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Jul 052016

Question: My husband was injured in a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia.  He was hit by a car from behind while riding his motorcycle.  Where we start with his medical bills? Our car and his motorcycle are insured under the same policy.  Do we submit his medical bills to the auto/motorcycle insurance company? Does it matter that we have limited tort on our Pennsylvania auto insurance policy?

Answer: No, you do not submit your husband’s medical bills to the auto/motorcycle insurance company.  Even though your husband’s motorcycle and your car are insured by the same company, it does not mean that the motorcycle and car have the same coverage.

For instance, PA auto insurance policies are required to provide PIP coverage, i.e., medical coverage, while motorcycle insurance policies issued in Pennsylvania do not provide medical/PIP coverage. Therefore, your husband will need to use his private insurance coverage to pay for his medical expenses as a result of the motorcycle accident and may recover the medical expenses in a subsequent lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

In terms of having limited tort on your auto insurance policy, it does not mean that your husband has limited tort on his motorcycle insurance policy.

What is Limited Tort?

Limited tort is only applicable to car insurance policies.  When drivers in PA buy their auto insurance policies, they choose between limited tort and full tort.  If drivers choose limited tort, they are prevented from suing the at-fault driver for pain and suffering damages.  However, PA car accident law also provides exceptions to limited tort, such as if the at-fault driver was driving a vehicle registered in another state.  One exception that is commonly litigated in Philadelphia car accident lawsuits is the “serious injury” exception.  If a limited tort driver suffers a “serious injury,” they are then deemed to have full tort and can sue for pain and suffering damages.  To see what qualifies as a “serious injury” and other limited tort exceptions, see What Does Limited Tort Have to Do with Your Philadelphia Car Accident?

Limited Tort Not Applicable to Motorcycles

Unlike auto insurance policies, when riders insure their motorcycles in PA, they do not choose between limited tort and full tort.  The only choice is full tort.  Therefore, regardless of what they chose on their auto insurance policies or the severity of their injuries, motorcycle riders can sue for pain and suffering damages if injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver.

Therefore, in your husband’s case, his election of limited tort on his auto insurance policy does not affect his ability to sue for pain and suffering damages as a result of the motorcycle accident.

It is best that you contact our office to schedule a FREE consultation, and our car accident injury lawyers who have extensive experience with limited tort, car and motorcycle accidents will answer all of your questions and concerns. 215.399.9255

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Page last updated: October 7, 2016