Pennsylvania’s No-Fault State Definition
A no-fault state refers to a state with no-fault auto insurance. These states typically require motorists to carry a no-fault insurance policy—known as a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy—that will cover them in the event of a car accident. Usually, drivers who were in a crash must turn to this policy to pay for their medical care and lost wages, because these laws limit their tort options. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state.
Why Do Some States Have No-Fault Auto Insurance?
States that adopt no-fault auto insurance laws hope to reduce the number of litigated claims and make it easier for motorists to recover the compensatory damages they need after a crash. In general, injured motorists can turn to their own insurance company for a payout after a crash, no matter who caused the wreck. This makes it easier to recover cash quickly after a relatively minor accident.
The limits on most PIP policies are low, however. If you suffer more serious injuries or financial damages, you may need to consider another option to collect the full value of your accident-related losses.
Are There Exceptions to the No-Fault Tort Limits?
All no-fault states have a “serious injury” threshold. They base these thresholds on either the severity and type of injuries you suffered or the cost to treat your injuries. If you meet the applicable threshold in your state, we can circumvent the no-fault laws and file a third-party liability claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If necessary, we can also pursue a civil lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance Laws
In Pennsylvania, the auto insurance laws are sometimes called “choice no-fault.” These laws are somewhat unique, allowing motorists to choose whether to pursue a claim with their own insurer or the insurance company of the liable party after a crash.
Everyone in Pennsylvania must carry a certain level of coverage. This includes:
- PIP coverage—also called Medical Benefits coverage—which must include at least $5,000 to pay for your medical bills in a crash;
- Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage, which must provide $15,000 per individual and $30,000 per accident of coverage for others in an accident you cause; and
- Property Damage Liability (PDL), which needs to cover at least $5,000 in damages to another driver’s vehicle in an accident you cause.
You have two options if you are in accident in Pennsylvania, regardless of if you opted for full tort or limited tort insurance. You can file a claim based on your PIP policy or you can file a claim based on the at-fault driver’s policy. However, you cannot collect pain and suffering from the at-fault driver unless you either opted for full tort or meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold.
The Car Accident Lawyers at Berger and Green Can Help You After a Crash.
At Berger and Green, we can help you recover the full value of compensation you deserve if a negligent driver caused your Pennsylvania car accident injuries. Call our office today at 412-661-1400 for a complimentary consultation with one of our car collision lawyers.