Car accidents can leave you with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. In Pennsylvania, car accident damages may include economic and non-economic compensation to cover a wide range of issues. Consulting with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer can ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible, allowing you to focus on your recovery and future well-being.
Types of Car Accident Damages
In Pennsylvania, drivers can choose between limited tort and full tort car insurance coverage. Limited tort typically offers lower insurance premiums but limits the ability to recover non-economic damages after an accident, except in cases of severe injuries or if specific exceptions apply. Full tort coverage allows the policyholder to pursue both economic and non-economic damages without limitations, regardless of the severity of the injuries. Here’s what you can expect.
These are the tangible, quantifiable losses incurred due to a car accident. These damages have a specific price tag and are easier to calculate than non-economic damages. Here are some examples:
- Past and future medical expenses. After a car accident, you may require immediate medical attention and ongoing treatment. Economic damages cover surgeries, hospital stays, rehabilitation, medications, and any other necessary medical expenses already incurred and anticipated in the future.
- Lost income. Serious injuries lead to missed work, resulting in lost income. Economic damages aim to compensate for the wages lost during recovery and potential future income loss if the injuries have long-term effects on your ability to perform your duties.
- Property damage. Car accidents not only cause physical injuries but also may result in severe damage to the involved vehicles. Economic damages cover the costs of repairing or replacing damaged property, including the vehicle and any personal belongings inside it at the time of the accident.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages don't have a specific dollar value and are more challenging to calculate. These damages compensate for the intangible losses due to the car accident, such as:
- Pain and suffering. An accident and resulting injuries are shocking experiences causing significant physical pain and emotional hardship, and non-economic damages attempt to address this.
- Loss of consortium. This restitution is provided to an injured party's spouse for the loss of companionship, affection, and support that may have been affected by the accident.
- Emotional distress. The strain of a car accident can lead to emotional and psychological distress, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Non-economic damages account for the toll the accident imparts on your mental well-being.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. If a car accident causes permanent injuries or disabilities, the ability to enjoy life and engage in previous activities may be diminished. Non-economic damages provide compensation for this loss.