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Pennsylvania Full Tort Auto Insurance Explained

Auto insurance laws are tricky and complex. The auto insurance laws in Pennsylvania are no different and can be a great source of confusion to anyone who has been involved in an accident and are now trying to recover from their injuries and damage by using insurance. Pennsylvania allows for two types of coverage that a motorist can choose to utilize. A motorist can either choose a full tort policy or a limited tort policy. Each of these policies has their advantages and disadvantages. However, if you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle or a tractor-trailer you may be confused about the types of tort recovery and how they affect you on the road.

What is Pennsylvania’s Full Tort Insurance?

In Pennsylvania, you have to choose when you are preparing your car insurance policy between choosing a full tort or limited tort policy. If you decide to utilize the limited tort option then you generally forfeit your right to recover compensation for pain and suffering you may experience as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Although, it should be noted that under the limited tort option there is generally an exception for non-private vehicles, which includes commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers. On the other hand, if a driver chooses to utilize the full tort option then a person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident will be able to sue for pain and suffering and the court will be able to provide them with compensation.

Under Title 75 §1705 Full tort coverage is defined as:

The laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also give you the right to choose a form of insurance under which you maintain an unrestricted right for you and the members of your household to seek financial compensation for injuries caused by other drivers.

Those drivers who take the full tort option may affect any pain and suffering for all types of injuries, not just economic injuries such as those you would incur if you had to go to the doctors after an accident. While the full tort option does allow those who are injured to recover for all accidents and injuries that were not their fault, it also costs more. People will commonly choose the limited tort option of the full tort option because they will generally pay less for a premium whereas, under the full tort option a person can be expected to pay as much as 15 percent more for insurance coverage.

You should carefully decide what type of coverage is right for you and for your family. Only by carefully examining the benefits and detriments that each type of coverage offers can you make an informed decision.

What are the Benefits of Choosing a Full Tort Option?

All motor vehicle owners in Pennsylvania must prove they can financially responsible to be able to register their vehicles. It means that as an owner of a motor vehicle you can pay for any damages that could be caused by you or another driver in the event that you are involved in an accident. There are several ways that you can demonstrate that you are financially responsible. A driver may choose to buy insurance covering personal injury claims. Alternatively, another way that drivers are able to prove that they are financially responsible is to make a certification to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation that in the event that you are involved in an accident and there are injuries you can pay for up to $15,000 for injuries to one person in one accident, $30,000 for injuries to more than one person in one accident, and for $5,000 in damages to someone else’s property. However, most people do not have this amount of cash in their bank accounts and for them the only way to prove financial responsibility is through purchasing insurance.

Under the full tort option, if you are involved in an accident and it was deemed to not be your fault, then you will be able to recover for all of your damages and not just for the economic damages. Generally, economic damages can be summarized as those damages that you have to pay money for. Some examples of economic damages can include doctors visits, missed time from work, emergency room visits, medical tests, as well as almost every conceivable economic loss you might sustain. In addition to the economic damages that can be recovered by an injured motorist, under the full tort option a person may be able to recover for pain and suffering injuries as well. This is considered the greatest benefit of the full tort system because at times pain and suffering injuries can be even more severe and long term.

Having the option of whether or not to pursue all claims and injuries that are the result of a car accident can make the higher premiums seem worth it in the long run. Often the effects of a car accident aren’t known for days, weeks, or even years after the event. Many drivers in Pennsylvania see this as a trade-off for paying more for insurance every year.

Questions about Full Tort Insurance? Call Our Truck Accident Attorneys Today

If you have been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle then you may have questions about your insurance policy or the insurance policy of the other driver. To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000 or contact us online.

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