The laws on car accidents and auto insurance in Pennsylvania are extremely complex. When purchasing insurance, a person may choose to carry full or limited tort insurance. If they choose limited tort, which many do because it’s more affordable, they cannot recover pain and suffering. However, there is an exception to this law. That is when an accident victim has sustained a serious impairment of a bodily function.
Many drivers aren’t aware of the limited tort threshold.
The Limited Tort Threshold in Pennsylvania
When a person is negligent and causes an accident, those injured can file a lawsuit against them if they have sustained a catastrophic injury. The Pennsylvania statute on the limited tort threshold unfortunately, is quite vague. Some of the injuries that qualify for a serious impairment of a bodily function include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Broken bones
- Burns and scars
- Herniated/protruding discs
While some of these injuries, such as paralysis, are clearly serious injuries, others are not. A bulging disc, for example, is not always considered a serious injury. It’s important accident victims speak to an attorney that can help them prove their injury to get the compensation they need.
Proving a Serious Impairment of a Bodily Function
To claim compensation for an impairment of a bodily function, accident victims need more than just their own testimony. The courts and insurance companies of the negligent parties are hesitant to pay out on accident claims. As such, accident victims need substantial proof of their injuries.
Typically, this evidence comes in the form of expert testimony from those in the medical and rehabilitative fields. These experts are very helpful in proving certain aspects of the case. For example, a medical expert can testify that an accident victim’s pain is great enough to prevent them from performing normal daily activities. This is difficult to quantify with medical reports, but the courts take expert testimony very seriously.
Of course, medical reports and diagnostic test results are also crucial pieces of evidence when proving an impairment of a bodily function. An attorney can collect this evidence easily by reaching out to their network of expert witnesses and communicating with physician’s offices.
Were You in an Accident? Call a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer
If you were in an accident and are now suffering from serious injuries, call our Allentown auto accident lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin. We are passionate about helping accident victims claim the compensation they are due, and we want to help you, too. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or reach out to us online so we can begin reviewing your case.