When determining compensation after an accident in Pennsylvania, victims may find it difficult to set a dollar amount on the emotional pain and suffering they have endured. Injury settlement amounts depend on a variety of factors and often require a professional assessment by medical doctors, vocational experts, and others who can strengthen a claim for damages. In many cases, Pennsylvania injury lawyers take part in settlement negotiations, and insurance adjusters will need to determine the value of the case.
Generally, those individuals who suffer injuries caused by the negligence of another party have two years to bring a legal claim for damages. Abiding by the statute of limitations is necessary, since Pennsylvania courts will not hear cases filed after this period of time. After asserting a claim against a defendant, the individual or entity’s insurer will use the alleged injury as a starting point to determine an appropriate amount of damages.
In many situations, insurance adjusters categorize injuries into soft tissue injuries or hard injuries. Soft tissue injuries are generally described by the patient and only involve muscles or other connective tissues. These are generally less serious than hard injuries, and when assessing the value of these claims, insurers reason that soft tissue injuries are not usually permanent, despite the pain the victim may endure.
Hard injuries are usually detected through professional medical examinations, and they are considered by insurance adjusters to be more severe than soft injuries. As a result, adjusters tend to award higher damages to injured individuals who suffer hard injuries as opposed to soft injuries. When setting forth an injury claim, relying on X-rays or describing injuries as involving a compressed nerve (as opposed to a strain) can increase the value of a claim.
Types of hard injuries can include:
- Broken bones: Insurance adjusters tend to pay more for broken bones, including chipped or cracked bones.
- Wounds: Tears or cuts that require treatment can increase the value of a claim.
- Head injuries: When someone suffers a head injury, the effects last longer than may be obvious. The value of a head injury claim may be large because insurance adjusters appreciate that these types of injuries have long-term effects, and even after recovery, symptoms can recur.
- Vertebrae or spinal disc injuries: When injured individuals seeking damages describe neck or back injuries in medical terms, they may be perceived as more serious than a “strained neck or back.” If there are X-rays of the spinal area, these could reveal an abnormality in the vertebrae (in a disc, for example).
As the plaintiff in a personal injury claim, setting forth a strong claim for compensation is important. Accident victims are entitled to recover compensation for their full range of damages. At Needle Law Firm, our Pennsylvania injury attorneys provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, and we can be reached by phone at (570) 344-1266.
More Blog Posts:
Punitive Damages in Pennsylvania Awarded in Personal Injury Claims for Outrageous or Willful Conduct, Pennsylvania Accident Lawyer Blog, August 2, 2017
Pennsylvania Contributory Negligence Law Affects Damages Awards in Personal Injury Claims, Pennsylvania Accident Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2017