How Will Damages be Calculated in My Pennsylvania Personal Injury Case?

by | Jun 6, 2022

Pennsylvania personal injury laws allow you to pursue compensation in the form of personal injury damages. Personal injury damages are the losses you suffered, such as medical bills, lost wages, and more. It is challenging to determine how much you can expect to receive from your accident claim since no two cases are alike.

Your case also hinges upon your ability to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident if you want to collect pain and suffering damages. There is no straight line calculation that you can find to help you acutely pinpoint what your Pennsylvania personal injury damages are worth.

However, discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer will help you understand what similarly situated claimants have received alongside the types of actionable losses you have experienced.

In This Article

A Pennsylvania personal injury attorney addresses the types of damages typically available in a personal injury case and how they might be evaluated. We also discuss how modified comparative negligence rules affect the calculation of your case and where you can get legal help if the insurance company is low-balling your settlement offer.

Types of Pennsylvania Personal Injury Damages Available

Pennsylvania personal injury laws aim to provide restitution for accident injury victims for the losses they incurred due to someone else’s negligence. The amount that you can expect to receive is based on the severity of your injuries, the medical expenses, the level of negligence exhibited, and where your accident injuries occurred.

There are a few different types of classifiable damages available to claimants, including:

Special Damages

Special damages describe your measurable, out-of-pocket expenses. They include things like medical expenses, property damage, travel to and from doctors’ appointments, lost wages, future lost earning capacity, and physical therapy.

Your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer will be able to prove your damages exist through invoices, receipts, and paystubs. Since this process requires careful document management, your legal representative will also be able to take this task off your plate, too.

General Damages

General damages are subjective losses you incurred. They include losses such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, wrongful death, and disfigurement. Your attorney may use your testimony, personal journals, eyewitnesses, and expert testimony to prove your non-economic damages.

These damages are tough to prove without legal reason or evidence. Ensure you get help with this aspect of your case as well since you could be leaving compensation on the table.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are generally reserved for cases that exhibit gross negligence. They are rarely awarded and assigned when an additional punishment to the detracting party is necessary. Your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer will help you determine if these damages are potentially recoverable for your case

Your lawyer will gather and preserve the evidence that speaks to the facts and theory of your case as it becomes available. Doing so allows you to focus on your recovery while a legal professional pursues the compensation you deserve for your personal injury damages.

Related Article: What to Do If You Get Hit in a Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident?

Establishing Liability Will Affect Your Personal Injury Damages

Liability is one of the most significant issues during a Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuit or claim. The reason for this arising is that Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state under 42 Pa.C.S. § 7102. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, then you are not able to receive a settlement or civil court award.

Example of How Liability May Be Distributed

For example, if you get into an accident that someone else caused, but the jury believes that you were slightly distracted while driving, could have reacted sooner, and were more than 50 percent responsible, then you receive nothing. However, if the other driver is found to be more than 50 percent at fault, then you receive personal injury damages based on their percentage of fault.

For instance, if the jury awards you $100,000 for your losses, but the defendant is only 80 percent at fault, then you will receive $80,000 in personal injury damages.

Related Article: Is There a Time Limit on Personal Injury Claims in Pennsylvania?

General Damages Are More Challenging to Estimate

General damages are more challenging to calculate than special damages. Special damages come with a receipt or invoice, while general damages are more subjective to estimate. However, your personal injury lawyer may use a multiplier when assessing your case initially.

Usually, this multiplier is a number between 1.5 and 5 times the amount of your special damages. As such, your general damages vary according to the following:

  • Injury severity
  • Medical costs
  • Future medical care costs
  • Time spent in treatment
  • Other relevant factors

The pain and suffering damages multiplier is often a point of negotiation between insurers and attorneys. Insurers typically argue for a lower amount. However, you can always count on our legal team to fight for the highest multiplier you are owed.

A PA Personal Injury Lawyer Can Estimate Your Damages

Multiple factors influence the personal injury damages received by an injury victim in Pennsylvania. Therefore, you should speak with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer for specific legal advice and information about your case.

We have the practical experience and knowledge you want when insurers are not holding up their end of the deal. It is also vital to keep in mind that the insurer only has to pay what they believe they legally owe, so make sure that you do not make any self-incriminating statements that prevent you from receiving an award.

Call Shuttleworth Law Now for Help

At Shuttleworth Law, we offer prospective clients an opportunity to learn more about their cases at no cost or obligation before hiring us. Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation today by calling(215) 774-1371 or messaging us through our private contact form here

We are a Pennsylvania contingency fee personal injury law firm, meaning that we do not charge you advance attorneys’ fees. Our legal team only gets paid when you win.

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