By a Philadelphia, PA Car Accident Injury Lawyer
Victims of car accidents in Philadelphia are limited in their rights to sue at-fault drivers if they have limited tort on their car insurance policies. They may sue at-fault drivers for economic damages, i.e., medical expenses and lost wages; however, they may not sue for non-economic damages, i.e., pain and suffering. Despite the limitation, there are exceptions where limited tort victims are deemed to have full tort, and therefore, can sue for both economic and non-economic damages. See Related: Philadelphia, PA Car Accidents – What Damages Can Injured Victims Recover?
Pedestrians Not Bound by Limited Tort
One of those exceptions is when the injured victim is a pedestrian. When pedestrians, who are insured under a limited tort car insurance policy, are injured in pedestrian-car accidents, the PIP medical benefits on their insurance policies cover their medical expenses even though they were injured as pedestrians. If injuries are significant, pedestrians may file car accident lawsuits against at-fault drivers. Oftentimes, at-fault drivers’ insurance companies will argue that because the pedestrians have limited tort on their car insurance policies, they are limited in their rights to sue for pain and suffering damages.
However, this is not the law in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided in a 2005 pedestrian-car accident, L.S. v. David Eschbach, Jr., Inc., that limited tort does not apply to pedestrians.
In L.S., a minor was struck by a car after coming off of a school bus. The child was insured under her parents’ limited tort car insurance policy. As such, her medical bills were covered by PIP coverage. A car accident lawsuit followed, and the defendant argued that the minor could not sue for pain and suffering damages due to limited tort. The Supreme Court ruled that pursuant to Section 1705 of the PA Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL), limited tort only applies to vehicle drivers and passengers, and not to pedestrians. Thus, pedestrians are not subject to limited tort regardless of their limited tort car insurance policy.
Help After a Pedestrian-Car Accident in Philadelphia, PA
If you or a loved one was hit and injured by a car, you have legal rights. It is best to discuss your case with an experienced car accident injury lawyer. Jordan Namerow, a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer has helped numerous victims of car accidents. He offers FREE consultations. Call today to schedule. 215.987.0777