Question: My 13 year old son was hit by a car in Philadelphia while walking home from school. He broke his right arm and his right leg as a result. Who pays for his medical bills?
Answer: There are 2 possible scenarios as to who pays for his medical bills in this situation.
First, if you own a car and it is insured under a Pennsylvania auto policy, then your car insurance would pay for your son’s medical expenses. Your auto insurance policy covers members of the household, i.e., family members living in your household. Because your son lives with you in the home, he is a member of the household. Therefore, he can make a claim for medical expenses under your medical or PIP coverage in the auto policy.
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Even though your son was not physically in a car while the accident happened, the medical/PIP coverage still applies when an insured is injured as a pedestrian in a car accident.
The reason that your auto insurance applies and not the other driver’s policy is due to PA’s no fault system. Under Pennsylvania car accident and insurance law, if an auto policy holder, i.e., driver or passenger, is injured in a car accident, their own auto insurance company pays for the medical expenses resulting from the car accident.
If you do not own a car and no other auto insurance policy applies, then the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy would pay for the medical expenses under the PIP coverage. For instance, if your husband does not have a car or if you live alone with your child, then there would be no other applicable insurance policies.
In either situation, once the PIP medical coverage exhausts, your son’s health insurance would step in to pay for the medical expenses related to his pedestrian accident in Philadelphia. If there are co-pays, then you would be responsible for them. These co-pays however, may be recovered in a subsequent car accident lawsuit.
Your son has a legal right to file a car injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. He has the right to recover financial damages such as:
- out of pocket medical expenses, e.g., co-pays,
- future medical expenses, and
- pain and suffering.
Because your son is a minor, you will need to file the lawsuit on his behalf as his guardian. In this situation, you must file the lawsuit within 2 years of the accident. Your child can only sue on his own behalf when he turns 18. He will have 2 years from the day he turns 18 to sue the other driver.
When a child is hurt, parents are understandably stressed and overwhelmed. Let the injury accident lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent help you through this difficult time. Our car accident lawyers will help you make the best decisions for you and your loved one. FREE consultations. (866) 641-0806
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