Part A of the article discusses the basics of PA full tort/limited tort and NJ no limitation on lawsuit/limitation on lawsuit. Part B of the article will discuss how those options affect the legal rights of injured pedestrians in car accidents.
Rights Of Injured Pennsylvania Pedestrians:
Prior to 2005, if an insured driver had limited tort on his/her car insurance policy and was injured in a car accident as a pedestrian, he/she was bound by the limited tort option. Therefore, the insured driver could not sue for non-economic damages.
However, in a 2005 landmark case, L.S. v. David Eschbach, Jr., Inc., the PA Supreme Court held that nothing in the PA Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law suggests that pedestrians are bound by limited tort. Pedestrians are innocent victims of car accidents who are completely unassociated with a motor vehicle.
If an injured pedestrian in a car accident has limited tort, he/she is not bound by the limited tort option and can sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Therefore, in the PA accident discussed in the beginning of this article, if the pedestrians have limited tort, they can still sue for their injuries because they are not bound by limited tort.
Rights Of Injured New Jersey Pedestrians:
Unlike in Pennsylvania, a New Jersey pedestrian who has limitation on lawsuit and is injured in a car accident is generally bound by his/her tort status and cannot sue for non-economic damages. While it is less expensive, it limits the pedestrian on his/her ability to recover damages.
The only way an injured pedestrian who has limitation on lawsuit can recover damages is if he/she can prove one of the 6 injury exceptions. One of the exceptions is death and that is why family members/estates of deceased victims in the East Brunswick accident discussed in part A of this article can bring a claim.
Therefore, if the injured pedestrians in the East Brunswick car accident mentioned above have limitation on lawsuit, they can only bring a claim against the negligent driver if their injuries fall within one of the 6 exceptions. If they don't, they are bound by their limitation on lawsuit option and cannot bring a claim.
Help For Injured Pedestrian After A Car Accident
If you were injured as a pedestrian in PA or NJ, it is important to talk to an experienced PA & NJ car and truck accident lawyer to pursue your legal rights. Even if you have limited tort, you may still bring a claim against the driver for your injuries and damages. Only an experienced car accident lawyer can help evaluate your claim. Feel free to contact us at 877.944.8396.