After a car accident in Pennsylvania, your first focus is on getting the medical care and attention that you need to get back to your daily life. However, once the dust settles and the bills start accumulating, you might start to wonder how you can get the compensation that you deserve for the losses you have suffered because of someone else's negligence.
Needless to say, how much you can get for a car accident in Pennsylvania will depend largely on how serious the accident was and on how badly you were hurt. After all, the primary purpose of personal injury law in Pennsylvania is to compensate you for your losses, not overcompensate you for them.
However, it is possible to make a rough estimate of approximately how much you stand to gain from a lawsuit for a car crash. This can let you better understand if it is worth reaching out to the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian for legal help and effective representation.
How Much a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Car Accident Can Get
Personal injury lawsuits – of which those that stem from car accidents are a significant portion – aim to get innocent victims the compensation that they need to overcome the losses that were caused by the accident. Legally speaking, this means that a successful personal injury lawsuit for a car accident can get you the legal damages that you suffered in the crash.
Your Legal Damages in a Car Accident
Over the course of many decades of handling car accidents and unfortunate victims, the law in Pennsylvania has determined that there are certain kinds of ways that victims end up getting hurt. These are called legal damages, and come in two general forms:
- Economic damages, and
- Non-economic damages.
Together, economic and non-economic damages are what you can get, in a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident in Pennsylvania.
Economic damages are the ways that you have been hurt or have suffered in the car crash, and which can easily be distilled into a dollar amount. The most common and important kinds of economic damages that happen in a Pennsylvania car accident are:
- Property Damage. When you get involved in a car crash, your vehicle will almost always be damaged in some way. Sometimes, it gets so damaged that it would cost more money to fix it than it would cost to simply replace it. The cost of fixing or replacing your vehicle is a kind of economic damage in a personal injury lawsuit, because it is one of the ways that you have suffered, because of the accident, and because it is easily put into a dollar amount – the price that you pay to fix or replace the vehicle.
- Medical Bills. Another way that you suffer in a car accident is if you get hurt. The cost of your recovery is reflected in your medical bills, which you would not have had to pay, were it not for the car crash. Therefore, your medical bills – both the ones that you have already had to pay, as well as the ones that you are likely to pay for further treatment, after the lawsuit – are also legal damages that you can recuperate in a successful personal injury lawsuit.
- Lost Wages and Earning Potential. During your recovery, you will likely lose time at work. This will likely lead to lost wages, which you would not otherwise have lost, were it not for the car accident. Because this loss comes from the accident, you can get compensated for it in a successful personal injury case. Additionally, if the accident leads to serious injuries that prevent you from working or that make it impossible to advance in your field, you can also get compensation for that loss of earning potential.
In addition to economic damages, there are also ways that you suffer in a car crash, but which are more difficult to put into a dollar amount. These are non-economic damages and include:
- Pain and Suffering. Your injuries from the car accident were likely painful, and can often prevent you from enjoying your life the way you could, before the crash. Because this is a loss that you have suffered in the accident, you can get compensation for pain and suffering in a successful personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.
- Loss of Consortium for Your Family. Your family has also suffered from your accident through their loss of your companionship. If your recovery takes a long time or leads to permanent disabilities, your family stands to get compensation for their loss of consortium.
No Damage Caps in Pennsylvania
Importantly, and unlike some other kinds of personal injury cases, lawsuits that stem from car accidents are typically not limited in the amount of money they can recover. This allows you to get as much money as you lost, even if it was in the millions of dollars, from the crash.
However, this rule is not without exception. If the accident was caused by a government employee and the lawsuit ends up being against the State of Pennsylvania, then there will be a damage cap of $250,000 on your recovery under 42 Pa.C.S. §8528(b). If the lawsuit ends up being against a local government, then your recovery will be capped at $500,000 under 42 Pa.C.S. §8553(b).
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
Totaling up your legal damages is an effective way to estimate how much you can get in a lawsuit for a car accident in Pennsylvania. However, knowing what to count and how to count it can take an attorney.
The personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian strive to represent accident victims throughout the southeastern Pennsylvania region. Contact us online to get started on your case and give you the legal representation that you need to get the compensation that you deserve.