What is Limited Tort Law?
The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) restricts the rights of individuals who have selected limited tort auto insurance from recovering non-economic damages suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident. 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1705. Non-economic damages are usually referred to as pain and suffering. There are a few exceptions to the general rule set forth in the MVFRL, however they are quite limited. Accordingly, an individual injured in a motor vehicle accident who selected limited tort auto insurance is generally only entitled to recover economic damages against the driver who caused the accident (and/or his auto insurance carrier). Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages and any other out-of-pocket expenses an individual incurs as a result of an auto accident.
Does Limited Tort Apply to Bike or Pedestrian Accidents?
When the MVFRL was initially passed by the legislature, the rights of pedestrians struck by motor vehicles and whether their limited tort selection would preclude a claim for non-economic damages was not specifically addressed. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided this issue in 2005 when it issued its’ decision in L.S. v. Eschbach, 874 A.2d 1150 (Pa. 2005). In Eschbach, the PA Supreme Court held that pedestrians who have limited tort insurance coverage and have been injured by a motor vehicle may recover non-economic damages.
Pennsylvania Limited Tort Car Accident Lawyers – Representing Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Regardless of the tort option (full or limited) you selected on your auto insurance policy, if you are injured after being struck as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle and the accident was not your fault, you are entitled to recover both economic and non-economic (pain & suffering) damages against the responsible party (and/or his insurance carrier). If you are struck by motor vehicle, you should contact Attorney John P. Finnerty at (570) 347-1011 as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.