Since 1990 Pennsylvania law allows you to choose tort options. Full tort does not limit your right to sue. Under limited tort you are giving up the right to sue for non-economic damages most commonly known as “pain and suffering” except in the cases of serious injury. The law defines serious injury as death, serious impairment of bodily function or permanent serious disfigurement. If your injury is determined to be serious you will keep your right to sue for non-economic damages even if you have elected limited tort. This selection will be effective whether you are going after the responsible driver’s insurance company or if you are filing the claim with your own insurance under an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. There is also an exception that allows for non-economic damages if the responsible driver is convicted of or accepts ARD for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or if the responsible driver’s vehicle is registered in another state. Several years ago the differential for tort options was changed. Depending on the coverages you select, the additional cost for the full tort option will range from 20-40%.
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