Like other motor-vehicle collisions, a person is entitled to certain specific damages or a money award for various items. The following is a list of some of the things that a person may receive a money award for if they are the victim of a negligent driver.
Aggravation of a pre-existing injury. If a person may have a slightly injured foot that gets crushed in a motor-vehicle collision. This is known as an aggravation of a pre-existing condition and the person is entitled to money damages for the additional injury.
Often with a serious injury there is a future disability. The person that is injured may never fully recover and they are entitled to damages due to the collision limiting their abilities in the future.
An injured party is also entitled to money damages for pain and suffering. It is often difficult to put an exact number on a person's pain. It may be necessary to have a physician or family member speak about the agony that they witnessed a person undergoing on an everyday basis.
One of the unfortunate results in many collision is a disfigurement such as a scar on the person's head, face or neck. This permanent disfigurement has been described as "a disablement" as much as an item of damage as a broken leg and the jury is required to evaluate it as an objective loss instead of awarding only a nominal sum.
Along with disability and disfigurement, collisions often result in the loss of enjoyment of life pleasures. As a result of the injuries suffered in a collision a person may no longer be able to enjoy their favorite sport or hobby. This loss of the enjoyment of life's pleasures is an element of damages for which a person can recover a monetary sum.
In Pennsylvania when a person pays for their own medical expenses that occurred as a result of a collision, that person is entitled to reimbursement for those medical expenses. Of course the costs must be reasonable and the medical services must be necessary and finally related to the injuries sustained in the collision.
An often unused element of damages is the negligent infliction of emotional distress. An example would be a mother standing next to her child who is rundown by a motor vehicle. The parent cannot receive an award of money damages if they have simply heard about the injury to their child. They must be a witness to the traumatic event.
Finally there is the loss of consortium element. The element includes the aid, assistance, comfort and society which a spouse would be expected to render to their spouse. In my experience I have seen that the awards for loss of consortium tend to be much smaller that the damages awarded for other types of injuries.
The law is constantly evolving and if you or a loved one is injured by someone else's negligence please contact the law offices of Lisko & Associates for an evaluation of the damages you may have suffered.