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Your Auto Policy May Prevent You from Bringing a Lawsuit for Your Injuries


There is a little know provision in most personal motor vehicle insurance policies that prohibits you from bringing a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Each insurance company calls it something different. Some commons terms for this provision are “limitation on lawsuit”, “limited tort option”, “limited right to sue” and “verbal threshold”. Regardless what your insurance company calls it, they all mean the same thing: you may not sue the person who caused the accident for your bodily injuries unless your injury is so serious as to overcome this prohibition. There are six categories of injury that can overcome this threshold: 1) Death; 2) Dismemberment; 3) Significant Disfigurement or Scaring; 4) Displaced Fracture; 5) Loss of a Fetus; 6) Permanent Injury (as defined by statute). Proving your injury overcomes this threshold is often difficult to prove.

Most of the clients who come to our firm for representation regarding a motor vehicle accident have no idea that their auto insurance policy contains the limitation on lawsuit. Few agents explain it when selling you a policy and the insurance companies bury the language on the last page of the policy declarations. Check your policy carefully for this provision. Hopefully your policy says “no threshold”.

If you find that your policy contains the limitation on lawsuit, you may choose to have this removed. Removing the limitation on lawsuit does increase the price of your policy so consult with your insurance agent about the cost change.

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