Whenever you are injured while an occupant of a commercial vehicle that is involved in a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, you automatically have unrestricted full tort rights to pursue a personal injury claim. A commercial vehicle is one that is not owned by an individual, but rather by a business. Examples of commercial vehicles are all types of buses, including SEPTA buses, private buses and tour buses. Additional examples of commercial vehicles are taxi cabs, para transit vans, rental vehicles, company cars, company pickup trucks, company vans and all types of trucks. Any vehicle that is not a privately owned passenger motor vehicle falls under this category and the injured occupants are entitled to unrestricted full tort rights to pursue a personal injury claim.
In Pennsylvania, all motor vehicle owners when purchasing automobile insurance must select either the traditional unrestricted full tort policy or a discounted limited tort policy that restricts the insured's right to pursue a personal injury claim arising out of all types of motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, the vehicle owner's tort selection will also be binding on all of his or her household resident relatives that do not possess their own automobile insurance policy. Thus, the sad reality is that many people have lost their full tort rights and often don't even know it, because the relative in their household that owns a vehicle selected limited tort. For a more detailed discussion on Pennsylvania full tort and limited tort, please see Full Tort / Limited Tort.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident while occupying a commercial vehicle, such as a bus, para transit van, taxi cab, rental car or a company owned car, pickup, van or truck, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have the right to pursue a claim against the negligent driver's insurance carrier for personal injuries, excess medical expenses and lost wages.