Car accidents, especially severe ones, can impact your health and your finances significantly. Some injuries can lead to prolonged time off work and the possibility of lifelong effects from your injuries.
A Philadelphia auto injury lawyer can help you build a strong claim and pursue the maximum damages for your economic losses and pain and suffering.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics
According to Pennsylvania state government statistics for 2018:
- There is an average of 15 reportable crashes every hour
- There is one car accident fatality every 7 hours
- There are 9 injuries in car accidents every hour
- 1 out of every 44 Pennsylvania residents was involved in a crash
- The fatality rate was 1 per 10,762 people
- The injury rate was 1 per 164 people
Looking at these statistics, Pennsylvania residents have a relatively high chance of being involved in and being injured in some level of an auto accident.
What is No-Fault Insurance?
Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state, and in most circumstances, your own no-fault insurance covers any financial losses. However, unlike other no-fault states, Pennsylvania allows drivers to choose to opt-out of the no-fault system when purchasing their car insurance policy.
There are two choices if you decide to opt-out:
- Limited tort coverage – This option gives you a limited choice when it comes to pursuing financial compensation after an accident where another driver is liable. You can claim for all financial losses such as medical bills or lost wages, but not for any non-economic damages such as pain and suffering except in cases where the injury is extremely serious. Going by several court decisions in Pennsylvania, seriousness is usually defined as severe impairment or permanent disfigurement.
- Full tort coverage – This type of policy is more expensive, but it does give you unlimited rights in pursuing financial compensation when another driver is liable. As well as the standard financial losses, you will also be able to claim for non-economic damages even if your injuries do not meet the definition of serious needed with a limited tort claim.
Whatever form of insurance you decide to choose, there are minimum requirements for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage you must have by law:
- $5,000 of medical coverage
- $15,000 in injury liability per person
- $30,000 total bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 for property damage
How Do I Ensure I Get Maximum Compensation?
No matter what type of insurance you have, having an experienced Philadelphia car crash lawyer fighting your case significantly improves your chances of a successful outcome with the highest possible level of compensation. If you have no-fault insurance and your insurance company is providing a low-ball offer, we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you have tort insurance, a personal injury claim after a car accident must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. In Pennsylvania, you cannot be more than 50% at fault for the accident in order to pursue a claim. Total damages may be reduced if you are found partially at fault.
What are the Damage Caps in Pennsylvania ?
There are no damage caps on economic or non-economic damages in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unless you are pursuing a claim against the state or local government. If you are suing the state, you are limited to $250,000 per person and up to $1,000,000 for a single accident. If you are suing a local municipality, the cap is set at $500,000.
Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and physical therapy. Non-economic damages are not as quantifiable but can be just as devastating, including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
When you are recovering from injuries you’ve sustained in a car accident, the last thing you want is additional financial worries. At The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky, our team is ready to help you recover damages and restore your financial well-being. Contact our law offices today at (215) 735-4800 for a free consultation.