Under the tort or accident laws of Pennsylvania, individuals who are injured due to the negligence of other parties are entitled to make claims for all damages which flow from the negligent act(s). This includes both economic or financial damages as well as non-economic damages.
Accident Law in Pennsylvania – Economic Damages
Economic or financial damages often include medical bills and lost wages. For instance, someone injured in a typical store accident case like a slip and fall accident may make a claim against the store for any medical bills necessitated by the injury. In addition, if the individual lost time from work, they may also make a claim for lost wages.
In addition, individuals may make claims for any and all reasonably related out of pocket expenses. In a serious injury case, an individual who must install a wheelchair accessible ramp to their home may make a claim against the at-fault party (store) for the full cost of installation. In a less serious injury case, an individual who is unable to perform household chores may be forced to hire help. Those costs may be added to the damages claim in a subsequent accident lawsuit against the store.
Accident Law in Pennsylvania – Non-Economic Damages
Claims for non-economic damages are designed to compensate an injured individual for the physical pain and mental anguish which result from physical injury. These types of claims are commonly known as pain and suffering damage claims. In general, the more serious the injury, the greater the pain and suffering. However, it is important to note that pain and suffering is unique to the individual. No two individuals will suffer the same level of pain and suffering.
For example, an office worker and a construction worker with the same hand injury may be affected differently. The office worker may be able to resume work duties and a normal routine immediately, whereas the construction worker may have difficulty making a fist and therefore has difficulty resuming his usual daily activities, including work. Here, the construction worker would have more significant pain and suffering than the office worker.
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