When Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents are injured in accidents, i.e., car accidents or trip and fall accidents, the decision to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party is understandably a hard one to make.
When the at-fault party is someone they know, such as a good friend or a family member, the decision is exponentially more difficult. They obviously do not want to put a strain on their family dynamic or friendships. However, in some circumstances, accident victims may feel that they have no choice but to file lawsuits against friends or family members.
Below is an example of a Pennsylvania car accident where an injured passenger files a car accident lawsuit against his friend.
Pennsylvania Car Accident
A driver gets in his car and picks up his best friend to go to dinner at a restaurant in Philadelphia. On the way to the restaurant, the driver runs a red light and causes a multi-vehicle accident at an intersection in Center City, Philadelphia. His friend, the passenger, is seriously injured and sustains multiple fractures in his ribs and legs. As a result, the passenger needs multiple surgeries and may need future surgery depending on how his fractures heal.
What are the injured passenger's legal options? Who pays for his medical expenses related to his injuries resulting from the car accident?
If the passenger owns a vehicle that is covered under his own car insurance policy, his medical expenses will be paid by his own car insurance company. In Pennsylvania, regardless of who caused a car accident, the injured person's own car insurance company pays for the medical expenses under PIP or medical benefits coverage. The minimum PIP coverage in PA is $5,000. If the passenger has the minimum PIP coverage, his benefits will undoubtedly exhaust quickly. See Does PA First Party Or PIP Benefits Offer Benefits Other Than Medical Benefits?
Once the medical benefits are exhausted, the passenger will need to use his private health insurance to cover the medical expenses. If he doesn't have one, his medical expenses will pile up quickly.
Further, because of his serious injuries, the passenger cannot work for 3 months. With no income and increasing medical expenses, the only way he can recover for his injuries and damages is to sue his friend, the driver who caused the accident.
Initially, the passenger may not want to file a car accident lawsuit against his friend, but may have no choice but to do so in order to protect himself financially.
When we represent injured individuals who file lawsuits against their friends, they usually talk to their friends about their intentions to sue. Many times, their friends understand the situation because they caused the accidents, and their relationships are not affected. Other times, friends may not understand, and the friendships sour.
The decision to sue is solely up to the injured victims. They have to weigh the pros and cons of proceeding with a lawsuit. As lawyers, we cannot make this decision for our clients. We can only explain and provide information so that our clients have all of the information they need to make the right decision for themselves.
Injured In Pennsylvania Or New Jersey? Call 877.944.8396 to schedule a FREE consultation.