodily function, or permanent serious disfigurement”, you may recover for pain and suffering, even with limited tort insurance. Another exception is if you are involved in an accident with an out-of-state vehicle. Many drivers are regretful for not purchasing full tort coverage, which costs only a few dollars more than limited tort. Limited tort prevents injury victims from suing for pain and suffering if they do not fall within the exceptions. Although limited tort does prove challenging in fully recovering for your injury, it is possible to receive substantial compensation within limited tort insurance.