Allegheny County Woman Dies in Car Accident
October 18, 2017
A 63-year-old Allegheny County woman died as a result of an Elizabeth Township car accident on Route 48. She was taken to UPMC McKeesport and pronounced dead. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 1,188 people died in traffic fatalities last year. PennDOT says the number of annual traffic fatalities is falling in Pennsylvania.
This tragic accident prompts us to discuss the importance of car insurance in a greater Pittsburgh area car accident. If you’re involved in a traffic accident, you may feel disheartened because the accident wasn’t your fault.
Let’s say you’re involved in a car accident. The other driver admits it’s his fault and the police report reflects this information. You’ll probably assume that the other driver’s insurance carrier will pay for your car repairs, medical bills if you were injured, and so on. You’ll probably also imagine that your insurance policy won’t be affected by the accident.
The answer is, yes. An at-fault driver’s policy must pay for your car repairs and injuries and your insurance policy won’t be affected if you weren’t at-fault for the accident. Unfortunately, your ability to recover damages for pain and suffering from a serious accident depends upon whether you purchased Full Tort or Limited Tort insurance coverage:
- Full Tort coverage involves higher premiums because you’re able to recover any economic damages, lost income and wages if you can’t work, and pain and suffering if you’re temporarily or permanently disabled. This is very important because pain and suffering often represent a significant portion of a monetary award made to an injured driver in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Limited Tort coverage may seem like a good idea for those on a budget. It will cover the costs of repairing your car, or any property and casualty damages, plus lost income and wages if you’re injured. It won’t cover pain and suffering.
That’s why, before you’re involved in any kind of accident, you should choose Full Tort coverage.
Pennsylvania public policy is the reason that both options exist:
- The state of Pennsylvania wants licensed drivers to buy car insurance. It’s an essential financial tool to protect all drivers on the road. However, car insurance premiums may be too expensive for some budgets. That’s why Limited Tort coverage exists.
- A decision to purchase Limited Tort coverage may look pennywise and pound foolish in hindsight. If you’re injured because of someone else’s negligence in a Pennsylvania car accident, you could suffer pain and suffering for the remainder of your life unless you elect an exception:
- “Serious Impairment of Bodily Function, Aliens, and Drunk Drivers” (Limited Tort Exceptions) may help you to recover pain and suffering damages due to an at-fault driver’s negligence. If your injuries are significant—and they affect your day-to-day function, or you can probably qualify for the exception. If you’re injured by an at-fault driver from out of state, or if you’re injured by a drunk or drug-influenced driver, you will likely qualify under the exceptions.
Is Limited Tort coverage worth it? An auto accident can change the rest of your life. It can change your family’s economic reality. Don’t sign away your right to pursue a negligent driver for full damages.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed because of another driver’s negligence, or if you have questions about the impact of Pennsylvania auto insurance on a personal injury claim, contact Quinn Logue LLC in Pittsburgh at 412.765.3800 in confidence.
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.