Officer’s UIM Claim Denied Due to Receipt of W. C. Benefits

Posted on: July 10th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

A 2008 ruling by the PA Commonwealth Court limited the ability of PA car accident victims to pursue certain Pennsylvania underinsured motorist (UIM) claims after a workplace collision.  A police officer was hurt in a PA car crash while on duty.  The negligent Defendant’s insurance company paid its policy limit.  His medical bills and 2/3 of his lost income were paid by Worker’s Compensation.

His Pennsylvania underinsured motorist lawyer made UIM claims against the police officer’s own car insurance company and his employer’s automobile insurance carrier.  The Venago County Trial Judge dismissed the PA underinsured motorist claim against the borough since there was a UIM exclusion for those who received Worker’s Compensation benefits.

The Appeals Court stated that the insurance contract language did not violate the PA Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act or public policy.  The only Pennsylvania underinsured motorist claim that the PA car accident victim could make was against his own car insurance company.  Heller v. League of Cities and Municipalities, 950 A.2d 362 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2008)