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Personal Injury Attorney Alfred Abel Discusses Reward Limitations

Personal injury award limitations - person with painful back injury - Alfred Abel Law Offices

One question a Philadelphia personal injury attorney often hears is, “How much compensation can I receive?” People who have been injured due to another’s negligence are understandably concerned about whether they can receive enough money to pay their damages, and whether any punitive fines will be involved.

In most cases, the only way you can get an estimate of your potential rewards is to consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. However, some aspects of personal injury compensation are easier to outline than others, such as any relevant time limits on filing, as well as how damage is calculated and whether limitations on damages exist.
Here is a brief rundown of some of the most important restrictions, deadlines, and limits to be aware of when considering a personal injury claim.

Some Facts About Personal Injury Filing and Compensation Limits

I. Damage Caps

Per the Pennsylvania state constitution, no limits exist on damage claims in most cases involving personal injury. However, caps are in place if you are suing government entities: $500,000 when suing a local government body, or $250,000 when suing the Commonwealth itself.

II. Statutes of Limitations (Time Limits for Filing)

For most forms of personal injury, the statute of limitations is two years. However, we do recommend you move swiftly if you have been involved in an incident. The evidence needed to prove your case will become harder to obtain the longer you wait. Such delays may be particularly problematic if your case requires eye-witness testimony.

Also, if you intend to sue a government entity, you must provide notice within six months of the incident.

III. “No-Fault Car Insurance” Limits Personal Liability in Automotive Accidents

Pennsylvania is a “no-fault car insurance” state. Briefly, this means that unless you have been seriously injured in a traffic accident, the other driver cannot be sued if their insurance can cover all relevant damages or medical care. The definition of “seriously” is somewhat flexible, but generally requires some sort of “serious impairment of bodily function. It does not require a permanent injury.

IV. Shared Fault Rules

In some cases, both parties will bear some of the fault for the accident – particularly where automotive accidents are concerned. So, the court will assign a percentage of fault to both parties as a way of establishing which side is more at fault than the other. To win your case, you must demonstrate that the other party was at least 51% at fault.

These percentages also influence your payout. For example, if you are suing for $40,000 in damages, but the court finds you were 25% at fault for the accident, then the maximum you could receive is accordingly reduced by 25%. So, you would only be able to receive $30,000 of your claim.

When You Have Been Injured in An Accident, You Need a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

Alfred Abel has been serving the Philadelphia-area community for over 35 years, and is committed to helping clients get the compensation they deserve. Contact us to set up your initial consultation.