Pennsylvania is one of a few states that follow some form of a no-fault car insurance system that determines the settlement of injury claims and damages when there is a car accident.
What are No-Fault insurance Laws?
In a No-Fault insurance state, drivers are not held liable for causing physical injury in a car accident. No-Fault insurance laws only apply to bodily harm. If you suffer any vehicle damage or loss, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver.
Are there different types of No-Fault Insurance laws?
Yes. There are two types of No-Fault Insurance laws:
Pure No-Fault insurance or Full Tort coverage
Full Tort coverage is the same as opting out of the no-fault system. It gives you (and anyone else covered under your policy) unlimited rights to recoup the financial cost for injuries and other losses when another driver causes a car accident.
You would be able to recover the cost for all medical treatment and other out-of-pocket losses such as lost wages, and other non-monetary damages such as pain and suffering stemming from the accident.
Modified or Limited No-Fault insurance or Limited Tort coverage
Limited Tort coverage limits your right (and the right of anyone else covered under your policy) to recoup the financial costs for injuries and other losses when another driver causes a car accident.
You would be able to recover the cost for all medical treatment and other out-of-pocket losses including lost wages caused by the accident, but you cannot be compensated for non-monetary damages like pain and suffering unless the injuries qualify as serious.
Is Pennsylvania a No Fault Insurance Law State?
Pennsylvania is a little unique from other no-fault states because vehicle owners can choose to “opt out” of the no-fault system when they purchase a vehicle insurance policy.
If you choose no-fault insurance coverage at the time you purchase your insurance policy, you would have to file a claim under your personal injury protection coverage to be compensated for medical expenses and other financial losses after a car accident, no matter who caused the crash.
Can You Ever Receive Compensation from The Other Party for An Injury Under Limited Tort Liability Insurance?
You can bring a claim directly against the at-fault driver if your injury is severe enough to meet specific state determined conditions. According to recent Pennsylvania court decisions, "serious injury" typically requires severe impairment of a body function or permanent and severe disfigurement.
Does No-Fault Coverage in Pennsylvania cover Motorcyclists?
Unlike many states, motorcyclists are considered the same as other motor vehicle owners under Pennsylvania No-Fault insurance laws.
How Much Coverage Does Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Insurance Require?
Pennsylvania law requires the following minimum coverage:
A minimum of $5,000 to pay medical benefits for you and those covered under your policy
A minimum of $15,000 per individual and $30,000 per accident for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is available if you injure someone in a car accident
A minimum of $5,000 for Property Damage Liability is available if you damage someone’s property in an accident
Should you ever be involved in a car crash, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in Pennsylvania to get help determining what your insurance policy will cover and how you can best go about being fully compensated for your losses.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, call. Our office is located in Pittsburgh. Call Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law today.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.