Insurance companies often try to deceive individuals when purchasing an auto insurance policy by leading them to believe that full coverage for your car is the same as “full tort.” In order to protect you and your family in the event of an accident, you should always select “full tort” coverage.  This means that you can collect damages for pain and suffering no matter the severity of injuries, and even if you or a family member are in another person’s vehicle.  If you have “limited tort” coverage, then you will only be able to sue for pain and suffering if you have suffered a serious injury.  Although there is no definite definition of serious in the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, a serious injury means one that results in death, severe disfigurement, or a permanent impairment.

Full tort coverage may cost a few hundred dollars more over the course of a year, but that is a small price to pay to protect your family’s right to collect in the event of an accident. Recently, there was an individual who was involved in an accident and the vehicle caught fire. This person luckily escaped with no burns, but unfortunately with back and neck sprain. Treatment for these injuries lasted for months, during which time she was unable to perform daily activities without pain. Sadly, due to her election of “limited tort,” she was unable to recover money damages because her injuries were not considered serious. Should she have retained “full tort,” she would have been able to recover money for her pain and suffering during the difficult recovery process.