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October 12th, 2013

Hit & Run Car Accidents in Pennsylvania – What to Know About Your Legal Rights

How an Injured Hit & Run Car Accident Victim Recovers for Medical Bills in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania car and truck accident law, victims of hit and run cases are eligible to recover PIP or Personal Injury Protection benefits on their car insurance policy. If they do not own a car, they may be able to make the claim under a resident relative’s car insurance policy. For example, a child injured in a hit and run may make a PIP claim under their parent’s car insurance policy. In addition, there is no requirement that the individual be riding in a car at the time of the accident. In other words, pedestrians and bicycle riders are eligible to make PIP claims.

After the PIP coverage exhausts, i.e., the individual’s medical bills exceed the amount covered under PIP, the individual’s own health insurance would kick in and pick up the remaining bills. In a subsequent lawsuit against the at fault driver, the individual may be able to make a claim for any past, present and future medical expenses.

Hit & Run Car Accident Cases in Pennsylvania – Can the Injured Victim Make a UIM/UM Claim?

If the at fault driver is identified, the injured individual would be able to file a lawsuit to recover for their injuries, economic expenses, and pain and suffering damages. If the at fault driver is never identified, the injured individual may be eligible to make a UM claim (uninsured motorist coverage claim). Read more about uninsured and underinsured claims in Pennsylvania.

It is important to note that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is a very complex area of law. Whether these claims can be made and under what circumstances depends on the facts.

Does Limited Tort Apply in a Hit & Run Car Accident Case in PA?

Many Pennsylvania residents choose “limited tort” on their car insurance policies because it brings down the cost of their annual premiums. It also limits the ability to obtain pain and suffering damages in a subsequent car accident lawsuit; however, it does not affect the ability to obtain economic damages.

The limited tort selection will apply in hit and run cases when the injured individual was in another vehicle. See Graham v. Campo, 2010 PA Super 5, a 2010 Philadelphia court case in which the injured driver’s limited tort choice was held to apply in a hit and run case. In that case, the injured driver’s injuries were found to have met the threshold and were deemed serious and permanent.

In other cases, such as when the injured individual was a pedestrian or was riding a bicycle, the limited tort selection will generally not apply.

There are many exceptions to limited tort. The most commonly litigated exception is “serious permanent injury.” Whether the limited tort selection applies in a given case must be answered by a qualified car accident lawyer who will review the facts.

From our car-truck accident library:

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Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan is a Philadelphia based personal injury firm. Our lawyers are experienced trial lawyers who fight tirelessly on behalf of their clients and offer free consultations. For more information, contact our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers.

Here’s what a car accident client had to say about working with one of our lawyers:

“Even as Jeff displayed excellent legal knowledge, skill, and thoroughness, he has also shown me such individuality that I feel he has become a good friend through this process. He is always available for any questions I may have, even if they do not pertain to my case. His staff is very friendly and helpful….” – Patricia

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Page last updated: October 7, 2016