February 11, 2015

Chances are that if you own a motor vehicle, then you are aware of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. This is the state statute that compels you to maintain either limited tort or full tort car insurance.

The word “tort” is just a fancy way of saying an action that would give rise to a lawsuit. In other words, when you are purchasing car insurance, you are essentially making a decision on the types of claims you will be allowed to sue for against a party responsible for your accident. Under the limited tort insurance, you will basically be limited to recovering compensation for serious medical injuries. Whereas, under the full tort policies, you can also sue for additional funds that are often called noneconomic damages. Things like pain and suffering.

In its infinite wisdom, the Pennsylvania legislature left out language in the PMVFRL regarding pedestrians with limited tort insurance who are struck by motorists. Fortunately, a May 2005 case solved that issue. In that case, a little girl was struck and injured by car while exiting a school bus. A dispute soon arose as to whether the victim’s mother should be able to sue, on behalf of her daughter, for full tort damages. This was despite the fact that the victim’s mother carried limited tort car insurance at the time of the accident. In a nutshell, the court ruled that pedestrians should not be bound by the type of car insurance they carry primarily because they were not driving their cars at the time when a motor vehicle struck them.

In a previous article, we talked about the statistics of pedestrian accidents throughout the country. A 2012 study found that auto pedestrian accidents killed 4,743 pedestrians and injured another 76,000. If you were walking and then struck by a car, you may be entitled to sue the person responsible for your injuries.

Our law firm has over 30 years combined experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. Prospective clients should know that every auto-pedestrian victim has a right to seek compensation for their injuries. Based in Doylestown, we offer legal services in Allentown, Easton, Stroudsburg and throughout Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey.