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Philadelphia Pedestrians Have Rights!

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.

COPYRIGHT © 2020, STARK & STARKNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 125


About this Author

R. Tyler Tomlinson, Stark Law, Accidents and Personal Injury Lawyer, Products Liability Attorney

Tyler Tomlinson is a Shareholder and member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group of Stark & Stark. Mr. Tomlinson concentrates his practice in wrongful death cases and has recently handled several high profile cases in Pennsylvania. Mr. Tomlinson has extensive experience handling personal injury cases such as automobile accidents and slip and fall cases for plaintiffs. Mr. Tomlinson was recently appointed by the President Judge of Philadelphia County to serve as a Judge Pro Tem to assist the courts in resolving civil litigations in the area of personal injury...