There are 10 common personal injury cases in Philadelphia and 2 types of damages awarded. We will cover all of this in a way that’s easy to understand.
Here are the 10 common types of personal injury cases in Philadelphia:
- Automobile accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Workplace injuries
- Construction accidents
- Burn injuries
- Product liability cases
- Trucking accidents
- SEPTA accidents
- Medical negligence
- Wrongful death
There are primarily two classifications of injury claims that can be handled by an auto accident attorney in Philadelphia : intentional tort and act of negligence.
What Are The Two Types Of Injury Claims?
In Pennsylvania, a victim can pursue two types of injury claims with the assistance of an attorney. They are intentional tort claims and negligence claims.
An intentional tort is an unlawful act or transgression undertaken with the intent of causing injury to another person or their property. Assault, battery, property conversion (interference), defamation, false imprisonment, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespass to land, and trespass to personal property are the nine forms of intentional torts.
Act of Negligence
When a person fails to behave adequately, or at all, in specific conditions, this is a negligent act. Another person or their personal property suffers damages or injuries as a result of this failure to act. The individual who fails to take action owes a duty (to the person who has been hurt) to act in a specified way.
In summary, intentional tort asserts that an individual committed the act deliberately. Act of Negligence alleges that the act was committed accidentally.
There are also primarily two types of damages arising from these cases. These are compensatory damages and punitive damages.
What Are The 2 Types Of Compensatory Damages?
The actual and general types of compensatory damage both mean very different things. Actual damages refer to financial reimbursement for the costs of the personal injury. General damages refer to any damages incurred that aren’t monetary.
Actual damages will be calculated by your legal team and be specific to your case. It will be a specific figure of money that your attorney believes is proportionate for the claim you’re making. The bottom line is that these funds should be enough to cover any material losses you’ve suffered as a result of the injury.
General damages are more complicated. They are a calculation of losses that don’t involve financial costs. One of the ways it’s calculated is by considering your past medical history, treatment for the accident, diagnostic testing, doctor’s medical opinion, current complaints and other factors, indicating how serious the injury was. This is another element that you can discuss with your attorney when preparing your case for presentation in court.
What Do Compensatory Damages Cover?
Compensatory damages will cover different costs depending on whether they are actual or general.
Actual damages will cover any financial cost deemed relevant to the specific injury suffered if awarded after the court case.
These damages can include a whole range of costs, such as:
- Lost income
- Higher living costs
- Ambulance costs
- Surgery and medication
- Care received at home
- Therapy that may be needed
- Equipment purchases
- The costs of rehabilitation
- Repairs or replacements involving property
On the other hand, general damages will provide an equivalent sum of money to account for non-financial costs relating to the injury if the court awards them after the case ends. These include:
- Lost opportunities
- Mental anguish
- Pain and long-term suffering
- Reduced life enjoyment
- Future expenses that may be incurred
What Are Punitive Damages In Pennsylvania?
Beyond compensatory damages that cover the costs you as the plaintiff has suffered, there is another category of damages known as punitive damages. Here’s the particular definition under Pennsylvania law:
According to Pennsylvania law, punitive damages may be awarded to a plaintiff in a personal injury suit if the defendant’s behavior is willful, malicious, wanton, or any other extent that justifies the enforcement of such damages. Punitive damages are intended to deter similar behavior in the future so that others are not harmed in the same way.
However, this type of damage is most likely to be awarded in claims relating to reckless or wanton behavior, or an intentional tort. Negligent acts are not deemed as malicious because otherwise, they’d be classified as intentional, so punitive damages are usually not relevant.
The Top 5 Types Of Personal Injury Cases
Out of the 10 types of cases we listed at the top of this post, 5 are the most well-known and frequently occurring. We’ll cover each one.
Most of these accidents involve SUVs, cars, and trucks. Sometimes they can involve buses, like the SEPTA ones in Philadelphia. Occasionally, they can also involve motorcycle accidents.
A common type of case featured in claims regarding acts of negligence is surgical errors performed by doctors and nurses. This can refer to harming the patient, giving them the wrong medication, and causing injuries upon birth.
If an employee is injured at work, this often takes the form of an accident where they slip and fall. If this is put down to a failure of the employer to manage their premises properly, it can give rise to a claim of negligence. Examples include poor lighting, broken floors, and not removing ice and snow.
If a product that a company sells is allegedly defective, it can give rise to a product liability case. This can result in product recalls like what allegedly happened to the GM ignition switch and the Takata airbag.
If a person dies, and that death could have been prevented, it’s known as wrongful death. Cases of wrongful death usually focus on winning compensatory damages for the beneficiaries of the victim.