Full Tort or Limited Tort – An Important Choice

Auto Insurance Full or Limited TortThe choice between selecting the full tort option on an automotive insurance policy versus limited tort is a significant decision but one that generally is not given the thought necessary to make an informed decision.  It is more often the case that an insured individual selects limited tort because it’s cheaper.  With everything being increasingly more expensive, many people use their tort selection as a means to save hundreds of dollars per year.  However, selecting the cheaper annual alternative may be much more costly in the long run.

What is full tort and why should I select it on my insurance policy?  Full tort permits an insured involved in an automobile accident to make a claim for pain and suffering damages.  Pain and suffering damages are those damages that are unique to each individual based upon how a given accident and resultant injuries affect that person’s daily activities, life in general and discomfort.  For many injured people, pain and suffering can be a significant portion of compensable damages.

Limited tort precludes the recovery of pain and suffering damages, limiting an injured individual to actual damages, such as medical bills actually incurred and lost wages suffered.  There are a few exceptions that permit recovery of pain and suffering that will be saved for the next blog entry; however, those exceptions are very limited. For any given accident, the monetary recovery for an individual that made the full tort election will likely far outweigh any savings from making the limited tort election.  It is always our advice to select the full tort option when purchasing your insurance policy.  Oftentimes we do not have the ability to provide insurance advice until after an accident, but we hope those reading will take a look at their policy and coverage available.

For many limited tort electors, it can be difficult at times to even obtain the assistance of an attorney based upon the contingent fee arrangement that personal injury attorneys utilize.  That can lead to difficulty even obtaining those damages that you would otherwise still be eligible to receive.  Regardless of your coverage at the time of an accident, please give us a call at 412-664-4433, as we would be glad to provide you with a free consultation and review of your options.

About Jeffrey Ries, Esquire

Jeffrey D. Ries, Esquire focuses his practice in the areas of municipal law and zoning, personal injury, criminal law, family law, civil litigation and bankruptcy. A native of the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Attorney Ries earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (cum laude) and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Ries is admitted to the highest court in the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, as well as to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He maintains membership in the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and serves as Vice President of the Steel Valley Rotary.