Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
An overwhelming majority of states in the United States are “fault” states when it comes to car accidents. In fault states, the party that is found to be at fault for a car accident is responsible for paying for all of the damages that stem from a car accident.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state for car accidents, which means things here work a little differently. The auto accident attorneys at Foley Law Firm help their Scranton, PA, clients understand how no-fault laws impact accident liability, and what it means in regards to collecting compensation for accident damages.
What Does No-Fault Mean?
In a no-fault state, it doesn’t matter who is at fault for causing an auto accident. Despite liability, each party involved in a car accident collects compensation from their own insurance policy. Insurance coverage will provide compensation for losses such as property damage, medical bills, and lost wages.
Understanding PA’s Choice No Fault Laws
Pennsylvania is slightly different than other no-fault states because it is a choice no fault state. It is important that those in the Scranton area understand exactly what this means. When drivers sign up for insurance in the state, they will select either limited tort or full tort coverage.
If a driver selects limited tort coverage for their auto insurance, it means they are selecting to abide by no-fault laws. Limited tort coverage is less expensive than full tort coverage, and tends to have lower premiums. However, limited tort coverage also provides drivers with limited options in the event of an accident. Under no-fault laws, the driver will collect damages from their own insurer and are not compensated for non-financial losses.
If a driver selects full tort insurance coverage, they are essentially opting out of the no-fault system. Premiums for full tort insurance are usually higher, but if a driver is involved in an accident that is not their fault, they have more options. Drivers with full tort insurance can go after the liable party’s insurance company for compensation for losses such as property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.
Can I Sue for Accident Damages in a No-Fault State?
Generally speaking, drivers in no-fault states cannot sue for compensation for accident damages. However, Pennsylvania’s choice no-fault laws do provide drivers with full tort insurance the opportunity to sue for accident damages.
In very specific circumstances, drivers with limited tort insurance may also sue for compensation. A lawsuit can be filed if an injury is considered “serious,” which typically means that the injury results in some type of disability or disfigurement. Accident victims in the Scranton area who are unsure of their rights regarding a lawsuit can learn more from our car accident attorneys.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have been involved in a car accident and would like to know how Pennsylvania’s no-fault laws affect your right to financial compensation for damages, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. To discuss the details of your case with the legal team at Foley Law Firm, call (570) 342-8194 and schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.