An Overview of § 1755 under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL)

Section § 1755 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) addresses the coordination of benefits, outlining how eligible claimants should subtract benefits received from workers' compensation and other similar sources.
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Statutory Text

§ 1755. Coordination of benefits.

(a) Workers' compensation.--All benefits (less reasonably incurred collection costs) that an eligible claimant receives or is entitled to receive from workers' compensation and from any other like source under local, state or Federal law shall be subtracted from any benefits available in section 1753 (relating to benefits available) unless the law authorizing or providing for those benefits makes them excess or secondary to the benefits in accordance with this subchapter.

(b) Accident and health benefits.--All benefits an eligible claimant receives or is entitled to receive as a result of injury from any available source of accident and health benefits shall be subtracted from those benefits available in section 1753.

Key Term Definitions:

Coordination of Benefits:

In the context of automobile law, coordination of benefits refers to the process of determining which insurance coverage (auto insurance or workers' compensation) pays first in case of an accident where a driver is injured. This tactic is used to prevent the duplication of benefits.

'Eligible Claimant':

An individual who has a valid claim to insurance benefits due to a covered loss or injury.

'Benefits':

Refers to the monetary compensation received from an insurance policy.

'Workers' Compensation':

A form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment.

Impact on Pennsylvanian Drivers:

Section § 1755 has profound implications for Pennsylvanian drivers. Explicitly, if a driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident whilst on duty, the benefits they receive from workers' compensation and other similar sources are to be subtracted from the benefits available in section 1753. This means that drivers might handle less paperwork and potentially experience faster settlements as the intersection between motor vehicle and workers' compensation benefits will be clearly defined.

Impact on Pennsylvania Attorneys:

For Pennsylvania attorneys, understanding and application of Section § 1755 is crucial in providing sound legal advice to their clients. This section highlights the role of different benefit sources and their interaction under state law.

Handling cases relating to motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving on-duty workers, will require a comprehensive grasp of these provisions. Attorneys must guide clients through the benefit deductibility process, ensuring fair settlements. The fact that the section differentiates between workers' compensation and accident and health benefits suggests a broad and encompassing understanding of potential sources of benefits following an accident.

Advanced Analysis:

The specific language used in this section of the MVFRL suggests a streamlined and systematic approach to handling compensatory benefits. The use of language such as 'shall be subtracted' indicates an imperative, non-negotiable condition that guarantees certain deductions. This phrasing makes it clear that insurers are obligated to subtract alternative benefits from those available under Section 1753. On analyzing the effective date, it is apparent that the rule has been applicable for many years, and could likely have significant case law culminated around its interpretation and application.

Furthermore, the phrase 'less reasonably incurred collection costs' points to a deduction allowed for costs incurred to collect these benefits, which adds another layer of complexity to the proceedings. Pennsylvania attorneys should be keen on this aspect to ensure clients are not overcharged in these deductions.

The usage of 'eligible claimant' also widens the scope of those affected by this law, as it does not limit it to just the insured but to anyone who has a valid claim. This includes passengers in the car at the time of the accident.

Close examination of this section is important for comprehensive understanding and effective execution of MVFRL in Pennsylvania. To provide expert advice and secure fair benefit settlements for clients, Pennsylvania attorneys should conduct a detailed review and thorough understanding of Section § 1755 of the MVFRL.

About the author
Von Wooding

Von Wooding

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