When you purchase auto insurance in the state of Pennsylvania, you are
given the option to select either full tort or limited tort on your policy.
When presented with this decision, many people are inclined to choose
the limited tort option because it translates into a cheaper premium.
However, a staggering number of individuals don’t realize how their
tort selection affects their rights if they get into an accident.
FULL TORT COVERAGE
Full tort preserves your right to bring a claim for pain and suffering if you are
injured in a car crash. There are no limits to what you may bring suit
for, whether it be simple whiplash or a more complex nerve injury.
LIMITED TORT COVERAGE
limited tort on your policy does just what it sounds like – it
limits your right to sue for pain and suffering. There are a few exceptions to
the limited tort option, but generally, if you have limited tort you will
not be able to bring a claim for pain and suffering unless you are “seriously
injured.” Pennsylvania cases are harsh in their definition of serious
injuries; sometimes, not even multiple broken bones will get you over
the limited tort barrier.
YOUR TORT OPTION AFFECTS YOUR FAMILY
The tort option you select is also binding to all of your resident relatives.
Although the definition of “resident relative” varies by the
language in your automobile policy, it generally refers to any person
related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption and living in the same
household. This includes your spouse, children, grandchildren, aunts,
uncles, and cousins. Your tort option follows your resident relatives
everywhere they go – whether they are driving your vehicle, a passenger
in your vehicle, or even if they are a passenger in a friend’s vehicle.
ALWAYS CHOOSE FULL TORT
Harrisburgpersonal injury lawyers, we often hear from injured people that we can’t help. Unfortunately,
it is because they had selected limited tort. The tort option applicable
to your policy at the time of your accident is the tort option that will
apply to your case. If you do not have full tort at the time of an accident,
you cannot change your policy to full tort and have it apply retroactively
to the accident.
It is important to select full tort on your auto insurance policy so that
you can retain your right to bring a claim against any responsible parties
if you are injured in a car crash. If you have limited tort, we strongly
urge you to contact your insurance agent and request to change it to full tort.