Personal injury accidents are typically caused by careless, reckless acts, and disturbing statistics reveal that they are quite common. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidents are the fourth leading cause of death nationwide. Another 24.8 victims visit their physician’s offices for medical treatment, while 24.2 people head to the emergency room for care after an accident. The losses for victims extend beyond the physical pain, with financial and emotional consequences having a significant impact.
Fortunately, you may qualify to recover personal injury compensation under Pennsylvania law. Monetary damages are available for auto crashes, truck collisions, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, slip and falls, and many other incidents. There are certain elements you need to prove, so it is wise to trust a Philadelphia personal injury attorney for assistance with the legal process. An overview of how compensation works in Pennsylvania is also useful.
Two Types of Personal Injury Compensation
Victims suffer various losses when injured in an accident, so monetary damages aim to reimburse them for the harm done. There are two categories of compensation in personal injury cases:
1. Economic Damages: Some losses are tangible and can be measured in terms of dollar value. Medical expenses, including emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and other costs, fall in this category. If you were not able to work because of your injuries, you could also claim lost wages as economic damages.
2. Noneconomic Damages: You may experience losses that are personal and subjective, so there is no exact dollar value associated with them. Pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and emotional distress are examples of noneconomic damages.
In addition, compensation is available when an accident is fatal. Surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death claim to recover damages for:
- Funeral expenses.
- Lost income and future earning capacity.
- Loss of love, guidance, and support.
- Other lost contributions the decedent can no longer provide.
How to Recover Damages After an Accident
To qualify for compensation, you must prove that the accident occurred because the at-fault party breached the duty to exercise reasonable care. The first step in the legal process is filing an insurance claim and requesting the company pay for your damages. Some cases settle, but the insurer may deny your claim or offer a lowball amount.
Under the circumstances, you may have to sue in court to recover fair compensation. Litigation starts by filing a complaint, followed by court appearances, motions, discovery, depositions, and other pretrial proceedings. At trial, your attorney will present evidence, testimony, and arguments to convince the court that you are entitled to damages.
Consult with a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Rights
This summary of personal injury compensation and your remedies after an accident is helpful, but skilled representation is critical when pursuing your remedies. For more information on how we can support you through the legal process, please contact the Quinn Law Group. You can reach our Philadelphia offices by calling (215) 360-3666 or going online. We can set up a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.