Can You Recover for a Back or Neck Injury?
Limited Tort Law in PA
Limited tort law is one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of auto accident law in Pennsylvania. Residents who have selected limited tort on their auto insurance policies are often shocked to learn that financial compensation after an auto accident may be lowered because of limited tort. A limited tort car insurance policy works much like a lower coverage policy, whereas a full tort policy works like a higher coverage policy. You get more if you have full tort, but because full tort often costs much more than limited tort, many Pennsylvania residents choose limited tort on their policies.
Limited tort works like a barrier or hurdle in auto accident lawsuits. If you’re injured in an auto accident caused by another party and you have limited tort on your auto policy, your ability to receive financial compensation is limited. While you can receive compensation for financial losses like medical bills, lost wages, etc., you are not allowed to obtain compensation for pain and suffering from the other party unless your circumstances fall into certain categories or exceptions. One of those exceptions is the often litigated serious injury exception. Learn more about PA limited tort law.
Auto Accident Related Back & Neck Injuries – Do They Qualify as Serious Injuries?
Back and neck injuries are the most common types of injuries in auto accidents, whether it’s a high-speed car accident or a low-impact truck accident. Under Pennsylvania law, spinal injuries like back or neck injuries can be considered serious injuries, thus allowing the injured party to receive financial compensation for pain and suffering. The key is proving a “serious impairment of a body function.” Here’s a lawsuit hypothetical which explains how back and neck injuries may be deemed serious enough under Pennsylvania’s limited tort law.
Rear-End Auto Accident
Driver A is in Philadelphia and stopped at a red light waiting for the light to turn green. Driver B is approaching from behind and fails to notice the red light ahead. Driver B slams into Driver A. The impact causes Driver A’s body to lurch forward and backward, despite wearing a seat belt. Driver A sustains serious neck and back injuries. The medical treatment course includes diagnostic imaging which reveals several herniations in the neck and back, oral medication, chiropractic treatment, orthopedic treatment and spinal steroid injections. By the time trial rolls around, Driver A’s orthopedic doctor has recommended surgery.
Here, the neck and back injuries would likely be deemed to be serious enough under the limited tort law. The medical treatment is quite significant. However, the key is showing how the injuries affected the individual’s work life and personal life.
Philadelphia Auto Accident Law Firm – Limited Tort Lawsuits
Our firm handles auto accident lawsuits in Pennsylvania. For more info, please contact our auto injury lawyers for a free consultation. (866) 641-0806
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.