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Is Limited Tort right for me?

What exactly is Limited Tort? Its an option on your automobile insurance policy that essentially waives your right to recover for pain and suffering if you are injured in an accident.

Itís that dreaded time of year again, time to renew your automobile insurance policy. For some time now, you have been considering going with a different company to see if you can save any money. At the appointment with your new agent, he asks, "Would you like to select Limited Tort? It will save you on your premium." For the shortsighted person, the inquiry ends there and the answer is YES! Anything to save money. For the respected thinkers amount us, though, the inquiry should go much further. What exactly is Limited Tort? Its an option on your automobile insurance policy that essentially waives your right to recover for pain and suffering if you are injured in an accident. In return for this, you save a few dollars on your insurance premium. The savings varies case by case, and depends upon your age, location and number of drivers in your home, among other things. My wife and I are the only drivers in our home, and we are in our mid 30's. Our savings for a six month policy would have been $17. Others that I know have been offered more substantial savings, up to a few hundred dollars per year. The question for you is whether the savings is worth it. In my case, $17 clearly is not. Being an attorney and dealing with Limited Tort cases on a day to day basis, there is probably no amount that would be worth it to me.

You have to realize exactly what you are giving up if you choose Limited Tort. You are giving up your right to sue for pain and suffering that may occur in an auto accident that was not your fault. Picture yourself sitting at a red light, waiting for the signal to turn green. An unattentive driver strikes you from behind, forcing you into the steering wheel. You suffer a broken nose, broken ribs, headache, whiplash and back pain. You go to physical therapy for two months. Nothing seems to relieve the back pain, you may endure this for some time. Now imagine that you have selected Limited Tort on your auto insurance policy. You and the family members in your vehicle will not be able to recover for pain and suffering for any of those injuries just described.

There are exceptions to the Limited Tort rule and they vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania, where I practice law, the threshold for overcoming the Limited Tort election is if the injury suffered is classified as a severe disfigurement, a serious impairment of bodily function or death. This means that if you suffer an injury as stated in the previous sentence, you will be able to pursue a pain and suffering claim even if you have chosen the Limited Tort election.

Careful consideration is required before choosing the Limited Tort option. From a legal standpoint, it is never a good idea. At the very leastScience Articles, you should be aware of what you are giving up if you make the Limited Tort election.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Greg Artim is an Attorney based in Pittsburgh PA. For more information regarding this or other legal issues, please visit his website at www.gregartim.com



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