Getting injured in a car crash or bitten by a dog both fall under the category of personal injury and can be equally traumatic, but the laws surrounding these incidents and the damages you could potentially recover differ greatly in Pennsylvania. We at Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC, the personal injury lawyers in Montgomery County, PA, know Pennsylvania law and have created a brief overview of pain and suffering and statutory rules of which any PA resident should be aware.
Pain & Suffering Distinctions
Whether or not someone purposefully causes you injury, if you have experienced any type of pain and suffering as a result of their actions, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. In law, “pain and suffering” is defined as the physical or mental distress suffered from an injury. This definition is relatively broad and famously subjective, which makes suing for damages challenging, and the 2-year statute of limitations for PA only adds to the challenge.
To combat the vagueness of the terms’ definition, the law splits pain and suffering damages into two categories: Economic (or Special) & Noneconomic (or General) Damages.
- Economic Damages
These typically include medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs/replacements, and they represent the physical damages as a result of the incident.
- Noneconomic Damage
These damages represent the intangible pain and suffering that does not result in economic loss. These damages usually include physical pain, mental or emotional anguish, and loss of spousal companionship.
Although these categories do help to pinpoint the exact type of pain and suffering a victim experiences, it does not measure the amount of pain and suffering, which is essential to recovering damages. Unfortunately, measuring how much pain and suffering has been experienced makes everything a bit cloudy again.
In the courtroom, the presiding judge will not ask: Did you sustain the injury from the incident? And how much does your arm hurt? Before using your answers as the basis for his or her judgement.
Since two different people could suffer the same injury and experience completely different levels of pain, you will need court-admissible proof, such as a medical testimony, of how much pain you have experienced or are experiencing as a result of the incident you are claiming. The jury will then use that evidence in conjunction with other information, including your age, injury type, and the effects of the injury on your well-being and daily life, to determine the damages to which you have a right.
Damages Caps & Limitations in PA
In the Keystone State, damage claims for past or future pain are usually easier to make than claims for other noneconomic damages, but there are a few limitations to personal injury claims that can have negative effects on your eligibility for damages compensation. Take a look at the different limitations for pain and suffering damages claims in Pennsylvania.
We at Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC, are proud to serve as top personal injury lawyers in Bucks County, PA. If you have any questions about PA personal injury law or need top legal representation in the Greater Philadelphia area, give us a call today!