How does fault work in a Pennsylvania car accident?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2020 | Car Accidents |

Car accidents happen quickly, but the aftershock of a crash can have long-lasting consequences. If you have serious injuries that require medical treatment, you may find yourself struggling to pay your high medical bills. And if you need time off work to recover, you may lose out on a steady paycheck.

Luckily, you have insurance to help alleviate the cost of your expenses. But will you need to prove you weren’t at fault to receive payment from your insurer? Your ability to receive compensation may depend on the type of policy you currently have.

Pennsylvania drivers have a choice

When you purchased car insurance, your provider likely gave you an option between limited tort rights and full tort rights. These determine when you would need to prove fault to receive payment and how much you can claim. So how does this choice affect you?

Limited rights ensure coverage, but limit lawsuits

If you have limited tort rights, your policy works like no-fault insurance. Your insurer pays for your medical bills and car damage up to your policy limits. You don’t have to worry about proving fault or relying on a third-party company to pay your bills.

However, the limitations in this type of policy restrict you from filing a personal injury lawsuit unless your medical bills go beyond your coverage. You must prove the other driver was at fault, and your lawsuit cannot seek compensation for pain and suffering, except in extreme circumstances.

Full tort rights can offer higher lawsuit claims

If you choose a policy that offers full tort rights, you can receive compensation for costs that go beyond your medical bills. This allows you to receive a much higher settlement if you decide to sue. But you must prove that the other driver was at fault to receive compensation. This type of policy is more expensive and leaves you open to lawsuits from other drivers as well.

An insured driver should have coverage no matter what

Car insurance coverage ensures you don’t need to worry about expensive medical bills after an accident. If another driver hits you, you should be able to receive compensation regardless of your policy.