Philadelphia Pedestrian Injury Lawyers
Philadelphia is a vibrant city filled with pedestrians. When a pedestrian, biker, rollerblader, runner, or jogger is legally using a city street and is hit by a vehicle, the injuries will usually require compensation for hospital bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you are a pedestrian that has been injured by a car or truck, you have probably sustained some injuries and are looking for insurance coverage to help you to recover. Philadelphia Pedestrian Injury Lawyers John and Laura Fox have some good news for you. In Pennsylvania, you will have full tort insurance coverage. If you were injured while in a car, you might only have limited tort insurance coverage, depending on the insurance you chose. Here's how Pennsylvania Insurance Coverage works with pedestrian accidents:
What does "Full Tort" Insurance Coverage Mean?
Full tort insurance coverage means that you have the right to sue for pain and suffering.
Full Tort vs. Limited Tort
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state which means that regardless of who is at-fault in a car accident, it is your insurance that will determine your rights to sue for compensation under Pennsylvania law.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance policies are written as either full tort or limited tort. Limited tort policies are less expensive, and with good reason. They do not allow the policy holder to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering, with few exceptions. Full tort policies are more expensive, but give policy holders full rights to sue an at-fault driver for pain and suffering. Full tort policies allow you to recover economic damages, work loss, AND pain and suffering. It is important to retain your right to sue for pain and suffering because the monetary damages is a substantial portion of the overall monetary award to the victim.
The rationale for these two options is public policy. Pennsylvania wants its drivers to have car insurance to protect innocent drivers, but oftentimes the premiums are too high. As a result, Pennsylvania gives drivers an option called “Limited Tort,” which allows drivers to pay a smaller premium in exchange for only being able to recover for economic damages and work loss from an at-fault driver. If, however, you choose a limited tort policy, there will not be compensation for the pain and suffering, unless one of the exceptions set forth below applies.
Philadelphia Pedestrian Injury Lawyers Explain Important Limited Tort Exceptions
There are exceptions to Limited Tort barring an innocent driver’s ability to recover pain and suffering from an at-fault driver. The first exception is if the innocent driver suffers a “serious impairment of bodily function.” This means that your injuries must be significant enough to impact your daily functioning. Cervical and lumbar sprains and strains will not do it. Broken bones and herniated discs probably will. The second exception is if the at-fault vehicle is an out-of-state vehicle. The third exception is if the driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs. Another exception to limited tort is if you are hit as a pedestrian or bicycle rider, outside of your vehicle.
What if the driver has inadequate insurance?
What happens, however, if the person driving the car that hit you does not have insurance, or has inadequate insurance to cover your injuries? In this case, insurance coverage gets more complicated. If you own a car, or someone you live with owns a car, you may be covered through an uninsured / underinsured auto insurance policy. However, some Pennsylvania car insurance policies require that you were injured while inside of a car for your uninsured / underinsured auto insurance to apply. If coverage excludes injury outside of a car, legal arguments may be made to get over this hurdle. Uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage for pedestrian injury victims can be a complicated area of insurance coverage and skilled Philadelphia pedestrian injury lawyers can help you receive the maximum insurance coverage available to you.
Pedestrian Injury Statistics
As of 2004, our own National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claimed that at least 5,000 reported deaths as the result of reported a pedestrian accident vs auto. In fact, as a result of a pedestrian accident, more than 78,000 pedestrians are seriously injured each year from a car or truck.
Pedestrians are more vulnerable to injury and death on a roadway than are the occupants of a car or truck with safety features such as seat belts, airbag and roll cage. Approximately 90% of non-vehicle occupant deaths involve a pedestrian accident; skateboarders, rollerbladers, and bicyclists. Pedestrian v Auto accidents usually result in catastrophic loss.
Fox Law Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyers welcome you to contact us for a prompt and free consultation regarding your pedestrian accident case.
No case is too big or too small for an evaluation. Fox Law welcomes the opportunity to represent you. In your consultation, your case will be discussed and the facts will be reviewed and evaluated. If Fox Law accepts your case, it will be handled on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing. We carry all of the costs and assume all of the risks when we accept your case.
FOX LAW is conveniently located at Two Logan Square in Center City Philadelphia. In addition to Philadelphia County, we serve Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Allentown, and Reading Pennsylvania. For your convenience, John Fox makes house calls, when necessary.