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SUMMER, 2019

 

FULL v. LIMITED TORT IN PA AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE POLICIES

 

When a potential client contacts our office and advises us they have been involved in an automobile accident, they are always asked whether or not they have selected the "Full" or "Limited" Tort option on their automobile insurance policy. Often, they are confused as to why our staff is even asking this question. This month's Lawyers Forum topic will discuss the differences between these two types of coverages, what they provide and help our viewers and clients make an informed decision on this topic.

 

In Pennsylvania, if an individual owns a registered motor vehicle, one must maintain an automobile insurance policy or he or she are subject to fines, costs and even a judgment lien against them for damages incurred in an accident while uninsured. However, within that requirement to be insured there are many options in selecting coverage a car owner is faced with. 

 

Every licensed car insurance company in the Commonwealth will offer "Full" or "Limited" Tort coverage. Tort is derived from the French term and translates as a  "wrongful act". Full tort simply means you can make a claim for any wrongful act done to you without limits as to severity. In legal terms that means you may make a claim for any personal injury arising out of an automobile accident, regardless of severity of the injuries. This is the preferred type of coverage everyone should maintain so they are not "Limited" in pursuing their claims. Of course it should be noted that there is no limit in pursuing economic losses arising from an automobile accident regardless of the tort coverage selected. Economic losses include property damage, wage loss, medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses and are always compensable following an accident.

 

"Limited" Tort is exactly what it means--a person's right to make a claim for personal/bodily injury is limited by this selection. Insurance companies often lure their customers with lower rates (Who doesn't want to save money, right?) but often do not fully disclose what the insured is giving up by saving a small amount of money. If an insured selects a "Limited" tort option on their policy, he/she still maintains the right to claim economic losses, but may only make a claim for personal/bodily injury if one suffers a "significant impairment of a bodily function", a permanant injury/disability or death. Many of these cases are lost because the insured did not pierce the above requirements. Fortunately, the attorneys at HABER DIPAUL LLC have a wealth of experience in the Limited Tort arena and can you help you navigate through this area of law.

 

One more clarification: Having "Full Coverage" does not mean you automatically have "Full Tort Coverage". So called "Full Coverage" means one has collision, comprehensive, under/uninsured motorist coverage and possibly extended medical coverage. When the renewal of your annual insurance policy is coming, call Marvin S. Haber or John DiPaul of the law offices of HABER DIPAUL LLC for a free review of your policy, and if you are injured in an accident, regardless of your tort selection, call HABER DIPAUL LLC, we will help you. At HABER DIPAUL, OUR CLIENTS ALWAYS COME FIRST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above forum discussion is not a solicitation of legal services, nor is the information disseminated an intent to create a lawyer-client relationship. HABER DIPAUL LLC is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and this content is presented solely as a public service to our clients and viewers. In New Jersey, all legal services are provided solely by Marvin S. Haber. In Pennsylvania, John J. DiPaul and Marvin S. Haber provide all legal services.  Thank you.

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