Does Pennsylvania Limit The Damages I Can Receive For a Personal Injury?
You’ve suffered injuries as the result of the negligence or recklessness of another person. You want full compensation for the financial burden you and your family have now been forced to bear. While some state’s limit the amount of compensatory damages a victim of personal injury can receive, Pennsylvania does not. Pennsylvania’s constitution actually prohibits the limitation of damages in personal injury cases. Here’s what you need to know.
Which Personal Injury Damages Should I Seek?
There are several types of damages you can recover in a personal injury case:
- Economic or non-economic damages: Also known as actual damages, economic damages are awarded for expenses that can be quantified in monetary figures. They include medical bills, lost wages, or the costs of repairing damaged property. Non-economic damages on the other hand are damages that cannot easily be quantified. They include emotional stress and pain and suffering.
- Compensatory or punitive damages: Compensatory damages are damages awarded to compensate you for past and future expenses. They are awarded for medical bills, emotional stress, loss of wages, property damages and out-of-pocket expenses. Compensatory damages may either be economic or non-economic. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and deter other people from conducting themselves in the same way as the defendant. They are usually awarded when a defendant acted egregiously.
When Damages Can Be Capped
There are instances where personal injury damages can be capped. For damages are against Commonwealth parties, the damages are capped at $250,000 if they arise from the same cause. Overall, they cannot exceed $1 million. Damages against a local government or local agencies are capped at $500,000. Finally, there is a limitation on punitive damages. As a general rule, punitive damages should not be more than ten times the actual damages awarded.