Car Accident Laws in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2020 | Personal Injury

If you have been injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering what your legal options in order are to recover financial compensation and pay for your hospital bills, lost earnings from missed time from work, property damage, and other damages. Since every vehicle owner in the state is required to have car insurance coverage, the type of insurance the at-fault driver has may determine how you can recover the monetary damages you deserve.

The following are the minimum car insurance coverage limits in Pennsylvania: 

  • $15,000 for bodily injury per person (if you are at fault)
  • $30,000 for total bodily injury per accident (if you are at fault)
  • $5,000 for property damage (if you are at fault)
  • $5,000 in medical care coverage (pays for your medical bills)

Unlike most states, Pennsylvania follows a “no-fault” car accident rule, which means all drivers must file a claim with their own insurer and your own policy will pay for medical treatment and other accident-related expenses up to your coverage limits. But if the injuries suffered are serious in nature (e.g. broken bones, disability, temporary or permanent loss of a body function or part, etc.), then a driver may file a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the liable motorist.

However, it is possible for drivers to opt-out of the no-fault system based on which auto insurance policy they purchase. In Pennsylvania, there are two types of policy coverages: Limited Tort coverage and Full Tort coverage.

Limited Tort coverage means your right – as well as your family members’ rights under your policy – to recover monetary damages from the accident is limited. While you can recover losses stemming from medical expenses, lost income, and property damage with this type of coverage, you cannot obtain pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Yet, as we mentioned before, you may file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver if you suffer a serious injury.

By contrast, Full Tort coverage gives vehicle owners and any family members under their coverage have unlimited rights in the event of an accident. Injured drivers and passengers may recover all economic and non-economic damages – even if there are no serious injuries involved.

If you or a loved one has recently been seriously injured in a car accident in Scranton, contact the Law Offices of William D. Thompson today at 570-846-2819 and request a free consultation. Get 15+ years of trial-tested experience on your side.