Under Pennsylvania Law, the answer is: YES.
Recently, I met with a new client here in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who sustained a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident as a result of the negligence of her husband. My client was a front seat passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband. Unfortunately, the husband was not paying attention to the traffic conditions and rear-ended another car in front of my client and her husband.
At our initial meeting my client said, “I know there is not much you can do because my husband caused the accident.” My client was under the mistaken impression that she could not recover damages for injuries caused by her husband’s negligence. Fortunately for my client, this is not the case under Pennsylvania Law.
In Hack v. Hack, 443 A.2d 859 (Pa. 1981), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that the doctrine of “interspousal immunity,” which had barred a spouse from recovering against another spouse, was an antiquated doctrine which had lost its usefulness in modern society. The Court specifically found that a spouse could recover for injuries sustained as a result of another spouse’s negligence.
Over the years, I have successfully litigated several cases in which I represented a spouse in a personal injury case. In each of these cases, my client was seriously injured and required ongoing care and treatment. The bottom line is that if you are injured in an accident with your spouse, an attorney should investigate whether the spouse was negligent.