When you suffer injury in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you can pursue compensation for the harm you have incurred through a personal injury claim. Your damages refer to those compensable harms you suffered in the accident. Compensatory damages are divided into two main categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to those more easily quantifiable impacts of an accident. These specific economic harms include medical expenses, the cost of future medical care, lost wages, and much more. Non-economic damages are those losses that are just as real, but are intangible and more difficult to quantify. In Pennsylvania, non-economic loss include pain and suffering. Can you sue for pain and suffering in Pennsylvania?
Pain and Suffering in Pennsylvania
When you are injured in an accident, the harm you experience can run much deeper than your medical bills. There is the pain of going through an accident, the pain of your injuries, the pain and stress that can be involved in treatment of your injuries, and the impacts your injuries can have on your life. Perhaps you have had to give up certain things that used to bring you so much joy. Maybe some of your relationships have suffered as a result of your accident injuries. These are things that are included in pain and suffering damages. Other damages that fall under the pain and suffering umbrella include:
- Pain in the body
- Emotional trauma
- Reduction in life expectancy
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Just as with economic damages, for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages to be awarded the injury victim must be able to show that the pain and suffering was a direct result of the accident.
While you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages in a Pennsylvania personal injury action, you should be aware that these damages are notoriously difficult to calculate. The subjective nature of pain and suffering alone can be a seemingly insurmountable complication. Everyone experiences pain differently, right? The same injury will likely have different impacts depending on the person who sustains it, afterall. This is why evidence of your injuries and the effects your injuries have had on you and your life are critical to building your case for pain and suffering damages. Medical testimony will help as will testimony from friends, family, and loved ones about how your injuries have impacted your life and your relationships. Other factors such as your age, injuries, and the type of treatment you received will also be taken into account.
Though you may be able to pursue pain and suffering damages in Pennsylvania, you should be aware of potential limitations, such as recovery in your case. For a policyholder who has elected to carry “limited tort” coverage, he or she will need to show serious injury under Pennsylvania law in order to recover pain and suffering damages. Furthermore, while Pennsylvania may not limit the amount of compensatory damages available in a personal injury case against a private party, there are limits in place when the claim is against a government body. For instance, a claim against the Commonwealth is limited to a recovery of $250,000.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
For all that you have suffered as a result of an accident, Cooper, Schall & Levy is here to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.