An Overview of § 1752 under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL)

Section 1752 of the Pennsylvania MVFRL titled 'Eligible claimants' outlines the required qualifications to receive benefits from the Assigned Claims Plan after a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, along with the grounds for ineligibility.

Statutory Text

§ 1752. Eligible claimants.

(a) General rule.--A person is eligible to recover benefits from the Assigned Claims Plan if the person meets the following requirements:

(1) Is a resident of this Commonwealth.

(2) Is injured as the result of a motor vehicle accident occurring in this Commonwealth.

(3) Is not an owner of a motor vehicle required to be registered under Chapter 13 (relating to registration of vehicles).

(4) Is not the operator or occupant of a motor vehicle owned by the Federal Government or any of its agencies, departments or authorities.

(5) Is not the operator or occupant of a motor vehicle owned by a self-insurer or by an individual or entity who or which is immune from liability for, or is not required to provide, benefits or uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

(6) Is otherwise not entitled to receive any first party benefits under section 1711 (relating to required benefits) or 1712 (relating to availability of benefits) applicable to the injury arising from the accident.

(7) Is not the operator or occupant of a recreational vehicle not intended for highway use, motorcycle, motor-driven cycle or motorized pedalcycle or other like type vehicle required to be registered under this title and involved in the accident.

(b) Grounds for ineligibility.--A person otherwise qualifying as an eligible claimant under subsection (a) shall nevertheless be ineligible to recover benefits from the Assigned Claims Plan if that person contributed to his own injury in any of the following ways:

(1) While intentionally injuring himself or another or attempting to intentionally injure himself or another.

(2) While committing a felony.

(3) While seeking to elude lawful apprehension or arrest by a law enforcement official.

(4) While knowingly converting a motor vehicle.

Definition of Key Terms:

The Assigned Claims Plan

As referenced in this section, an Assigned Claims Plan denotes the insurance backup system set up for Pennsylvania residents who become victims of an accident caused by uninsured or hit-and-run drivers without any sort of auto insurance themselves or unable to obtain benefits elsewhere.

Implication for Pennsylvanian Drivers:

Section 1752 of the MVFRL is vital for Pennsylvanian drivers, as it establishes clear grounds for who can claim benefits from the Assigned Claims Plan. It emphasizes that not just any resident involved in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to these benefits, but specific qualifications must be met. Furthermore, it highlights critical grounds of ineligibility like contributing to their injury intentionally, committing a felony, eluding arrest, or unlawfully appropriating a vehicle.

Implication for Pennsylvania Attorneys:

For Pennsylvania attorneys, understanding this section is essential to adequately guide clients seeking compensation under the Assigned Claims Plan. The specific language leaves little room for subjective interpretation, meaning that attorneys must thoroughly evaluate their clients' circumstances in line with these provisions to determine eligibility. Ensuring clients comprehend this section can avoid undue legal measures and wasted resources.

Advanced Analysis of Language:

The particular language employed in Section 1752 is clear, explicit, and prescriptive. It utilizes firm language to stipulate the conditions of eligibility and ineligibility. Furthermore, the section uses an objective tone and avoids ambiguity, making it straightforward to interpret and apply. Its exhaustive list detailing various scenarios provides an almost bulletproof guideline.

However, the section also indirectly hints at mandatory auto insurance policy by barring motor vehicle owners from getting benefits, subtly nudging towards auto insurance's necessity. Additionally, it aligns with the broader picture of Pennsylvania's common 'no-fault' laws by stipulating an exception that the person is "otherwise not entitled to receive any first party benefits".

Moreover, the conditions of ineligibility associated with intentional wrongdoing or during the commission of unlawful acts serve a penal purpose. It disincentivizes unlawful acts and reaffirms the principles of tort that one must not benefit from their wrongdoing.

The language used in Subsection (b) is precise and preemptive, disallowing clever avoidance of listed ineligibility prerequisites. The term "knowingly converting a motor vehicle" is an interesting use of language that pertains to taking possession of a motor vehicle unlawfully, further broadening the ineligibility scope.

Overall, the structured language of Section 1752 powers strict but fair guidelines for the MVFRL's implementation, ensuring the benefits are rightfully assigned and the penal consequences are uncompromising.

About the author
Von Wooding, Esq.

Von Wooding, Esq.

Lawyer and Founder

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