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Understanding damages following a Pennsylvania car accident

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2021 | Car Accidents

Accident injury cases can be confusing for many injured victims in Pennsylvania because they do not necessarily understand the elements of damage compensation. Sometimes these compensatory items can be relatively simple in minor to moderate injury cases, and sometimes they can be complicated when long-term injuries are the central claim component. Whole damage recovery is always the goal whenever possible, but insurance limitations can complicate being equitably compensated. There are generally three categories unless punitive damages can be sought.

Economic compensatory physical property damages

The first compensatory component of a claim resulting from car accidents is replacement value of a vehicle. This often results in the respondent insurance company “totaling out” the vehicle when repair estimates are more expensive than the car value, and it will typically be the first element of the claim.

Economic compensatory injury damages

The next element will be the compensatory amounts that can be calculated in specific dollars just as in a physical property damage claim. Also known as “special damages” for this reason, they include medical bills for treatment and therapy along with necessary expenses such as transportation costs for meeting medical treatment appointments. In addition, financial recovery for lost wages is included as specific damage compensation when the victim is employed and cannot work due to accident injuries.

Non-economic compensatory damages

Accident victims are typically made whole in financial recovery when the general damage elements of the claim are evaluated. Also known as pain-and-suffering damages, these claims are monetary compensation for long-term impact and difficulties dealing with the injuries. This element is typically a significant sum of money when injuries are permanent or catastrophic. Pennsylvania attorneys representing victims of car accidents will use either the per diem method of daily calculation or use the multiplier method based on the total amount of special damages included in the claim.

Accident cases that include egregious gross negligence evidence on the part of an at-fault driver can also result in punitive damages in some cases, and this potential is often why car accident cases go to trial. It is vital to always retain an experienced and aggressive Pennsylvania accident attorney when pursuing whole damages in any accident claim.