Sunday, April 14, 2013

Medical Expenses Resulting From Out-of-State Car Accident Ruled Not Recoverable Under PA Law

An issue in personal injury civil litigation matters with minimal appellate guidance is the question of whether medical expenses incurred by a Pennsylvania resident injured in an out-of-state accident are recoverable in a Pennsylvania lawsuit.

That question was addressed by the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in its recent memorandum opinion in the case of Reinert v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 2013 WL 1311097 (E.D. Pa. April 1, 2013 Stengel, J.) (mem.).

The Reinert case involved a Pennsylvania resident/insured who had been injured in an automobile accident that occurred in North Carolina accident.

The court ruled that under the appropriate conflicts of laws analysis, Pennsylvania substantive tort law would be applied.  Under such law (75 Pa.C.S.A. Section 1720, 1722), the court ruled that evidence of the plaintiff's medicals and lost wages that were paid by plaintiff's first party auto insurer are not admissible.

The Reinert  Opinion can be reviewed HERE.  The Court's accompanying Order can be viewed HERE.

I send thanks to Attorney Bill Mabius of the Pennsylvania Association For Justice for bringing this case to my attention.

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