What Are the Different Types of Personal Injury Damages? - Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.
Personal Injury Damages

What Are the Different Types of Personal Injury Damages?

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.
Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

If you have been injured because of another person’s negligence, you may wonder whether you can be compensated for your injuries and how much you can be compensated.  

Below, a Scranton personal injury lawyer discusses a few types of damages that may be available to you.

What Damages Can You Recover For?

There are three types of damages you can recover: economic, non-economic, and punitive. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are monetary values that can be calculated, such as: 

  • Medical bills- past and future
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity 
  • The cost of home healthcare

Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are losses that are not monetary and are sometimes difficult to quantify. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Mental anguish
  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • Distress, discomfort, and inconvenience
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship

Punitive Damages

Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are not designed to compensate the claimant but rather to punish and/or deter the tortfeasor. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases.  A jury can award punitive damages if the plaintiff can show that the tortfeasor acted willfully or recklessly in disregard for one’s health and safety.

For example: Dr. Jones is aware that his surgical instruments are not properly sterilized but proceeds to use them during surgery on Mary. This negligent action results in a severe infection, causing Mary significant harm. Given Dr. Jones’s blatant disregard for patient safety and established medical protocols, a jury would likely award Mary punitive damages to punish Dr. Jones and deter similar future conduct.

Understanding No-Fault Cases

No-fault cases refer to situations where individuals involved in an accident receive compensation from their own insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident. This aims to streamline the claims process, reduce litigation, and ensure that victims receive prompt payment for medical expenses and lost wages.

In a no-fault system, each party’s insurance covers their damages up to a specified limit. However, severe cases involving significant injury or damage may still be filed against the tortfeasor, and you may be able to recover money damages from the tortfeasor’s insurance company. 

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit?

Yes, and it’s called the statute of limitations. Typically, Pennsylvania has a two year statute of limitations to file a claim for personal injuries. It is important to note that there may be exceptions to this two-year statute of limitations. If you do not file a claim within the statute of limitations, you may be forever barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.

We’ll Help You Seek Fair Compensation

If you need help determining your damages, reach out to Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. We can also explain topics such as no-fault insurance and strict liability in legal cases.

For a free consultation with a Scranton personal injury lawyer, call (570) 346-2600.