Pedestrians who are hit by cars, trucks or buses in Philadelphia have rights when it comes to being compensated. They are entitled to recover all of their damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. This is also true for bike riders.
It is well settled by Pennsylvania case law that a pedestrian’s right to non-economic recovery is not restricted by their election of limited tort on their car insurance policy. The tort option only applies when a person is occupying a motor vehicle when injured.
In L.S. v. Eschbach, a binding PA Supreme Court case, a seventh grader was hit by a car when she attempted to cross a street. She sustained multiple contusions, abrasions, and fractures throughout her body. The minor’s mother sued the negligent Pennsylvania driver on her behalf for the injuries and damages she sustained. The minor was considered an “insured” under her mother’s auto insurance policy because she lived with her mother.
The driver argued that the minor was bound by her mother’s election of limited tort, and not allowed to sue for pain and suffering because her injuries were not “serious.”
The PA Supreme Court held that the minor pedestrian should not be restricted by her mother’s election of the limited tort alternative because her injuries did not result from the use of a motor vehicle, either as an operator or an occupant. A pedestrian’s election of limited tort or full tort on his auto insurance policy has no effect on his legal right to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering damages.
If you are a pedestrian that gets hit by a car in Philadelphia, you can sue the driver for your injuries regardless of what kind of tort option you have on your car insurance. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding your rights, please contact Stark & Stark.