If you drive in Pennsylvania, you might be familiar with the state’s no-fault insurance system. Simply put, the state’s no-fault system means that drivers are required to seek compensation from their insurance, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. Most states use a fault insurance system where the at-fault party’s insurance pays for damages from a car accident. Since Pennsylvania is unique, it’s common that people have questions about what their options are after an accident, especially if one causes a situation that no one expects to find themselves in.
While many drivers are prepared for the property damage and minor medical care associated with typical car accidents they might be in, few are ready for the toll that serious car accidents take on a person’s mental and emotional health. Serious car accidents leave mental and emotional scars that can last for a lifetime. In states with fault insurance systems, survivors of car accidents can pursue the party that caused their accident for something known as non-economic damages. This includes compensation for traumatic damages that are difficult to place a monetary value on.
To learn more about no-fault car insurance in Pennsylvania, our blog about the subject will help you understand it!
There Are Exceptions to PA’s No-Fault Insurance
Importantly, it’s possible for some parties to opt out of the state’s no-fault insurance requirement. A person can purchase a more expensive type of car insurance that allows them more freedom from the state’s no-fault laws. However, these policies are more expensive and aren’t a reasonable option for everyone.
When Non-Economic Damages Are Possible After a Car Accident in PA
There are times when a person can pursue an at-fault party for damages that extend beyond their insurance company or for those that are considered non-economic damages. When an accident causes serious injuries to someone, it’s likely that they can pursue the other party for compensation because of negligence.
The state determines serious injuries based on:
- How much they’ve impaired a person
- The length of time a person will be or has been impaired
- How much treatment a person required for their injuries
- Other unique factors that contribute to the seriousness of an injury.
These factors do allow for non-economic damages to be sought despite no-fault laws. Courts have deemed that, though pain and suffering is a subjective experience, it is something that is serious enough to deserve compensation for—even if a person hasn’t opted out of the state’s no-fault system.
For example, if a person’s suffering prevented them from living their life as they did before an accident, this could be considered a lasting impairment. The state’s laws mean that a person needs to be able to have traceable pain that’s linked to obvious injuries or a serious accident. Ultimately, it’s important to speak with an experienced law firm if you need help after a serious accident. While nothing guarantees an outcome for your case, having help from people who are familiar with the state’s car accident process is crucial.
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we’ve helped clients recover millions of dollars throughout Pennsylvania after serious car accidents. Our firm understands what clients need help with because we’ve been serving them since 1922! We always search for the answers that clients need and we’re constantly focused on securing the full recovery that they deserve
Call us now at (888) 498-3023 for a free consultation. We’re ready to listen to what happened and help you start discovering how recovery is possible during this difficult time.