Recoverable Damages in Car Accidents
When you or a loved one becomes involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, understanding your rights to compensation is paramount. This article aims to shed light on the types of recoverable damages you may be entitled to under Pennsylvania law. With the guidance of a skilled injury attorney in Easton from the Sharma Law Office, you can navigate the intricate legal landscape and secure the compensation you deserve.
Types of Recoverable Damages
The range of damages you can recover in a Pennsylvania car accident case broadly falls under economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are the quantifiable losses you suffer as a result of a car accident. These include:
- Medical Expenses: The aftermath of a car accident often involves significant medical costs. This category covers not only immediate medical care but also long-term rehabilitation. These expenses may include ambulance fees, hospital stays, surgical procedures, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any necessary medical equipment like wheelchairs or crutches.
- Lost Wages: A car accident can force you to take an extended leave of absence from work, leading to lost wages. This aspect of economic damages includes not only immediate lost wages but also future earnings if you are rendered incapable of returning to your previous job due to your injuries.
- Property Damage: Damage to your vehicle and other personal belongings at the time of the accident can also be claimed under economic damages. The cost of repairs or, in the case of a total loss, the current market value of the vehicle, can be included in your claim.
Non-economic damages are less tangible but equally significant. These include:
- Pain and Suffering: This type of damage encompasses both physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. Compensation for pain and suffering aims to provide relief for ongoing discomfort, anxiety, stress, or other forms of emotional anguish.
- Loss of Consortium: This pertains to the negative impact the accident has had on your relationship with your spouse or family members. The loss of companionship, affection, and other intangible aspects of a relationship can also be claimed as damages.
In situations where the defendant acted with extreme negligence or malicious intent, Pennsylvania law permits the awarding of punitive damages. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which aim to compensate the victim, punitive damages are intended to serve as a deterrent against egregious behavior.
Navigating through these categories requires a nuanced understanding of Pennsylvania law, making it essential to consult a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Easton who can guide you through the complexities of your specific case.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
In a car accident where both drivers share some level of fault, the modified comparative negligence rule adjusts the total amount of damages you can recover based on your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 20% at fault in a car accident and the total damages are $100,000, your eligible compensation would be reduced to $80,000.
It’s crucial to note that Pennsylvania has a 51% rule threshold for recovery under this system. This means that if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you would be ineligible to recover any damages.
This rule has significant legal implications. Not only can it reduce the amount you might receive, but it could also entirely bar you from recovery if you’re primarily at fault. Therefore, a strong legal strategy often involves not just proving the fault of the other party but also minimizing any attributed fault to yourself.
Recovering Your Damages With the Help of an Injury Attorney in Easton
When pursuing car accident damages, it’s essential to seek legal representation. An injury attorney can provide the knowledge and skills needed to navigate Pennsylvania car accident laws effectively. A skilled attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court, if necessary. If you have been involved in a Pennsylvania car accident and are seeking legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances, contact Sharma Law Office today for a consultation to ensure your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.