The laws governing automobile accidents in Pennsylvania can be confusing because they involve a combination of “at fault” and “no fault”. When it comes to medical expenses and lost wages, the laws follow the “no fault” philosophy in that each insured must submit claims to his or her own insurance carrier no matter who or what caused the accident. However, whichever party acted negligently and caused the other party’s injuries is responsible for costs associated with pain and suffering, along with other “non-economic” damages. Those Pennsylvania residents involved in any accidents would truly be best served by seeking out an experienced personal injury attorney from among the many fine Pennsylvania lawyers in order to discuss case specifics. A reliable Pennsylvania lawyer would certainly be able to guide you through the complexities of accident law in Pennsylvania.
When you buy automobile insurance in Pennsylvania, you have the option of purchasing full tort or limited tort threshold insurance. Statistics show that over 40% of car insurance consumers are opting for the “limited tort” coverage in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, choosing to go the cheaper route may cost you more in the long run if you are later involved in an accident. With full tort coverage, auto accident victims are entitled for compensation of pain and suffering, excess medical bill, and other losses caused by the accident, no matter how serious or minor the injuries–but only if they prove the other drive was responsible for the injuries. With the limited tort threshold requirement, however, they must prove that they have suffered a “serious injury” in order to be compensated for such damages. Since the lower tort threshold under MVFRL, 75 Pa.C.S.A. Section 1705 may limit the ability to sue for bodily injuries or other damages, those who are in a similar situation should consider consulting qualified Pennsylvania lawyers. They can consider the specifics of your case and let you know whether you can contest those tort thresholds and gain the unlimited right to bring suit.
Experienced Pennsylvania lawyers can guide you through the complexities of limited tort thresholds and advise whether you have suffered a serious enough injury to warrant pursuing the unlimited right to bring suit. Typically, the most important factor in determining whether the limited threshold will be overturned involves whether a body function has been seriously impaired. Manny Pennsylvania residents who choose the limited tort option simply do not understand exactly what they are giving up by doing so. By saving a few hundred dollars up front, they end up risking thousands of dollars later on. If you choose the limited threshold option and are later in an accident, please seek out qualified Pennsylvania lawyers immediately. They have the knowledge and experience to advise you of your options when it comes to the limited tort threshold.
Here are some exceptions that will that Pennsylvania lawyers may be able to use to help you automatically overturn the limited threshold requirements:
- The other driver is convicted of (1) driving under the influence of alcohol, or (2) a controlled substance, or (3) accepts ARD, a program generally applicable only to first-time offenders;
- The other driver committed an intentional act that caused the injuries;
- The other driver was operating a vehicle registered in a state other than Pennsylvania;
- The other driver had no insurance.