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February 15th, 2016

PA Car Accident Law – Does Limited Tort Apply to Pedestrians in a Philadelphia Car Accident?

FAQ: I was hit by a car in Northeast Philadelphia while walking across the street. I was injured as a result and needed medical treatment. I may also need surgery on my shoulder due to the injury from the car accident. I want to sue the driver who hit me. I was told that I may not be able to sue because I have limited tort on my car insurance policy. Is that true? I was injured as a pedestrian and not as a driver. I am not sure what my car insurance policy has to do with my accident and injuries. If I can’t sue, do I have any other rights? What are my best options?

Answer: In general, an insured driver/passenger who has limited tort and is hurt in a Philadelphia car accident cannot sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering damages. Though there are exceptions to this rule, we will not discuss them because they do not apply to pedestrians.

The fact that you have limited tort on your car insurance policy does not affect your ability to sue the at-fault driver if you were injured as a pedestrian. This is one of the misconceptions PA drivers have about limited tort. Pursuant to PA case law, it doesn’t matter that a pedestrian has limited tort on their car insurance policy. Limited tort only applies to insureds who are injured as occupants in motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, you may sue the driver who hit you in the Philadelphia pedestrian-car accident.

Related: Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Misconceptions About Limited Tort

It is important to note however, that your car insurance does come into play with regard to your medical expenses resulting from your injuries as a pedestrian. Even though you were not injured while operating a vehicle, your PIP coverage on your auto insurance kicks in and provides benefits including, but not limited to, medical benefits and lost income benefits.

Therefore, your medical expenses resulting from the Philadelphia pedestrian-car accident are covered by your medical PIP benefits. The amount of benefits you may receive depends on the amount of your coverage. PA drivers are required to carry a minimum of $5,000 in medical PIP benefits. If you have the required minimum coverage, then your medical bills are covered up to $5,000. Once you exhaust your medical benefits, you will use your health insurance to cover your medical expenses.

PA car accident and insurance laws are very confusing, and drivers often have misconceptions about their legal rights. It is always best to consult with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to ensure that you get the correct information. Feel free to call our office to schedule a FREE consultation. (866) 641-0806

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Page last updated: October 7, 2016