It is difficult to know how you might be able to get more in pain and suffering damages without first letting a member of the Berger and Green car accident team review your case. During this free initial consultation, we can help you understand if you are eligible to pursue noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering.
If we take on your case, and you are eligible for this type of damages, we will calculate the possible payout amount as a part of putting a fair settlement value on your claim. There is no way to know how much your economic or noneconomic damages may be worth before this point in the process.
Pennsylvania Law Bars Some Victims From Seeking Pain and Suffering Damages
As a part of Pennsylvania’s financial responsibility auto insurance law (PA Code Title 75, Section 1705), only some drivers are eligible to pursue noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering.
The “choice no-fault” car insurance system requires all drivers to choose between full tort or limited tort coverage. If you opt for full tort, you can always pursue noneconomic damages. Those with limited tort can only recover economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, property damages, etc.) following an accident. That is unless they meet one of the limited tort exceptions.
The most common limited tort exception is the serious injury threshold. If you suffer injuries that are serious enough, you can pursue pain and suffering damages. The law defines a serious injury as any injury that impairs a bodily function, causes serious disfigurement or results in death.
Other limited tort exceptions include:
- A drunk or drugged driver caused your accident and is convicted or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
- The vehicle driven by the at-fault driver is registered in a different state
- The at-fault driver intentionally caused the accident
- The at-fault driver does not have insurance as required by the financial responsibility law
In many cases, we can identify how our clients meet one of these exceptions and provide proof of your eligibility to pursue noneconomic damages. We regularly review the facts of every car accident case to see if this is a possibility for our clients.
We Can Put a Fair Value on Your Pain and Suffering Damages
Putting a monetary value on pain and suffering damages is difficult. We understand that no amount of money will ever make you forget the emotional distress or physical pain. However, this is the best way the civil court system has to help you recover. To this end, our Pittsburgh car accident lawyers know the most common ways to value pain and suffering.
We will examine the facts of your case, document the economic value of your case, and calculate how much to pursue in noneconomic damages. Some of the factors that may play a role include:
- The severity and nature of your injuries
- How long your treatment and care will last
- Other facts of your case
There is generally little evidence to directly support a dollar value for pain and suffering damages, but other types of evidence can help. This includes:
- Proof of your economic losses
- Medical bills and medical records proving your required treatment and care
- Photographs or video of your injuries
- A journal outlining your mental anguish, injury treatment, and impact on your everyday life
- Medical expert testimony about your prognosis and future care needs
In many cases, pain and suffering damages can be equal to the economic damages you endured or significantly larger. Pennsylvania law does not limit the pain and suffering damages available to car accident victims who qualify to pursue them. It is possible to get more in pain and suffering damages than you might initially expect.
Talk to a Pittsburgh Car Accident Attorney About Your Case
Berger and Green founding partner Laurence B. Green has fought to help accident victims recover the damages they deserve for more than 40 years. Along with the rest of the team, he works to support the best interests of his clients. We are dedicated to pursuing the full range of compensation available to you, including pain and suffering damages.
If you suffered injuries in Pittsburgh or a nearby area, call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400. We offer free case reviews and can help you understand the rules for recovering pain and suffering damages.