In Pennsylvania, you can recover a long list of damages in car accident cases. You could collect compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.
Before pursuing car accident damages in Pennsylvania, you should understand the laws—or hire an attorney who does. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our car accident lawyers understand the state’s hybrid insurance system, and we can explain how your policy could impact the damages you can recover for a car accident case in PA.
Call us at 215-642-2335 for a free consultation about your case.
What Damages Are Available in a Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania?
You might be able to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages after an accident. In most cases, there is no cap on the damages you can recover through your claim.
Economic damages refer to those involving actual, quantifiable financial losses. These damages include costs like your:
- Current and future medical bills;
- Lost income from work;
- Reduced earning capacity;
- Medical devices, such aswheelchairs and crutches, and home modifications like a wheelchair ramp; and
- Transportation expensesto and from doctor appointments.
Because non-economic damages do not involve actual monetary loss, they cannot be quantified in dollar terms. For instance, some common non-economic damages after a car crash include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Scarring and disfigurement.
How Do I Calculate My Non-Economic Damages?
Because non-economic damages do not lend themselves to easy quantification, lawyers use different methods to assign values to them based on the circumstances.
The Multiplier Method
If we use the multiplier method in your case, we will multiply your economic damages by a factor, such as two, to arrive at your non-economic damages.
The per Diem Method
Under the per diem method, tour non-economic damages are assigned a certain dollar value, such as $50, for each day until you recover. The acceptable per diem rate depends on the severity of your injuries.
How Does the Auto Insurance System Work in PA?
Most states have either fault or no-fault car accident laws. In Pennsylvania, you get to choose. Whether you follow a fault or no-fault system depends on whether you selected full tort or limited tort liability insurance.
Full Tort Liability Insurance
With full tort liability coverage, you can seek damages from the at-fault driver in a crash rather than filing a claim with your own insurance company. However, you are also vulnerable to a lawsuit from another driver if you are ever at fault in an accident.
Limited Tort Insurance
If you carry limited tort insurance, you are immune from being sued by another driver—except in situations involving a serious injury. You cannot sue an at-fault driver unless you can prove they seriously injured you.
Instead, you must file a claim for damages with your own insurance company. Your coverage limits determine the amount you are eligible to collect.
What Happens in Partial Fault Situations in Pennsylvania?
In some cases, two or more drivers share the blame for a car accident. In these situations, Pennsylvania comparative negligence rules divvy up who pays what in damages.
Under comparative negligence, you are eligible to pursue compensation from the other driver even if you were partially at fault. However, your award is reduced by your share of the blame.
For example, if you suffered $10,000 in economic and non-economic damages but were 30-percent at fault for the accident, you could recover $7,000 from the other driver.
If you were more than 50-percent at fault for the wreck, however, you cannot collect damages.
What If My Case Involves a Government Agency?
Generally, there are no limitations on the amount you can recover in damages. However, if the liable party in your case is a government agency, an exception might apply. Under state law:
- If your claim is against the state itself, your damages are capped at $250,000;
- If your claim is against the local government, your damages are capped at $500,000.
If you are filing a claim against a local government entity, you only qualify for pain and suffering damages if the accident caused permanent dismemberment, disfigurement, the loss of a bodily function, or the death of a loved one.
How Can I Get Legal Advice If I Was Involved in a Car Accident?
The legal team at Cordisco & Saile LLC wants to help you with your Pennsylvania car accident case. We fight for the rights of car accident victims, so they can win the fair compensation they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation with a team member, call our office today at 215-440-6272.