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Pennsylvania's Limited Tort - When You Can Sue For Pain And Suffering (Part A)

Car accidents often result in injuries.  In Pennsylvania, if you elected the limited tort option on your car insurance, you cannot sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering as a result of the car accident.

What many car accident victims, who have limited tort, do not realize is that there are exceptions to this rule.  If one of the exceptions apply, then the injured individual who elected limited tort on his/her car insurance will be treated as if he/she has full tort.  In that case, the individual can sue the driver at fault for pain and suffering.

Pursuant to section 1705(d)(1) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL), you can sue for non-economic damages if the driver at fault is:

  • convicted or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in the accident,
  • operating a vehicle registered in another state,
  • intentionally injures the plaintiff, or
  • the owner of a currently registered motor vehicle and has not maintained financial responsibility as required.

If you are injured in an accident and have limited tort, it is important to exchange information with the driver at fault and get a copy of the police report, that way you can find out whether the driver at fault was driving under the influence or was operating a vehicle registered in another state.

If you have questions about the exceptions to limited tort, feel free to contact our Philadelphia, PA car and truck accident lawyers for more information.

Other than the exceptions above, a person who has limited tort may sue for non-economic damages if the injuries sustained are "serious."  To learn more, read Part B of this article which discusses "serious injuries."

*Published: 8-12-12

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