By definition, at-fault states are states that require drivers who cause car accidents to compensate the other parties involved for their damages and injuries. If you have been in a car accident, you may be wondering who will pay for all the damages and injuries incurred. This will depend on what state you are in.
What is the difference between at-fault and no-fault?
At-fault states hold the driver responsible for the accident liable for paying damages to those injured in the accident. At-fault states allow you to file suit against the other driver for all types of damages, including pain and suffering. The downside is that you may not recover any damages after an accident and the other party may file suit against you.
No-fault states, on the other hand, allow each party in the accident to contact their own insurers to cover their medical bills and lost wages, even if they were at fault for the accident. This guarantees that you will get at least some of your expenses paid for after a car accident and that the other driver will not sue. In no-fault states, you cannot file suit against the other driver for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, unless you meet certain criteria, such as suffering serious injuries.
Most states are either at-fault or no-fault states. Pennsylvania, however, falls into a third category known as “choice no-fault.”
What is a choice no-fault state?
Since Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state, drivers must choose between full tort and limited tort car insurance. Drivers who choose full tort insurance are deciding to opt out of the no-fault system and can bring a claim for any injuries they suffer in a crash. Drivers who choose limited tort insurance will pay lower premiums but will not be able to file suit after an accident.
If you chose limited tort insurance and were in a car accident, you will have to file a claim with your insurance provider to cover medical bills and lost wages. However, you will not be able to recover non-economic damages, even if you are not at fault, unless your injuries are serious enough to file suit. In general, serious injuries include a severe impairment of a body function, body disfigurement, or permanent disability.
It is also important to note that, as a financial responsibility insurance state, Pennsylvania drivers must carry a policy that provides $15,000 in liability coverage to compensate for the injuries of one person in an accident. The policy must also provide $30,000 in liability coverage for two or more persons injured in an accident, as well as $5,000 in property damage and $5,000 in medical benefits coverage.
How can I get help filing a claim?
It can be difficult to make sense of all the complex terms and conditions of your insurance policy. On top of that, your insurer will do everything they can to avoid paying you the damages you deserve.
The attorneys at Berger and Green have a thorough understanding of Pennsylvania insurance laws and know exactly how to deal with insurance companies. Our attorneys can help you through the post-accident process and make sure your insurer pays you a fair amount for what you went through. If your policy is not enough to cover your damages and you suffered serious injuries, our attorneys will help you file suit against the other driver. For more information on filing your insurance claim or filing suit after an accident, contact us today at 412-661-1400.