The award that a person is given as compensation for an injury or other loss is often referred to as damages. Damages are often categorized depending on the type of harm involved and the calculability of the figure.
Pennsylvania places a time limit called a statute of limitations on injury claims, and victims are unable to legally collect damages from the responsible party if he or she files the lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired.
Pennsylvania is considered a “modified comparative negligence” (also known as the 51 Percent Bar Rule) state, under which each party is liable in proportion to their percentage of liability—and a victim cannot recover damages if he or she was 51 percent or more at fault.
Personal Injury Attorney in West Chester, PA Discusses Damages
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in southeastern Pennsylvania? Do not make any statement or sign any paperwork until you have first contacted Ciccarelli Law Offices.
Our West Chester personal injury lawyers have office locations in Plymouth Square, Radnor, Springfield, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Malvern, and Philadelphia.
Call (610) 719-3190 to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, no obligation consultation.
Overview of Damages in Chester County
Compensatory damages are intended to restore injured parties to the economic positions that they were in before they suffered their injuries. Compensatory damages are categorized into special damages (also called economic damages) and general damages (commonly referred to as noneconomic damages).
Special damages or economic damages are typically much more easy to calculate because they are based on actual financial loss to the victim or the costs that the victim is expected to incur. Special damages may include awards for:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Property damage;
- Household services;
- Rehabilitation; and
- Any other out-of-pocket expenses.
General damages or noneconomic damages are not as quantifiable because the harm is often non-monetary. As a result, general damages can vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case and may include any of the following:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Loss of consortium;
- Disfigurement; and
Punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) may be awarded in cases in which a negligent party’s conduct was particularly egregious. In most cases, punitive damages are awarded specifically to punish the negligent party and discourage others from engaging in similar conduct.
Unlike compensatory damages, Pennsylvania state law does impose certain limitations on punitive damage awards.
Article III, Section 18 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania establishes that the General Assembly cannot limit the amount of payment to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to persons or property. Despite this constitutional protection, certain other types of damages may be limited in Pennsylvania.
Claims against the Commonwealth are capped at $250,000 in favor of any plaintiff or $1,000,000 in the aggregate and claims against local governments are capped at $500,000 in the aggregate. In medical malpractice actions, punitive damages against an individual physician cannot exceed 200 percent of the compensatory damages awarded, and 25 percent of the award must be paid to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund (Mcare).
Ciccarelli Law Offices | West Chester Personal Injury Lawyer
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in southeastern Pennsylvania as the result of another party’s negligence, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Ciccarelli Law Offices represents individuals in communities throughout Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, Chester County, and the greater Philadelphia area.
Our personal injury attorneys in West Chester can fight to get you all of the monetary damages you are entitled to. Call (610) 719-3190 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.