What is Serious Impairment for Limited Tort?
If you are in a car accident and have selected limited tort insurance, you must have suffered a serious impairment to get compensation for non-economic damages. Fortunately, most car accidents do not cause a serious injury. Unfortunately, this means if you have selected limited tort, you will have issues getting financial compensation for anything but economic damages.
Economic v. Non-Economic
An economic damage is one which directly impacts your pocket-book. Most often, this includes medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are less tangible items. They include pain and suffering or loss of life’s enjoyments. If you get hurt in a car accident, a lot of harm often involves this kind of pain. But with limited tort, unless you meet the serious impairment threshold, you will never recover for these kinds of damages.
What is a Serious Impairment?
The serious impairment standard in Pennsylvania requires serious impairment of a significant bodily function, permanent serious disfigurement or death. A serious impairment is also called a serious injury. Proving that you have an injury rising to the appropriate level requires that you meet two basic requirements:
- You must be able to show a specific and significant bodily function has been impaired
- You must be able to show that the impairment of that function is serious
In other words, you must prove how the injury affects a particular part of your body that is important to your ability to function. Some of the factors to examine in determining how serious the impairment is, include:
- Extent of impairment
- Bodily function impaired
- Length of time impairment lasted (doesn’t have to be permanent)
- Treatment required to correct the impairment
- Other factors related to your unique situation
In the end, your lawyer has to be able to show the insurance company or a jury, that you have suffered a serious injury. As a result, it is important that you work with a law firm that understands the standards, the law and how they apply to your unique case.
If you have limited tort insurance and need help proving that you suffered a serious impairment, contact the car accident attorneys of Lowenthal & Abrams. We are here to help.