Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage can be confusing in Pennsylvania because of the state’s full and limited tort laws. To understand the PIP requirements and tort laws, it helps to understand the difference between an “at fault” insurance state and “fault” insurance state.
At Fault vs. Fault Insurance
Some states require drivers to carry liability insurance (fault insurance) to pay for damages from an accident that the driver causes. These states require that you prove a driver caused a collision before you can recover compensation from that driver.
Other states have adopted a no-fault insurance policy whereby drivers are required to purchase no-fault insurance (PIP or Med-Pay). No-fault insurance pays for damages in a car accident regardless of who caused the crash. In other words, if you are injured in a car crash, you file your claim with your own insurance company even if the other driver caused the crash. However, PIP coverage does not pay for all damages. In most cases, it only pays for some of your lost wages, and it does not cover pain and suffering damages.
Pennsylvania has a no-fault insurance policy, but it also allows drivers to choose between limited tort insurance policies and full tort insurance policies.
State Minimum Insurance Requirements for Pennsylvania
Drivers in Pennsylvania are required to carry both liability and PIP coverage. The minimum liability coverage is $15,000 in bodily injury coverage ($30,000 per incident) and $5,000 in property damage liability insurance. In addition, each driver must have $5,000 in PIP coverage.
If you are injured in an accident, you file your claim against your PIP coverage first. If your medical bills, lost wages, and other financial damages exceed the PIP coverage, you can file a claim against the driver who caused the accident. However, whether you can sue for pain and suffering damages depends on whether you choose full tort or limited tort coverage.
If you choose limited tort coverage, you cannot be sued for pain and suffering damages (noneconomic damages) for an accident you cause, BUT you cannot sue another driver for your pain and suffering damages either. The exceptions to this restriction are when an accident results in death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of a bodily function.
However, if you chose full tort coverage, you can sue the driver who caused your crash regardless of the severity of your injuries. By choosing full tort, you also open yourself to lawsuits for accidents that you cause. Unfortunately, many people regret not choosing full tort when they are injured in an accident caused by another driver because pain and suffering damages can be a significant amount of a car accident settlement. In these cases, it comes down to proving that your injuries meet the threshold level for filing a lawsuit for pain and suffering.
Erie Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you are injured in a traffic accident, sorting out the insurance issues can be confusing and overwhelming. Our Erie accident attorneys can review the applicable coverage and advise you of your options for recovering compensation for your damages.
Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie accident attorneys.
We discuss several types of car accidents because some causes of crashes are more common than other causes. However, we do not discuss back over accidents even though these types of car accidents are very common, especially involving children.
According to Kids and Cars, approximately 232 deaths and 13,000 injuries occur each year because of back over accidents. Many of these injuries are children under the age of five years. Even though children may be at the highest risk for these accidents, anyone can be the victim of a back-over accident.
Last year, actor Anton Yelchin, known for his role in the recent ‘Star Trek’ movies, died in a back over accident when his Jeep crushed him after rolling backward down the driveway. Yelchin’s family alleges in a wrongful death lawsuit that the cause of the back over accident was a defective automobile part. However, many back over accidents are preventable because they are caused by human error. Below are ways that you can stop a tragedy from occurring by preventing back over accidents.
A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that young millennials have some of the worst driving behaviors compared to any other age group. Young millennials were defined as young adults between the ages of 19 and 24 years. In a press release from AAA, the company revealed shocking details from the study about this groups driving behaviors. Some were quite shocking.
When you think about impaired driving, you most likely think about drunk driving (driving under the influence of alcohol) or drugged driving (driving under the influence of drugs). Both drugged driving and drunk driving are crimes in Pennsylvania. As an experienced Erie criminal defense attorney, I can attest to the strict penalties of a DUI conviction in our state. That is why I urge everyone who has been stopped and ticketed for DUI to contact an experienced Erie DUI attorney before saying anything to the police or the prosecution.
However, impaired driving is not only limited to drunk driving or drugged driving (or buzzed driving). There are many reasons why a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely can be impaired. Some of those reasons may or may not lead to a criminal charge.
According to new information released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding-related traffic fatalities increased by three percent from 2014 to 2015. During 2015, 9,557 people lost their lives in speed-related traffic accidents. In Pennsylvania, almost one-half of all traffic fatalities resulted from accidents involving speeding.
Wearing your seat belt is one of the most effective ways to prevent serious injury or death in a motor vehicle accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) seat belts prevented 14,000 traffic-related deaths and reduced serious crash-related injuries by almost one-half in 2015. Sadly, many people still refuse to buckle up even though evidence shows it protects them in an accident and it is the law.
Yes, you can settle your injury claim without an attorney, but that may not be in your best interest. Our Erie personal injury attorneys understand that you may need to settle your case so that you can have funds to pay your medical bills and other expenses, especially if you have been out of work because of your injuries.
However, by settling your claim quickly and without an attorney, you may receive far less than you deserve. The insurance adjuster won’t tell you this — his job is to pay as little as possible to settle your claim. We will tell you the truth; you can count on that because we have your best interest as our top priority.
The commercial trucking industry is a billion-dollar business in the United States. Large trucks are one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of transporting goods across the country. Unfortunately, these extremely large, heavy vehicles can be very dangerous on the road. A passenger vehicle stands no chance in a collision with an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer.
Every state, including Pennsylvania, requires drivers to carry minimum insurance requirements. In Pennsylvania, drivers must carry the following insurance to operate a motor vehicle legally:
Paralysis is a serious condition that affects approximately 5.4 million people in the United States, a much larger number than previously thought. Several traumatic injuries can result in partial or total paralysis, and the cause of those traumatic injuries are varied.
Motor vehicle accidents, defective products, slip/falls, work injuries, medical malpractice, boating accidents, sports activities, and other personal injury accidents can result in a traumatic injury that can cause paralysis. However, motor vehicle accidents and falls are the leading causes of the following three injuries that can result in paralysis.