How auto accident fault works in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2020 | Personal injury

When you suffer an injury in an auto accident, you may be eligible for legal compensation if another driver caused the collision. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state for auto accident liability, which means that your insurance company will cover medical bills and other costs regardless of fault unless you have opted out of no-fault coverage. However, if your costs exceed the threshold for coverage, you may be able to sue the other driver or pursue compensation from his or her insurance company. 

Learn about considerations when pursuing a personal injury claim for a Pennsylvania auto accident. 

Limited vs. full tort coverage 

Limited tort auto insurance costs less but limits your right to sue the other driver for an accident for which he or she is at fault. The only exception under this type of policy is for serious loss of bodily function or disfigurement. If you have full tort coverage, you can recover all your losses resulting from the accident, including damages for pain and suffering. 

Modified comparative negligence 

The state uses the modified comparative negligence standard when determining a fair distribution of costs associated with an accident. The jury in your case will review the evidence to come up with a damage amount that covers your injuries and lost wages as well as determine who caused the accident. If the jury finds you less than 50% at fault for the accident, they will reduce your damages by the fault percentage. For example, if you have 30% of fault in the accident and your eligible costs were $50,000, you will receive $35,000. You will not receive damages if you have more than 50% responsibility. 

Keep in mind that if you do file a lawsuit because of an insufficient insurance settlement, you only have two years from the date of the accident to do so. You may want to pursue legal damages promptly to avoid losing your opportunity.