Feb 5, 2015 - Car Accidents

Pennsylvania is considered a “limited tort” state when it comes to car insurance coverage. In a nutshell, this means that motorists can choose between insurance coverage which will limit their ability to claim damages for pain and suffering and bodily injury, and one which will not. Generally, car insurance companies offer motorists the limited tort insurance at cheaper rates than the full tort insurance.

As a general rule, insurance companies make more money when they have to pay out fewer claims. This is why insurers would rather consumers take the limited tort insurance which will prevent them from making expensive claims following a car accident.

What is important to remember is that under Pennsylvania law there are a few exceptions which allow individuals with only limited tort coverage to pursue those larger claims. For example, a pedestrian or a bicyclist who is hit and injured by a car is not bound by the limited tort option. The reason for this is because a person walking or biking is not operating a motor vehicle and therefore those victims should not be bound by the type of car insurance they happen to carry for their cars.

That same logic also applies to individuals who are an occupant of a non-private passenger vehicle. That scenario would typically mean that you are either driving or riding in a commercial vehicle being used for some business purpose. Pennsylvania will not restrict your ability to sue for full damages just because you happened to be a passenger on a bus which was struck by a careless driver.

These are only a few of the exceptions which are available to car accident victims throughout the Commonwealth. Your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will be able to examine the specifics of your case and determine whether a civil lawsuit is appropriate for your car accident. If you qualify for an exception to the limited tort rule you may be able to sue for greater compensation for your injuries.

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly, “§ 1705. Election of tort options.” accessed Feb. 05, 2015

nbta badge super lawyers badge avvo badge rising star badge Million Dollar Advocates Forum Peer Review Rated paaj champion badge NAOPIA


"Unfortunately, I had a a slip and fall incident and it left me in a situation where I struggled to support my family and I really had no idea what my rights were. Thankfully, someone recommended DHD, specifically Jeremy Puglia, and it was the best decision I could have made. I was able to focus on getting better while he made certain no one took advantage of me or the situation. He listened to what I felt was fair and why, discussed it all with me and fought for me. I would NOT want to be up against him in a court room. Some people were made to defend others and he is one of them for sure!"
Posted By: Heather Fischer

Drake, Hileman & Davis

Get Answers

Complete our contact form and get a response within 24 hours.