Thursday, January 2, 2020

PTSD May Constitute a "Bodily Injury" For a Claim for First Party Benefits

In the case of Evans v. Travelers Ins. Co., 2019 Pa. Super. 353 (Pa. Super. Dec. 4, 2019 Panella, P.J., Stevens, P.J.E., and Kunselman, J.), held that an insured who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder may be covered under first party medical benefits following a motor vehicle accident under an analysis that such an injury constitutes a “bodily injury” under the policy when the disorder is accompanied by physical manifestations.

The automobile insurance policy at issue allowed the Plaintiff to pursue first party medical benefits if she sustained a bodily injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

The medical expenses allowed under this provision included expense related to care for psychological services. Bodily injury was defined as an illness, disease or death.

The carrier attempted to argue that the Plaintiff's PTSD was not a "bodily injury." As noted, this argument was rejected, particularly where, as here, the were issues of fact as to whether the Plaintiff had physical symptoms as a result of her PTSD.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

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