Personal Injury Glossary

Declarations page - The page of your motor vehicle insurance policy which details all of the coverages which are in effect on your policy

First Party Benefits - In insurance law, first party benefits include medical benefits, income loss benefits, accidental death benefit, funeral benefit, and extraordinary medical benefits. In Pennsylvania, the only required coverage is $5,000 in medical benefits.

UIM - Designates underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage which is not required by law, but which protects you in case you are involved in an accident and the at-fault driver does not have sufficient liability limits to cover all losses and damages.

UM - Designates uninsured motorist coverage. This is coverage which is not required by law, but which protects you in the event you are struck by a person who is driving without insurance.

Stacking - In Pennsylvania automobile insurance law, purchasers of insurance have the option to "stack" uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you choose "stacking," this means that you can add the coverage together for each vehicle you have insured, at least under the policy.

Full Tort Coverage - You have the right to sue for pain and suffering if you have been injured by the fault of another driver.

Limited Tort Coverage - you have elected to lower your premium by giving up your right to sue for pain and suffering if you have been injured by the fault of another driver, unless there was death, or your injuries are serious and permanent, or you have suffered permanent scarring. Under limited tort, unless one of the exceptions apply, you can only seek money damages for economic loss, including medical bills.

Waiver - A form that is required to be completed and signed should you opt to select limited tort coverage, or to reject UM or UIM coverage.

Complaint - The document a plaintiff files with the court which contains allegations and damages sought. A complaint generally starts a lawsuit.

Mediation -  A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps them agree on a settlement.

Bad Faith - on the part of an insurance company: Intention to mislead or deceive; conscious refusal to fulfill some duty. Implies active ill will, as opposed to negligence. Bad faith is not bad judgment; it requires conscious wrongdoing.

Wrongful Death Action - An action brought to recover damages for the death of a person caused by a wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another; provided that no recovery for the same damages claimed in the wrongful death action was obtained by the deceased during his lifetime. In Pennsylvania, the action may be brought by the decedent's spouse, children, or parents.