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Understanding Pennsylvania’s “No-Fault” Car Accident Law

by The Beasley Firm  |  March 20, 2023  |  

What You Need to Know About the Commonwealth’s Insurance Requirements

If you are involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you need to understand the state’s insurance laws. Your choice in coverage may deeply impact what kind of compensation you can collect and how you can pursue it. 

At The Beasley Firm, we know how important it is to get answers after a car accident. Our firm has over 60 years of experience helping injury victims and their families get the resolutions they deserve. We know how to get the largest possible recovery for our clients. If you were injured in a Pennsylvania car accident, contact our office at (215) 866-2424 to book a free consultation.

Is Pennsylvania a “No-Fault” Insurance State?

Pennsylvania is one of about a dozen states that follows “no-fault” insurance laws. Unlike at-fault insurance states, in “no-fault” jurisdictions the party generally files a claim with their own insurance company regardless of fault. States that follow “at-fault” rules allow an injured party to file a lawsuit (or insurance claim) against the motorist that caused the accident. 

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is unique in that a motorist may “opt out” of the state’s no-fault insurance requirements. Motorists may choose between a “limited tort” and a “full tort” option. 

What Is Limited Tort?

As described in Title 75, Section 1705 (a) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, insurers must inform policyholders of their election of tort options. The first option is for “limited tort” coverage. 

Under limited tort, you (and other covered household members) may seek recovery for out-of-pocket expenses including medical bills, but you may not seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. The only exception is if you suffer a “serious injury” as defined by law. 

Limited tort coverage is generally less expensive than full tort coverage as it limits your right to compensation.

What Is Full Tort Coverage?

Full tort coverage, on the other hand, gives you and your covered household members an unrestricted right to seek compensation for any accident-related losses, including compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. 

In essence, when a motorist selects the full tort option they are opting out of the Commonwealth’s no-fault system. With this option, you do not have to meet the state’s “serious injury” requirements to file a lawsuit or insurance claim against a party that caused you harm. 

Can I Sue for Injuries?

If you are seriously injured in a car accident, you likely have the right to sue for injuries regardless of the type of coverage you have. However, the only way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve after a crash is by consulting with an attorney. Without the help of legal counsel, you could end up settling your case for significantly less than it is worth.

Getting the Help You Need Now

Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania? Contact our office at (215) 866-2424 to book a free, no-obligation consultation. Our attorneys have secured billions of dollars on behalf of clients throughout the Commonwealth. We will fight for you and your family. There are no fees unless we win. Call now to get started.

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