Often clients seek advice after they’ve been struck by another driver in a motor vehicle accident, and suffered injuries. They have a lot of questions and specifically they want to know whether they may pursue a lawsuit for injuries sustained, pain and suffering, and damages. In most cases we are able to assist clients with success in their cases, particularly when they are not at fault for the accident. However in some cases we are not able to help. This is because in these cases clients unfortunately have selected what is called “limited tort” motor vehicle insurance which restricts their ability to recover damages when they’re not at fault. Not realizing the impact of their decision to save money, after an accident, their decision is met with regret.
By selecting the limited tort option on their motor vehicle insurance, they’re not able to recover damages for pain and suffering, and other non-monetary damages unless the injuries suffered from the accident are considered a “serious injury” by law. The problem lies in the difference between what most people consider “serious” and the law considers “serious”.
For example: There are cases where people have suffered broken bones, missed work, and have suffered through pain and inconvenience from anywhere for several months and even up to a year through no fault of their own, but have not been able to recover any compensation because the law would not permit it based on their tort selection. The term “serious injury” has been defined under the law and requires “a significant impairment of a bodily function”, usually a permanent injury or “permanent scarring”. There are some exceptions.
Make sure you are covered and don’t end up left for dessert! Call you lawyer or insurance agent. Get the information needed to make the best decision for you. If you have any questions about this issue, please feel free to contact our law firm at