A person who suffers an injury due to another person’s tortious conduct may be able to obtain financial compensation. The legal basis for obtaining financial compensation is found in the field of “tort law.” Tort law encompasses the area of personal injury claims.
What is a Tort?
A tort is a legal claim asserted by an injured person against the individual who caused their injury. A tort claim is a lawsuit for monetary damages filed by an injured victim against the person who violated a legal standard which resulted in the victim’s injuries. Generally, three types of tort claims are available under Pennsylvania Law: intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability torts.
A person may face legal liability for an intentional tort when they intentionally commit a wrongful act against a victim or their property. Intentional torts are similar to criminal statutes in that they each contain an element of intent. Due to the “evil intent” element found in claims for intentional torts, injured victims can seek punitive damages, which are designed to financially punish the opposing party.
Examples of Intentional Tort Cases
Depending on the facts of a victim’s case, there are different types of intentional tort claims available under Pennsylvania Law. Common examples of intentional torts include:
- Assault – placing a victim in fear of unconsented physical contact
- Battery – intentionally causing touching of a person without their consent
- False imprisonment – illegally restraining a person without legal justification
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – intentional or outrageous conduct which caused a victim to suffer severe emotional distress
Unlike intentional torts, torts for negligence arise in situations where a person causes a victim to suffer an injury due to an act of carelessness. To succeed on a negligence claim, Pennsylvania Law requires a victim to prove the opposing party breached a duty of care owed to the victim, which subsequently caused the victim’s injuries. A victim must prove each element of their claim by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., 51%.
Examples of Negligent Tort Cases
Legal claims for negligence arise from a variety of incidents. While many negligence claims are associated with “accidents,” the reality is negligent conduct is the cause of most accidents. Negligent tort cases usually arise from:
Strict Liability Torts
Strict liability claims are unique as they do not require a victim to prove the opposing party committed an act of negligence. Instead, a victim must only prove the act occurred. Additionally, a victim must also prove the act caused their injury.
Examples of Strict Liability Tort Cases
Generally, Pennsylvania restricts strict liability claims to product liability claims and dog bite claims. In order to win a product liability case, Pennsylvania Law requires a victim to prove the product suffered from a “defective condition.” With regards to a dog bite claim, a victim is only required to prove they were bitten by a bog, however, a victim’s monetary recovery is limited to their medical expenses.
Limited Tort vs. Full Tort
People often do not understand the importance of full tort coverage versus limited tort coverage when purchasing automobile insurance. A decision to elect limited tort coverage can have severe implications when a person is injured in an automobile collision. Specifically, the coverage a person purchases for their insurance policy can potentially affect the monetary compensation they can claim in a personal injury lawsuit.
If you were injured in a vehicle crash, the personal injury attorneys at Cousin Benny can help you navigate the legal issues surrounding limited tort and full tort insurance coverage. Contact us today!
What is a Tort?
A tort is another way of describing a legal claim. Specifically, a person who suffered a bodily injury or an injury to a protected legal interest has the right to file a legal claim against the individual who negligently or intentionally caused their injury. Stated more clearly, tort law forms the basis for most personal injury claims, e.g., car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, etc.
What is Limited Tort?
Limited tort coverage is an available option when a person purchases automobile insurance. A driver who purchases limited tort policy can still file a personal injury lawsuit due to an automobile collision. However, limited tort coverage can restrict the amount of money a person can claim in a personal injury lawsuit.
Pros and Cons of Limited Torts
The main benefit of limited tort car insurance is that it reduces automobile insurance costs. However, car accident victims who purchased limited tort car insurance are only entitled to recover economic damages, i.e., medical bills and expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc. Injured victims with limited tort coverage’ insurance policies are generally precluded from claiming non-economic damages, i.e., pain and suffering.
What is Full Tort?
Full tort insurance coverage is another option a person can choose when purchasing automobile insurance. As the name suggests, individuals with full tort insurance coverage can claim all damages they suffered due to a car accident. Specifically, injured victims can seek economic and non-economic damages when litigating a personal injury lawsuit.
Pros and Cons of Full Torts
Injured victims with full tort coverage may be able to obtain additional monetary compensation due to their ability to claim both economic and non-economic damages. This additional compensation can help injured victims rebuild their lives following a car accident. The one disadvantage of full tort coverage is that it increases automobile insurance costs.
Exceptions to Limited Tort in Pennsylvania
Depending on the facts of a collision and the injuries a victim suffered, an injured victim may still be able to seek non-economic damages even if they hold a limited tort insurance policy. According to §1705(d)(1), several exceptions to limited tort coverage are available. Specifically, an injured victim who holds limited tort insurance can claim non-economic damages if the at-fault driver:
- Is convicted of driving under the influence
- Is driving a vehicle registered in another state
- Is driving a commercial vehicle
- Is driving an uninsured vehicle
- Strikes a car in which the injured victim was a passenger
- Caused the victim to suffer a serious injury, i.e., a life-threatening injury
Work with the Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Cousin Benny
If you were injured in an automobile collision, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to navigate the legal issues surrounding limited tort and full tort insurance coverage. The attorneys at Cousin Benny can help you navigate this complex process and help you obtain the financial compensation your injuries merit. To learn more about our service, contact us today!
Benefits of the Tort Law System
The tort law system allows private prosecutions against individuals who injure innocent victims. Additionally, the tort law system is primarily intended to ensure injured victims are compensated, as opposed to the criminal law system, which is designed to punish wrongdoers. Stated more clearly, the tort law system provides injured victims financial compensation for their injuries.
Types of Compensation that Can Be Awarded
Tort law allows a victim to obtain compensation for their financial losses, e.g., medical expenses, lost wages, etc., by claiming economic damages. Additionally, a victim can obtain financial compensation for their pain and suffering by claiming non-economic damages. Finally, a victim can make a claim for punitive damages if the opposing party acted recklessly or maliciously, i.e., with an evil intent.
Consult the Personal Injury Lawyers at Cousin Benny Today
Experienced legal representation is required in order to successfully assert a tort claim. The personal injury attorneys at Cousin Benny have obtained millions of dollars in financial compensation on behalf of their injured clients. To learn more about the representation we can provide, contact us today!