In a personal injury case, the defendant (or wrongdoer) is technically liable to pay the plaintiff (the injured party). However, who actually pays is a different story.
The civil justice system corrects wrongs on a financial basis. This is due in large part to the fact that it is difficult to enforce any other type of judgment. For instance, in a property damage car accident case, it would be difficult to require the defendant to actually fix the damage to the plaintiff’s car. Instead, a financial award is much easier to enforce. This principle applies in contract cases as well as injury/accident cases.
In a personal injury/accident case in Pennsylvania, financial recovery may come from the defendant’s own pockets or, if the defendant has an applicable insurance policy, the insurance company. A common type of insurance is car accident insurance. We buy car insurance so that if we cause an accident, our insurance company steps in and protects us up to the amount of liability coverage we’ve purchased. The same goes for a homeowners’ insurance policy – when a homeowner or insured family member commits negligence, or a business liability policy – when a business commits negligence.
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