A Tort is a civil wrong which allows the victim to recover money damages for harms such as medical expenses, lost wages, physical injuries and pain and suffering.
One common type of tort is an automobile accident, where an innocent driver is struck by an at-fault driver. In this type of case, the innocent driver and occupants of the vehicle are entitled to recover those money damages, from the at-fault driver, which can be satisfactorily proven.
LIMITED TORT is an automobile insurance policy option which can be selected by any purchaser of automobile insurance in Pennsylvania.
The benefit of selecting the “Limited Tort” option is that your insurance company will charge a reduced premium for limited tort policies.
What is given up when selecting the limited tort option is that an innocent party of an automobile accident is prohibited from making a claim for “pain and suffering” unless certain exceptions apply. The most common of these exceptions are as follows:
- The at-fault driver was driving under the influence;
- The at-fault driver was driving a vehicle registered in a state other than Pennsylvania;
- The at-fault driver did not have auto insurance; or
- The innocent party suffers a “serious” injury in the accident.
A serious injury is not defined in the law, but is left up to the discretion of the judge or jury.
It is important to note that the “limited tort” option applies whether the innocent party is making a claim against the at-fault driver or instead making a claim against his own insurance company for uninsured or under-insured coverage; and the limited tort option typically applies to all members of the driver’s household.
Our experience at Roland Stock has shown that cases involving victims of accidents, who have elected the “limited tort” option, are more likely to be forced to trial by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
For this reason, certain personal injury attorneys will decline representation of injured parties who are subject to the “limited tort” option.
Roland Stock stands ready to advocate for all injured parties including those who have elected the “limited tort” option.