Tort insurance exists in at-fault states when the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying the medical bills and repair bills for other involved parties, most often in the form of liability insurance. Full tort and limited tort differ in that limited tort doesn’t allow you to sue another driver for pain and suffering after an accident.
With full tort, you can sue an at-fault driver for pain and suffering, such as traumatic injuries that have lasting effects for years. Read on to learn more about full vs. limited tort, as it’s vital to carry the best car insurance on your vehicle to protect your assets after an accident.
Difference Between Full Tort and Limited Tort
Tort insurance systems focus on the at-fault driver's liability in paying for the injured parties and damages. Full tort allows more protection after an accident, whereas limited tort gives limited protection. We’ve outlined what each type of tort insurance covers below.
Full Tort Explained
Full tort coverage is more expensive than limited tort coverage, but full tort insurance better covers drivers in case of an accident. If another driver caused the accident and you carry full tort insurance, you have more compensation options for any lingering medical issues.
You have these options because full tort coverage allows you to sue for a greater range of pain and suffering incidents after an accident. For example, a driver can sue for compensation if the driver has proof of the following:
- Emotional pain, such as grief
- Stress/anxiety, such as PTSD
- Physical pain, such as an injury that caused lasting damage
For example, if you have a slipped disk from a car accident that prevents you from doing your job for months, you can sue the other driver. Of course, if you caused the accident, you won’t be able to sue the other driver for pain and suffering. Tort insurance only applies if you weren’t at fault in the accident.
Limited Tort Explained
Limited tort insurance coverage usually comes with lower premiums than full tort, but it means you can’t sue an at-fault driver for pain and suffering. Sometimes, there are exceptions, like if you suffer a loss of limb or injury that doesn’t allow you to work anymore.
However, you forfeit your right to sue after a car accident for less serious injuries. For example, if you have bad whiplash and take a week off of work, you won’t be able to sue the other driver for further damages.
Some states don’t offer limited tort coverage and require drivers carry full tort instead. Since tort insurance covers the injuries of drivers determined to be not at fault, having all drivers carry full tort coverage better protects drivers.
Should I choose full or limited tort?
The limited tort policy may save you money in the short term, but it's always better to carry full tort. If you have minor injuries, anxiety, or stress after a crash caused by another driver, you won’t be able to receive compensation with a limited tort policy. So even if you had to take three months off of work from a back injury, limited tort wouldn’t allow you to sue.
While most drivers want to know how to get cheap car insurance, it’s important to consider the long-term consequences. The money you lose from medical treatments or lost work from long-term minor injuries will likely cost you much more than you paid for the higher premium for full tort car insurance.
If you’re reluctant to buy full tort insurance coverage because of the higher price tag, there are a few ways to save on full tort car insurance. One of the best ways to save is to shop around and compare quotes at different car insurance providers in your area. You can also save by taking advantage of insurance discounts and being a safe driver.
The Bottom Line on Full Tort vs. Limited Tort
Full tort offers you the opportunity to sue for a broader range of injuries after a car accident, which ensures you get fairly compensated for any loss of work or ongoing pain and suffering. Limited tort, while cheaper, waives a driver’s right to sue except in extreme cases of pain and suffering.
If you want cheaper car insurance rates for full coverage, your best option is to shop at different car insurance providers to get insurance quotes.
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