Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Plaintiff Driving Uninsured Vehicle Found To Be Full Tort Because Involved in Accident With a Vehicle Registered in Another State

In the case of Devoue v. American Sitework, LLC, No. 2:20-CV-06003-KSM (E.D. Pa. March 4, 2022 Marston, J.), the court addressed whether or not a Plaintiff should be considered to be a limited tort Plaintiff or a full tort Plaintiff under a given set of circumstances.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff was driving an uninsured vehicle when he was allegedly injured in an accident that occurred when pebbles allegedly fell from the back of the Defendant’s vehicle which was registered in New Jersey.

Ordinarily, under Pennsylvania law, the Plaintiff would be deemed to be a limited tort Plaintiff under §1705(a)(5) because he was the owner of a registered but uninsured vehicle.

However, in this case, the court held that, in the third party case, the Plaintiff would be considered a full tort Plaintiff under §1705(d) because the Plaintiff was allegedly injured as a result of the alleged negligence of a driver of a vehicle that was registered in another state. As such, the court ruled that the Plaintiff need not show that he sustained a serious injury in order to cover non-economic damages.

A review of the court’s detailed Order revealed that the court came to this conclusion through its construction of the statutory language.

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

I send thanks to Attorney Scott B. Cooper of the Harrisburg, PA law firm of Schmidt Kramer P.C., for bringing this case to my attention.

Source of image:  Photo by Michael Fousert on www.unsplash.com.

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