Each state’s laws regarding who pays for medical bills in a car accident are very different. In Pennsylvania, drivers have the choice between limited or full tort car insurance, making Pennsylvania a choice-at fault state. The following considers the differences between limited and full tort car insurance, and how each affects who pays for medical expenses. Read further on five myths about car accident claims.
Limited Tort Car Insurance in Pennsylvania
Regardless of the type of car insurance that you choose, you must have medical coverage in an amount of no less than $5,000. Medical coverage will pay for the medical expenses of you and others covered by your policy, regardless of who causes the accident.
Bodily injury liability, on the other hand, will pay for the medical expenses of anyone who is injured in an accident that you cause. So, if someone else causes your accident, their bodily injury liability coverage should pay for your medial expenses.
Under a limited tort insurance policy, you cannot recover damages for noneconomic losses, like pain and suffering, nor can you pursue a civil lawsuit against an at-fault driver unless you’ve been seriously injured (or if you’re a motorcyclist). Additionally, if your medical expenses exceed the minimum coverage amount, you will have to pay for those expenses out of pocket.
Full Tort Car Insurance in Pennsylvania
As opposed to limited tort car insurance, full tort car insurance provides drivers with all of the above (medical coverage in an amount of no less than $5,000, and bodily injury liability in the event that another driver causes your wounds) as well as the right to file a civil claim for damages to recover compensation. As such, if a driver needs to recover more than what the at-fault driver’s policy offers or their medical coverage, or if they’ve suffered emotional pain or mental anguish, s/he has the right to sue the at-fault driver. Full tort car insurance carries higher premiums than does limited tort car insurance.
A thorough explanation of all of Pennsylvania’s car insurance laws, including minimum car insurance requirements, can be found on the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s website.
If You Need Help Recovering Compensation for Medical Expenses
You need an attorney if you have full tort car insurance, or were hurt and need help recovering damages for your medical expenses. Regardless of the type of car insurance that you have, if you’re filing a claim for damages in civil court, you must do so within two years under Pennsylvania Code Section 5524.