No Fees Unless We WIn! | 140 Broadway, 46th Floor, PMB 300 New York, NY 10005

car accident attorney nyc

Limited Tort Explained

Car Accident Lawyer NYC

Every day, careless drivers in New York endanger the lives of innocent people. Attorneys in New York are dedicated to defending the rights of innocent victims and bringing negligent parties responsible. For our loyal clients, our car accident lawyers in NYC have a track record of winning favorable judgments and settlements. The most prevalent instances we deal with are car accidents. Our company has handled several cases in these regions and is familiar with the specific conditions that emerge in collisions involving automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and other variables.

Limited Tort Explained

When purchasing vehicle insurance, a motorist must select a “tort option.” When it comes to tort options, there are two options: “full tort” and “limited tort.” When another person causes an accident, the driver has the right to sue for an injury. A limited tort driver’s ability to claim for injuries received in a vehicle accident is restricted. They can only sue if they have suffered “serious harm,” as defined by the law.

Moving on, a limited tort becomes a legal impediment to a successful pain and suffering claim in court. It may be an issue for a jury to decide. Still, you may spend a year and a half of your life pursuing a claim in court for a jury to rule that yes, the individual was at fault, and yes, you were injured, but your injuries were not significant, and therefore limited tort says you cannot recover. You’re out.

In practice, insurance companies will not settle with someone who has selected limited tort unless the injuries are really significant. Even worse, many lawyers will not accept limited tort clients since the chance of collecting nothing (which would result in a financial loss to the firm) is higher than with full tort clients. Representing a limited tort client with injuries that may or may not be legally classified as “severe injuries” necessitates winning two cases: one to bring the client over the limited tort threshold and the other to win the case.

There are generally four exceptions to consider when a limited tort applies to you after a vehicle accident, starting with the simple ones.

  • If you are hit by a driver who has been convicted of driving while drunk, you will be automatically converted to full tort.
  • Whether a drunk driver strikes you and injures you, you are fully responsible if the driver is convicted of drunk driving.
  • You are struck by a car that is not registered in New York.
  • You’re riding in a vehicle that isn’t a personal passenger vehicle. A bus, a business vehicle such as a tractor-trailer, delivery truck, or motorcycle might be used. As a result, if you’re driving a tractor-trailer and you’re hit by another commercial vehicle registered in New York, the limited tort option you selected on your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover you. You’re a full tort.


When faced with an injured client who feels they chose restricted tort rights, counsel should thoroughly investigate the accident that caused the damage to see whether any exceptions apply. If no exceptions apply, counsel should call the client’s vehicle insurance for a copy of the signed election form to confirm that the client executed a properly drafted tort option election form.

Share your thoughts