So what do you risk by choosing limited over full tort? With few exceptions, you give up the right to receive compensation for pain and suffering if you are injured in an accident. There are 3 exceptions: if you are hit by an out of state driver, a drunk driver or you sustain “serious” injuries.
Some drivers rationalize choosing limited tort because they do not relinquish rights if their injuries are deemed "serious." It may surprise you to know that insurance companies define "serious" as death, severe and permanent disfigurement, or catastrophic injuries that impair body function. A woman who missed four weeks of work and was left with constant headaches, back pain and ringing in her ears: not serious. A man who endured more than a year of treatment and painful limping after a sprain and strain: not serious. A man who suffered a fractured leg and was in a cast for three months: not serious. All received nothing.
If you have limited tort and there's a question about whether your injury is serious, you are guaranteed that the insurance company will force you into litigation. That arduous and expensive process will take at least a year, and you still may not receive any compensation whatsoever, even though you were injured in an accident that was not your fault.
You may not realize the pain and suffering an injured person can endure, sometimes for months, sometimes for the rest of his life. Limited tort not only puts you at risk but your family at risk as well. You and your family are at risk not only in your own car, but also when you or your children are injured as a passenger in someone else's car, or as a pedestrian.
Under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsible Law, a person purchasing automobile insurance has the right to choose between “full tort” and “limited tort”. Simply stated, full tort coverage provides you the unlimited right to make a claim for pain...