Limited Tort Question in Motor Vehicle Accident Case

Date: August 10, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Jody was driving down Main Street in Honesdale in the left hand lane when Felix abruptly came around the corner from 9th Street. Felix did not realize that Main Street was one way. Jody tried to turn to the right, but did not have enough time and a violent impact took place. Jody suffered several broken ribs and punctured one of her lungs. After about six months though, Jody had made a good recovery. Jody was told by an attorney that she could not bring an action against Felix because she had selected the limited tort option. Felix was a New Jersey resident driving a vehicle registered in New Jersey.

ISSUE:            Was Jody given sound legal advice?

ANSWER:            No. Because of the fact that Felix is licensed in New Jersey and a resident of New Jersey, Jody is allowed to proceed with a civil action regardless of the severity of her injuries. One of the exceptions to the Automobile Act regarding limited tort is that if the negligent party is from out of state, one could pursue action regardless of the extent of her injuries. As a general rule, in other words, general tort does not apply when there is an out of state licensed driver.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.