As most of you know, in Pennsylvania if you drive a car you must make an auto selection as to your tort option.
There are two kinds of tort options. Full Tort and Limited Tort.
In the Full Tort Option, you have the absolute right to sue for your injuries related to your car accident and get $ for them in the right circumstances.
You pay a little bit of a higher premium in terms of $$ for that right.
However, if you are in an auto accident you have the absolute right to pursue a money settlement for the injuries you sustained in the accident.
The Limited Tort Option is different.
In the limited tort option you give up your right to sue if you are in a car accident except under limited circumstances.
The value of the limited tort is that you pay a lower yearly car insurance premium.
However, this is a very small difference.
What you are giving up for that certainly does not justify the lower $$ saved.
The question then becomes if you do select the limited tort option are you barred from pursuing a injury claim for money?
The short answer is maybe not.
How is that for legal mumbo jumbo?
What I mean, though, is you still have a right to pursue a $$ settlement or lawsuit in a car accident. even if you select the limited tort option, in a couple of situations.
1st, if you are hit by a drunk driver and his case results in either the Defendant’s plea or acceptance into the ARD Program that is an exception to the limited tort option.
Another exception to the limited tort option is if the car that hit you has an out of state license plate.
A lot of times a truck driver who is driving across states will have a different truck license plate.
In that situation, you are okay to pursue a money settlement claim even with the limited tort option.
The 3rd way to get around this limited tort issue is if you can show you have a serious injury.
It is important to understand that does not mean you have to show you have a permanent injury.
A permanent injury is much harder to prove than a serious injury.
Again, it sounds like a matter of mumbo jumbo again but it really isn’t. A serious injury case requires that the injury you received affects your daily activities for a considerable period of time.
Pittsburgh Wrongful Death, Car Accident, Medical Malpractice and Slip & Fall Attorney Bernie Tully will talk more about that tomorrow.
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