Understanding the Fundamentals of Tort Insurance

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Tort insurance is auto insurance designed to limit the number of auto accident lawsuits, specifically regarding “pain and suffering” and “loss” claims. Tort insurance pays medical bills for an auto accident, regardless of fault, but can limit the right of one party to file lawsuits over pain and suffering.

Limited tort limits the ability of one party to sue for damages that are not economical, that is, claims that do not impact the finances of the injured party. Pain and suffering claims fall into this category, since it refers to physical and emotional stress that occurs over an injury. This is called a “non-economical” claim. Limited tort insurance means that lawsuits may only be filed over injuries which cause, for instance, medical bills not covered by the insurance, loss of wages, or loss of earning capacity. Pain and suffering that result from an injury may be disallowed, even if the injuries are lifelong. Limited tort insurance does not limit the ability of certain pain and suffering claims, which are as follows:

  • Motorcyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Passengers on transit vehicles or commercial vehicles
  • Accidents where the negligent party is convicted of drunk driving
  • Accidents where the driver was operating a vehicle from out of state
  • Injuries are deemed “serious,” i.e., death or permanent injury or disfigurement.

Full tort insurance, on the other hand, allows any non-negligent party to sue the negligent motorist for painTort Insurance and suffering claims. This offers an advantage to those who may be injured by another driver, but the premiums are always higher. The premiums for full tort insurance can be anywhere from 15% and higher, depending on the carrier.

An example may illustrate the difference between full tort insurance and limited tort insurance. If a car accident between two non-exempt drivers causes physical injuries to both drivers and their families, limited tort insurance would limit the ability of one party to sue the other. Even if the injured driver and that person’s family receive several lifelong injuries and surgeries which do not impact their finances, they would not be allowed to sue for the emotional and physical damages.

Simply put, full tort insurance allows full rights to sue, and limited tort insurance limits those rights. The decision can impact a driver’s finances either way. Information about all types of insurance is available on the site for Texas auto insurance at worldclimate.com.

“Hayley Granton is a freelance blogger and former auto insurance agent. Away from the office she enjoys spending time with her two young daughters and husband.”

Please Note: Articles posted by guest writers are monitored but in no way do they reflect the opinion nor is this publication affiliated in any way with the subject or promotion of a subject. Any advice or information written about should be consulted with your insurance agent or industry professional.


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