Car accidents in Pennsylvania, including those in Philadelphia, may result in serious injuries. When drivers, passengers and pedestrians are injured in car accidents, what types of financial damages can they recover?
Injured victims may recover medical expenses. However, injured drivers who need medical treatment will first file a PIP claim with their own car insurance company due to PA’s no-fault rule. The driver does not recover PIP from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The injured driver’s medical PIP coverage will pay for the driver’s medical expenses up to the limit purchased. The minimum amount drivers must carry in Pennsylvania is $5,000. Drivers can opt to purchase a higher limit.
Once PIP is exhausted, the next level of coverage is the driver’s own medical insurance policy. Many health plans have deductibles and co-pays. The injured driver can sue to recover out of pocket medical expenses incurred as a result of the car accident.
PIP also covers lost wages for injured insured drivers. Again, this is not recovered from the other party’s insurance company. However, like PIP medical coverage, the injured driver will receive up to the limit paid on the insurance policy. Thereafter, any lost wages not covered by PIP may be recovered from the at-fault driver. It is important to note that even though the injured receives lost wages from his PIP claim, PIP may only compensate a percentage of lost wages. Therefore, the difference in pay may also be recovered from the at-fault driver.
Out of Pocket Expenses
As a result of the car accident, the injured driver may incur other out of pocket expenses that are not medical in nature. For example, a driver fractures his leg as a result of the accident. The leg is in a cast and he cannot bear weight on it for 10 weeks. The driver’s mobility is affected, and he cannot perform many household chores. He needs to hire a lawn mowing company to cut his grass for those 10 weeks. He also needs to take a taxi to his doctor’s office because he cannot drive. These are all out of pocket expenses the driver may recover.
Pain and Suffering
A type of damages that may be difficult to prove is pain and suffering damages. Unlike medical expenses, lost wages and out of pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages are harder to prove. Medical/out of pocket expenses and lost wages are easy to prove via bills, pay stubs, receipts, etc. There is no set number for pain and suffering damages.