Please note that this is not legal advice. See our disclaimer.
If you are on a tight budget, you may look at your auto insurance policy, seeking ways to minimize the costs of obtaining the protection you need. Your insurance agent may suggest that you opt for “limited tort coverage,” telling you that it can provide substantial reductions in your premiums. Before you make such a decision, however, you want to know what you have to lose by choosing limited tort coverage.
What Is Limited Tort Coverage?
A tort is a wrong that someone commits against you for which you can typically seek compensation. The damages that you can obtain in a personal injury claim typically include lost wages and income, medical expenses, loss of companionship or consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and physical pain and suffering. A typical “limited tort coverage” provision in an insurance policy allows you to recover only for actual monetary losses, unless you can show that the injury was “serious.” The types of losses reimbursable under “limited tort coverage” typically only include lost income, medical expenses and damage to your vehicle.
Under Pennsylvania law, a serious injury is limited to one that “results in death, serious impairment of bodily function or permanent serious disfigurement.” Studies show that, more often than not, judges and juries find that injuries do not qualify as “serious.” As a result, many people who opted for limited tort coverage in an effort to save dollars in the short term ended up losing far more than they saved because of their inability to recover compensation for all their losses.
If reducing your premiums is essential, there are other ways to achieve this without sacrificing your right to recover for long-term pain and suffering, or for other noneconomic losses. For example, you can increase your deductibles. This may lead to a greater current expense if you have an accident, but it will be a single expense. You won’t have to give up the compensation you should have received for years of pain and suffering.
Contact the Law Offices of Hornstine Law, LLC
At Hornstine Law, LLC, we have decades of personal injury experience. Our attorneys work with people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, using our knowledge, skill, experience and resources to help you get the outcome you want. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 215-568-4968 (in New Jersey at 609-523-2222).