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Cycling & Car Insurance

Old 05-26-05, 05:00 AM
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lrzipris
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Cycling & Car Insurance

Over the past several years, there has been the occasional thread about motor vehicle insurance, limited tort options, and accidents while cycling. It was generally understood here in Pennsylvania that if you had chosen the limited tort option on your car insurance, your recovery was limited if injured in an accident while you were cycling.

For those of us who ride in PA, the following may be of interest. The PA Supreme Court just ruled, unanimously, that the limited tort option does not apply to an innocent pedestrian even if the pedestrian has chosen the limited tort option on her car insurance policy. The Court ruled that, both because of the plain language of the statute and public policy reasons, the limitation only applies to drivers and passengers of motor vehicles.

Although the opinion does not discuss bicycles, its reasoning and the court's unanimity suggest that a cyclist should and ultimately would (when the right case comes along) be treated like a pedestrian, not a motor vehicle driver.
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Old 05-26-05, 08:06 AM
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ofofhy
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What happens in a limited tort state if you have no insurance???

My wife and I have no auto insurance as we haven't owned a car for quite a while. Does the injury claim then proceed through our health insurance, or through the motorist's auto insurance?

I have always been confused about this point. Especially since we will have a car in the next few months to help with moving and rennovating our new house.
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Old 05-26-05, 11:52 AM
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In simple terms, limited tort simply means that you cannot recover for pain & suffering unless your injuries are severe enough to be called "serious" bodily injury; if not serious (as a legal term), then you can only recover your medical expenses and, I believe, other out-of-pocket expenses, paid by the driver's insurance company. The recovery is from the at-fault party's car insurance, not any policy you have, but what can be recovered will depend on your car insurance, if you have it.

For the past 15 years, until yesterday's decision, limited tort applied (to drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, according to the cases that developed the statute) only when the injured, innocent party had auto insurance and had selected the limited tort option. If no car insurance, then the limited tort option didn't apply.

Now, even if you have an insured car with the limited tort option, your recovery against the at-fault driver's insurance company is not limited where you were not in a vehicle but were struck while walking.
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