Should I Get a Lawyer if I Have Limited Tort Coverage?
Pennsylvania’s “limited tort” car insurance system means people with certain types of insurance policies can’t always file a lawsuit over injuries they suffered in a car crash caused by someone else. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s pointless to get a lawyer if you have limited tort coverage and want to get paid fairly for your auto accident losses. In fact, having help from a skilled car accident attorney can often be more important than ever under circumstances like this.
Making the Most of Limited Tort Insurance Coverage
After an auto accident in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to seek reimbursement for things like car repair costs and medical bills through your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage before you can think about suing someone else over the wreck. When you still need money for these or any other types of losses after you’ve gotten everything you can from insurance, you only have an unlimited right to file a lawsuit if you have full tort coverage. If you have limited tort coverage, you can’t sue unless you meet certain conditions.
You might think there’s no need to get a lawyer involved in your case when you can’t file a lawsuit in the first place. Insurance companies will never be on your side when you’re trying to get paid fairly for losses caused by a traffic wreck, and they often actively work against you to minimize their own liability for your losses and deny you the money you should be owed under your policy.
Hiring a lawyer tells the insurance company that you mean business and that you won’t accept a settlement offer that’s less than what you truly deserve. For this reason, getting a lawyer can be important, even if limited tort insurance coverage is your only option for financial recovery.
Establishing Grounds to Step Outside the Limited Tort System
Another big reason why having professional legal help can be crucial to getting a good result from a limited tort insurance claim is the assistance your attorney can give you in proving the usual limited tort restrictions shouldn’t apply to you. For example, limited tort laws don’t apply to people who suffered serious injuries. When a wreck leaves you with an injury that will cause you debilitating long-term harm, legal counsel can help you establish to your insurance provider and—if necessary—a civil court that your injury was bad enough to let you ignore the rule that would otherwise prevent you from filing suit.
A lawyer can likewise help you prove that one or more of these other exceptions to limited tort laws applies to your case:
- You were a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by an irresponsible driver
- The driver who caused your crash was driving drunk or high
- The driver who caused your crash did so intentionally and with the intent of hurting you
- You were driving or were a passenger inside a taxi, bus, or rental car when the crash happened
- The driver who caused your crash didn’t have valid car insurance
- The driver who caused your crash was driving a vehicle registered someplace other than Pennsylvania
Each case is unique, and the best strategy for your financial recovery may not be what would best suit someone else. No matter what, though, you can trust that a seasoned car accident lawyer will look out for your best interests and do everything possible to get you the money you need. Call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to learn more.