Full Tort Vs Limited Tort (Full Right To Sue Vs. Limited Right To Sue)

If you were in a car accident, you need to know about how insurance coverage can affect the outcome of the case and settlement.

In Chester County, Pennsylvania an injured victim’s recovery can be limited by the type of insurance that he or she purchases. Motor vehicle operators have the choice of selecting limited tort and full tort coverage. If you choose limited tort coverage, you give up significant rights. For example, you are unable to sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and disfigurement. Oftentimes these are the biggest financial part of your case. There are few exceptions to this harsh rule. For example, you would only be exempt from the limited tort exclusion if you were struck by a drunk driver; by an out of state driver or if you suffered a “serious injury” as a result of the motor vehicle collision. For more information please contact the Karp and Hart law firm for a full explanation of your own insurance policy and the differences between full tort and limited tort in Pennsylvania.

Uninsured And Underinsured Auto Insurance Coverage

UNINSURED coverage is coverage within your policy which offers you compensation if the person at fault does not possess insurance at all. If that person does not have insurance they also are likely not to have any assets. Recent statistics have revealed that almost a third of all drivers in Philadelphia drive uninsured. Scary thought, huh?  If you purchased uninsured motorist coverage you would be able to make a claim against your own insurance company under the terms of this mini-policy. By the way, this coverage is dirt-cheap. I’ve seen policies where it is as little as $18.00 per year.

UNDERINSURED coverage is the same as uninsured coverage except it provides coverage for you if the other driver at fault does not have enough insurance to cover the amount of your losses. In Pennsylvania, people are permitted to carry as little as $15,000.00 in liability coverage. If you have any kind of serious accident you may have a claim worth far in excess of $15,000.00.  With underinsured you can look to your own company for the difference. This insurance is also very inexpensive.

I am always amazed when reviewing my clients’ automobile insurance policies as to how little they really know about what they have purchased. Their insurance decisions are usually based on price alone. Many try to reduce their cost by purchasing as little insurance as possible, believing that they are immune from life’s setbacks.  They are not – that’s why we call them clients.

Rejecting UNINSURED and UNDERINSURED motorist coverage are but two examples of where people are penny-wise and pound-foolish. These are perhaps two of the most important coverages one can have. DO NOT EVER WAIVE THESE COVERAGES.

Now why wouldn’t you have this insurance? By law in Pennsylvania, you are automatically given underinsured and uninsured coverage which equals or matches your liability coverage unless you take specific steps by signing a written waiver giving up your right to this coverage. You can’t imagine how many clients have come into my office who are devastated when they learn that there is not much that can be done for them since they have waived these rights just to save a couple of bucks.

If you have either waived or lowered this coverage, call your agent today to increase your coverage to equal your liability coverage.

Stacked Insurance Coverage

Under Pennsylvania law, “Stacking” is available for purchase under your auto insurance policy.  Stacking relates to your underinsured (UIM) and uninsured (UM) motorist coverage. If you have $100,000 of “bodily injury” coverage on your car (that’s the coverage which protects you if the accident is your fault), then you are allowed to purchase up to $100,000 of both UIM and UM coverage. If say you have two cars in your family and your coverages are U, then you will have $200,000 of UM/UIM coverage available to you. Three cars – $300,000, etc.  Do not reject stacked coverage. The increased cost to you will be small, but if you are in an accident, the amount of coverage available for you could be substantial.