Page last reviewed and updated: October 8, 2018
By a Philadelphia Car Accident Injury Lawyer
Who pays for medical bills after a pedestrian accident in the Philadelphia area? Usually, a pedestrian’s own car insurance policy kicks in and pays for medical bills under the PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage, but only up to the amount purchased (a minimum of $5,000 is required under Pennsylvania law). Remaining bills may be paid by the at-fault driver.
Who Pays for Pedestrians’ Medical Bills After Philadelphia Car Accidents?
Many injured pedestrians think that the driver who hit them would be on the hook for their medical bills. However, this is only partially true. An at-fault driver can be held liable via a car accident injury lawsuit and ordered to reimburse a victim for their injuries and damages. But this of course, takes time. In the immediate aftermath of a pedestrian accident in Philadelphia, the injured pedestrian will usually be able to get their medical bills paid by making a claim under their own auto insurance policy or under a spouse or family member’s policy.
Explanation of Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Law
Pursuant to Pennsylvania car accident law, regardless of who caused the accident, an injured driver or passenger’s medical bills are covered by their own auto policy under the PIP medical coverage. This is known as the no-fault law.
The law also provides that if the insured driver/passenger is injured in a car accident as a pedestrian, their medical bills will also be covered by the PIP medical coverage.
The pedestrian does not have to own a car in order to be covered by an auto insurance policy. So long as the pedestrian is an “insured” driver under an auto insurance policy, then the PIP coverage would apply.
Pennsylvania car accident and insurance laws define “insured” as the following:
“Insured.” Any of the following:
(1) An individual identified by name as an insured in a policy of motor vehicle liability insurance.
(2) If residing in the household of the named insured:
(i) a spouse or other relative of the named insured; or
(ii) a minor in the custody of either the named insured or relative of the named insured.
Pedestrian’s Medical Bills Covered by Own Auto Policy
If a pedestrian, who owns an insured vehicle, is hit while crossing the street in Philadelphia, then his medical expenses would be paid for by his own auto insurance policy.
Pedestrian’s Medical Bills Covered by Other Applicable Auto Policy
Even if a pedestrian does not own a car, they may still be insured under other applicable auto policies. For instance, a college student living at home with his parents does not own a car. Both of his parents have cars and each car is insured. Therefore, he is residing in the same household as the named insureds, i.e., his parents, and is covered by their auto insurance policies.
If the college student is hit by a car while crossing the street in Philadelphia, his medical expenses would be covered by his parents’ auto insurance.
In some cases, an injured pedestrian will not be eligible to make a PIP claim under any auto insurance policy. In these cases, the injured pedestrian may be able to make a claim under the PA Assigned Claims Plan, per 75 Pa.C.S. § 1752.
What Happens After the PIP Coverage is Exhausted
In any of the above scenarios, PIP coverage would only pay for the injured pedestrian’s medical bills up to the limit purchased. Pennsylvania law requires insured drivers to carry a minimum of $5,000 in PIP coverage.
Serious injuries, especially orthopedic injuries, often require diagnostic tests and surgery. The PIP limit is often exhausted quickly.
After the PIP coverage is exhausted, the injured pedestrian’s health insurance policy would be the next level of insurance coverage. Generally, if there are co-pays and out of pocket medical expenses such as deductibles, the injured pedestrian may recover those costs and expenses from the at-fault driver in a subsequent Philadelphia car accident lawsuit.
Help After a Philadelphia Pedestrian Car Accident
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian car accident in Philadelphia, call Jordan S. Namerow, Esq. Mr. Namerow is a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer and has helped countless car accident victims.
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