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What Does it Mean to be a “No-Fault” State?

personal injury lawyer erie paThe state of Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. This means that if you are involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault, you will turn to your insurance provider to cover your costs.

What is No-Fault Insurance?

No-fault insurance, also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP), covers the driver’s costs, regardless of who is responsible for an accident.
No-fault insurance covers costs like:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Household or temporary childcare
  • Funeral expenses

No-fault insurance not only covers you in the event of a car accident, but it can also cover your damages if you are involved in a bicycle or pedestrian accident. Because Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, this means that all drivers must have a minimum insurance policy of at least no-fault coverage. Some drivers may choose to have additional coverage, which protects and covers more expenses in the event of an accident.

Understanding Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Laws

Pennsylvania has two types of no-fault insurance policies, limited tort and full tort. Limited tort policies do not allow drivers to sue for compensation beyond their limits. Full tort will allow drivers to opt-out of the no-fault requirements. This means that they still have a legal right to seek compensation from the responsible party for costs that exceed their policy limit.

It is important to consider your needs before choosing an insurance provider. You should also know what type of tort policy you have. In most cases, a cheaper no-fault policy is a limited tort. While limiting your policy can save you monthly with a reduced insurance premium, it could limit your legal options available if you are involved in a car accident.

Costs Not Covered With No-Fault Insurance

This leaves many to wonder what costs are not included with no-fault auto insurance. No-fault insurance does not cover:

  • Property damage to your own vehicle
  • Property damage to the other vehicle
  • Theft of your vehicle
  • Medical costs are limited

While no-fault insurance does cover medical costs related to the accident, there are limitations to this compensation. It is not uncommon for a severe car accident to lead to expensive medical costs that exceed these limits. Additionally, if other costs are involved, like extended time off work or other accident-related costs, the injured individual may not receive sufficient coverage.

It is also important to ensure that your no-fault policy meets Pennsylvania’s minimum insurance requirements. Currently, Pennsylvania requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $30,000 of total coverage. There are also property damage limits.

What to Do If Your Injuries Exceed Your No-Fault Limits

If your damages exceed the compensation amount available through your no-fault policy, then you may need to discuss your case with a lawyer. A lawyer can help you determine who was at-fault for the accident. If another driver is to blame, then you may be able to seek compensation through a third-party personal injury claim.

Contact a Millcreek Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. represent clients injured because of a car accident in Erie, Millcreek, Harborcreek, Fairview, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (814) 833-7100 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2525 W 26th St., Erie, PA 16506, as well as offices in Meadville and North East, PA.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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Mr. George and his entire office staff were very kind and helping me through my first ever experience with the law. He was able to get me exactly what he said he would in the outcome of my trial. The entire staff was very informative and kept me up to date on everything. Very pleased with my experience and would most definately recommend him to others.

Allison, July 8, 2017