We have stressed on more than one occasion the importance of making sure that you have full tort auto insurance instead of limited tort. If you are injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, having full tort means that you may recover for your pain and suffering. If you only have limited tort, you generally cannot get a recovery from the other driver, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

So, if you are in a car accident in Pennsylvania and you have limited tort, does that mean that you can never recover for your pain and suffering? The answer is…it depends. There are some limited tort exceptions which may apply and would allow you to recover for your pain and suffering. A person is not bound by the limited tort option when any of these four exceptions apply:

  • The other driver caused the accident and was convicted of a DUI;
  • The other driver caused the accident and their vehicle was registered in any state othe than Pennsylvania;
  • You were a passenger in a commercial vehicle;
  • You suffered a “serious injury,” which requires either a “serious impairment to a significant bodily function” or a “permanent serious disfigurement.” This “serious injury” exception is difficult to meet, and requires careful analysis of your injuries.

Obviously, these limited tort exceptions do not apply in every situation, so the best course of action is for you to protect yourself and your family by electing full tort auto insurance. However, if you do have limited tort and you are in an auto accident in Pennsylvania, you should consult with an experienced attorney who can explain your rights and options. Feel free to call me here in my firm’s Yardley, Pennsylvania office to review your case and determine if a limited tort exception applies which would allow you to recover for your pain and suffering.