The short answer is “yes.” Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, so you should be able to file a claim with your own insurance policy, no matter who is at fault in an accident.
Schmidt Kramer’s car accident lawyers in Harrisburg, PA explain the options that may be available for you to pursue compensation for a black ice accident. Speak with our attorneys about your claim by requesting a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Insurance Coverage in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a no-fault car insurance state, which means accident victims can file claims with their own insurance carriers after black ice accidents. This means your insurance carrier may pay damages for valid insurance claims – you do not pursue the at-fault party.
However, Pennsylvania does allow motorists to opt out of the no-fault system upon purchase of an auto insurance policy. If you choose this option, your insurance carrier must inform you of the coverage options available. If you opt out, you will have to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and prove fault.
Filing a Claim Against the Government
Government entities are responsible for maintenance and upkeep of many Pennsylvania roads. If a black ice accident occurred due to the entity’s failure to properly maintain roadways, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the responsible government entity.
Full Tort vs. Limited Tort
Pennsylvania insurance has two options if you choose to opt out of the no-fault system: full tort vs. limited tort.
- Full tort coverage allows covered parties unlimited rights to pursue compensation for accident injuries and other damages. This means you can pursue damages for economic and non-economic losses no matter the severity of your injuries.
- Limited tort coverage limits covered parties’ ability to pursue compensation when someone else is at fault for a collision. Covered parties may pursue claims for medical bills and other losses paid out of pocket. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are only allowed if the injury qualifies as serious. Serious injuries are considered by Pennsylvania courts to be those that seriously impair a bodily function or cause permanent and significant disfigurement.
Of the two options, full tort coverage is more expensive, but it allows a greater ability to recover certain damages. Limited tort coverage is cheaper, but you may not be able to use it to pursue full compensation for your injuries if they are not considered serious enough.
Preventing a Black Ice Crash
You could reduce your risk of involvement in a black ice accident when you take the following precautions:
- Only drive when necessary to avoid poor road conditions as much as possible.
- In icy conditions, lower your speed appropriately. It is likely necessary to drive under the speed limit in these conditions – speed limits are designed for ideal road conditions and are not necessarily safe for travel when roads are icy.
- Eliminate distractions so you can focus your complete attention on the roadway and watch for potential hazards.
- Keep tires properly inflated to ensure your vehicle has good traction if you hit ice. Poorly inflated tires contribute to loss of vehicle control when roads are icy. Make sure to check tire air pressure regularly throughout the winter months and add air whenever you notice they are low.
Contact Our Lawyers Today
If you were injured in an accident caused by black ice, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation for damages you suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Request a free, no-obligation consultation with our lawyers and learn what legal options may be available in your situation. There is no obligation to hire our firm, but if you choose Schmidt Kramer to represent you, there are no upfront fees. Our contingency fee model means you only pay us if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.