"Limited tort" coverage is just that—limited—and it means that the insured and their family members covered under the policy cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering in many cases. This sacrifice in full protection not only affects accidents within one’s own car but also affects any person who is injured as a passenger in someone else’s car.
There are some exceptions when individuals who select "limited tort" are still able to receive compensation for pain and suffering. Shick details these limited and very specific circumstances: "Limited tort will cover those who sustain a serious impairment of a bodily function, significant disfigurement or death. Individuals are also deemed to have ‘full tort’ coverage if they are a passenger in a commercial vehicle or if the other party is from out of state or is convicted of a DUI."
For these reasons and more, selecting a policy with "limited tort" coverage should not be considered. Shick adds, "By choosing ‘limited tort,’ an insured driver is giving away their rights and their family members’ rights before the accident even happens. The few dollars saved in the premium is not worth it if one of your children is hurt in an accident."
Choosing "full tort" is just one consideration in buying car insurance. "Individuals can be hurt in a motor vehicle accident by a negligent driver through no fault of their own," Shick explains. "If the other driver is underinsured or uninsured, the injured individual must turn to their insurance carrier for compensation."
Shick recommends that individuals protect themselves and their families by purchasing underinsured and uninsured motorist benefits as part of their policy. By doing so, people are protecting themselves—and not just protecting themselves from the "other guy." When the "other guy" doesn’t have adequate coverage, the injured party can make a claim for compensation under those provisions of the policy for which they are paying premiums. In these challenging economic times, it is not unusual to find that the other party has not purchased adequate coverage.
If in a motor vehicle accident, individuals should seek assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney—one who is able to review the accident facts and has a deep understanding of the available insurance benefits.
If you or a loved one has been hurt through no fault of your own, contact us for a free consultation at 800-560-3388. Or email us at [email protected].