1. Q – If a client has made a valid limited tort selection and is hit by a car as a pedestrian can they still bring a claim for non-economic damages.
A – Yes, in fact, in Pennsylvania the Commonwealth Supreme Court has held that your selection of limited tort does not even apply if you are injured in a car accident while a pedestrian. L.S. v. Eschbach, 874 A.2d 1150 (Pa. 2005).
2. Q – If a client has selected limited tort and is injured in a car accident with another driver who is intoxicated aren't they able to sue for pain and suffering?
A – Generally yes, but the other driver MUST still be actually convicted of the alcohol related offense or accept ARD for the alcohol related offense. Thus, if the other driver pleads his case to some other offense or the case is dismissed then the automatic exception will most likely not apply. 75 Pa. C.S.A. Section 1705 (d)(1)(i).
3. Q – If a limited tort selection has been made but the selection for does not contain the actual amounts of the differences in premiums, is the election valid?
A – Yes, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that if the premiums are not noted on the selection form there is technically non-compliance with the statute. However, the statute also does not provide a remedy so as long as the form in the statute is given to the insured and sign then the limited tort selection will be valid, subject to an exception. Donnelly v. Bauer, 720 A.2d 447 (Pa. 1998)
4. Q. – I represent the owner of a registered but uninsured vehicle and under the law I have limited tort. Her 5 year old daughter was injured in a car accident while a passenger in her friend's mother's car. Is there anything I can do if she does not have a serious injury and no other automatic exceptions apply?
A. – Yes, under a Supreme Court opinion the daughter is actually full tort. The Court held that the provision in Section 1705(a)(5) does not apply to the children of the uninsured motorist. Holland v. Marcy, 883 A.2d 449 (Pa. 2005).
5. Q – I represent a person who is limited tort. However, they were in a car accident by a driver who lives in Maryland. The driver was operating a vehicle owned by his friend who lives in York. Since the driver who caused the accident is from Maryland does an automatic exception apply.
A – Most likely not. The statute only has an automatic exception if the driver who causes the accident is operating a vehicle "registered" in another state. 75 Pa. C.S.A. Section 1705 (d)(1)(ii).