Meadville Tribune

Letter of the Law

March 10, 2006

The Importance Of Choosing Full TORT Coverage

Under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsible Law, a person purchasing automobile insurance has the right to choose between “full tort” and “limited tort”. Simply stated, full tort coverage provides you the unlimited right to make a claim for pain and suffering in the event that you are injured as the result of the carelessness of another driver. This does not mean that you are required to make a claim in every case, however it gives you the choice to make that decision.



Limited tort coverage, on the other hand, limits your right and the right of your family members to make a claim for pain and suffering, unless you or they have sustained “a serious injury”. “Serious injury” is defined in the statute as, “a personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement.” The problem arises, however, because the terms, “serious impairment of body function” and “permanent serious disfigurement” are not defined, and in many cases, neither insurance adjusters, attorneys, nor courts know whether a particular injury will be found to constitute a “serious injury” which would permit a person choosing limited tort from making a claim for pain and suffering.



While everyone would agree that a bruised leg or a sprained finger would not constitute a serious injury, what about a neck injury requiring eleven (11) months of doctor visits, physical therapy, and injections? What about a shoulder injury requiring arthroscopic surgery, or a fractured arm placed in a cast for eight (8) weeks?



Imagine the surprise and outrage on the part of parents whose own insurance company advised them after the accident that their minor’s child’s injuries, consisting of two skull fractures, blood clot to the brain, a fractured jaw (resulting in two surgeries), and a fractured leg (resulting in two surgeries) did not constitute a “serious injury”, as the result of which the insurance company initially denied the claim. This actually happened.

Text Only
Letter of the Law
  • Jail Report



    Click page to view

    April 10, 2013

  • Using Caution In Lending Motorized Possessions To Others Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania

    April 28, 2006

  • The Importance of Gathering Evidence at the scene of an Accident Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania

    March 27, 2006

  • Straight Talk on Living Trusts Ross C. Prather is a partner in the Law Firm of Prather, Prather and Higgins, LLP and concentrates his practice in Estate Planning and Administration, and Criminal and Civil Litigation. He received a B.A. from the College of Wooster, a J.D. from Drake University, and an M.A.T. from Brown University. He is the former Chief Public Defender of Crawford County, and is currently the Vice President of the Crawford Central School Board.

    March 20, 2006

  • Contracting To Build Your Own Home John Swick

    Allegheny College,BA 1986

    Duquesne University, MBA 1993

    Duquesne University, JD 1994

    March 13, 2006

  • The Importance Of Choosing Full TORT Coverage Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania



    March 10, 2006

  • Family Law Mediation and Arbitration The Pennsylvania State University, 1968

    Duquesne University School of Law, 1977

    Member – Crawford County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Association

    January 20, 2006

  • Alan L. Pepicelli PROPERTY OWNER'S LIABILITY FOR ICE AND SNOW ON SIDEWALKS Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania

    January 20, 2006 1 Photo

Business Marquee
AP Video
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks