Exceptions to Limited Tort

wrecked car from an accident

Limited Tort Exceptions Under Pennsylvania Law

In Pennsylvania, you are able to choose between full tort and limited tort for your car insurance. Full tort, which can be slightly more expensive, will cover your pain and suffering in the event of a car accident, where as limited tort will not.

Compensation for pain and suffering can be extremely important. Full tort allows you to recover money for things beyond medical bills and lost wages. If a serious injury changes your life forever or if you're suffering daily pain because of it, limited tort coverage may not allow you to collect compensation for these situations.

With limited tort, you're only able to recover compensation for "economic loss," which only includes lost wages and medical expenses. However, there are rare instances where you may be able to recover money for pain and suffering with limited tort. We recommend purchasing full tort so that you and your loved ones are covered in all accident situations.

The Exceptions to Your Limited Tort Coverage

  • Serious Injury – This is one exception that misleads many Pennsylvania drivers. The definition for a "serious" injury is often unclear and undefined. Don't end up with a limited tort horror story like the following people:
    • A man fractured his right and left lower jaw, requiring it to be wired shut for 14 weeks. He lost 20 lbs. during this time, but it was decided his injury was not "serious." He was unable to recover money for his pain and suffering.
    • After fracturing a vertebra in a car accident, a woman was hospitalized, wore a back brace, and was unable to bend from the waist. It was also determined that her injury wasn't "serious," and she received nothing for her pain and suffering.
  • Out-of-State Vehicle – If the vehicle that hits you is registered in a different state, your limited tort is changed to full tort coverage.
  • Drunk Driver – After an accident with another vehicle, if the driver is convicted of a DUI or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), your limited tort will become full tort coverage. However, if the driver dies because of the accident, your limited tort will still apply regardless of their intoxication.
  • Commercial Vehicles – Whether you're driving or riding in a commercial vehicle, your limited tort coverage will become full tort in the event of an accident. This includes driving company cars or trucks, as well as riding on buses and other public transportation.
  • Questions? We Have the Answers

    For more information on the benefits of choosing full tort coverage, visit our Limited Tort vs. Full Tort webpage.

    Our pain and suffering webpage explains the benefits of being able to recover compensation for serious injuries, disfigurement, permanent damage, and much more.

    Don't forget, it's easy to change your coverage at any time – just contact your insurance agent with the details.

    This guide is not a complete summary of the Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Law. It is designed to highlight certain important features of this law and should not be considered legal advice. Everyone has different insurance needs. If you have any questions concerning your coverage, please contact your insurance company representative.
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