What Is the No-Fault Limit in PA?

road accident with smashed cars

Car accidents can leave you feeling confused about what to do next. This is particularly true in Pennsylvania, which has no-fault insurance and the option for at-fault policies. This may further complicate your pursuit of compensation for your injuries and other damages in the crash.

What to Know About Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Policies

Under a no-fault insurance policy, also called a limited tort, the medical costs for your injuries will be paid by your own insurer. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident when you have no-fault insurance.

If you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, you will have limits on your ability to sue someone beyond the medical costs. You’ll need to know if the other driver has limited tort coverage or full tort coverage, another term for an at-fault insurance policy.

Limited tort policies prevent claimants from suing beyond an award cap. A full tort or at-fault policy allows claimants to opt out of the no-fault system. This means they can still sue a negligent driver for pain and suffering. It would make more sense to buy a full tort policy to have this option. However, it is more expensive, making the no-fault policies more appealing to most drivers.

Still, many drivers simply aren’t aware, and you may be one of them. You may have selected the least expensive coverage because it was all you could afford in your budget. If you’re not sure which type of policy you have, it’s a good idea to go over your insurance coverage and find out.

What to Know About At-Fault Policies in Pennsylvania

With no-fault auto insurance policies, you must seek compensation for your medical bills and losses with your own car insurance if you are hurt in a car accident. That type of coverage doesn’t permit you to pursue damages for pain and suffering in a car accident.

You can pursue those damages if you have severe injuries. For limited tort insurance claims to be successful, it’s usually in cases where the injury victim has lost a cognitive or physical function.

Drivers in Pennsylvania who want greater peace of mind on the road can bypass the no-fault laws in the state by purchasing full tort or at-fault insurance coverage. This type of insurance allows you to seek personal damages from the other driver, even if your losses are less than the requirements put into place on limited tort policies.

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Drivers in Pennsylvania?

Regardless of the type of policy you have, Pennsylvania requires you to meet certain insurance requirements. These limits help ensure that every driver has a minimum amount of coverage.

Drivers must have $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person plus $30,000 total coverage. They must also have $5,000 in liability coverage for property damage. An additional $5,000 in coverage must also be in place for first-party medical benefits, which cover the medical costs of the policyholder.

You can choose to purchase higher limits for either type of insurance. Many people don’t do so simply because the cost is greater than what they can budget for along with their other expenses. They think having the minimum is enough — and it can be in minor collisions. But when you wind up with serious injuries and experience pain and suffering, what can you do?

Can You Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering Possible with Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Limits?

You likely know that insurance is something you need when on the road, and something you hope you never have to use. When you’re in a serious car crash, it can leave you with physical and mental scars for the rest of your life. States that follow at-fault insurance systems allow injury victims to pursue compensation from the person who caused the accident.

Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that can compensate you for the mental trauma you underwent as a result of your injuries. It’s hard to put a monetary value on it, but in a no-fault insurance situation, you may not be able to pursue this type of compensation.

Purchasing at-fault insurance is more expensive but it does provide you with more freedom and peace of mind in these types of circumstances. Unfortunately, not everyone is financially equipped to spend more on their car insurance.

Still, there are times when you can pursue the at-fault driver for damages that go beyond what your insurance will cover or non-economic damages even with no-fault insurance. Your injuries would need to be serious and impair you to some degree.

The state will also look at your anticipated length of recovery, especially if you’re not expected to fully recover. Additional factors include how much treatment you will need for your injuries. With these factors, you can seek non-economic damages even with the no-fault laws. This is because the courts have determined that pain and suffering is serious enough for compensation.

You may not be able to go back to your career or participate in life as you once did before the accident. Your inability to afford at-fault insurance shouldn’t cause you to suffer needlessly because of someone else’s negligent driving. If you are left with a lasting impairment, you will have a constant reminder of the day your life changed forever. It’s only reasonable to be permitted further compensation in this situation.

How to Pursue Compensation After a Serious Accident in Pennsylvania

Because of how confusing Pennsylvania’s insurance laws are, you will want to speak with a car accident attorney about your case when you have serious, life-altering injuries. They can help you in situations where you’ve only purchased no-fault insurance to hold the negligent driver responsible.

The laws can be confusing, and while there’s no way to guarantee the outcome, working with an attorney in this situation can give you a better chance of putting your life back together

Featured Image by aleksandarlittlewolf on Freepik

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