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How Does No-Fault Work in Pennsylvania?

Rapa Law Office, P.C. Aug. 26, 2021

When it comes to auto accidents, states are either tort states or no-fault states. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state.

However, according to WalletHub, Pennsylvania is also a choice no-fault state, which makes the whole concept of fault more complex.

Basic No-Fault Rules

In general, the state requires everyone to pay for their own medical costs after an accident under the no-fault rules. Property damage still follows the tort law, meaning you will sue for damages and the at-fault party will pay for them.

You should keep in mind that no-fault does not mean fault does not matter. The state does allow for you to collect damages according to the percentage of fault. You must be under 51% at fault to file a lawsuit. You will receive damages according to your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 40% at fault, then you can receive 60% of damages.

Choice No-Fault Rules

Choice no-fault rules allow you to opt-out of the no-fault system. This means you would operate as if you were in a tort state where you have the right to sue for medical and property damages. You can either choose a full tort policy or a limited tort policy, which allows you only to sue for medical damages when you suffer a serious injury or death.

Keep in mind that regardless of what insurance you have and whether you choose fault or no-fault, the state sets a time limit for filing any type of lawsuit related to the accident. You have two years from the date of the crash to file anything in court. After that time, you will not be able to seek remedies through the court.