Can You Sue for A Harrisburg Car Accident If You Are Not Hurt?
September 8, 2021 | Car Accidents
Usually, victims initiate traffic accident lawsuits due to physical injuries. You may wonder whether you can sue for damages if you have been in a collision that did not result in injuries.
You may be entitled to file a lawsuit to recover damages even if the car accident did not cause physical harm to you or anyone else,
In some cases, pursuing legal action is necessary to recover the money that you need to move forward. Financial compensation from a car accident lawsuit can cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle, among other things.
Can I Sue for Vehicular Damage?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit to recover the cost of a damaged vehicle. You have this option even if you have not sustained a personal injury in the crash.
If you have only sustained minor vehicular damage, your case may be suited for small claims court. However, small claims courts have certain limits. For instance, Pennsylvania Magisterial District Court’s small claims division only hears cases involving claims of up to $12,000.
If your accident resulted in more than $12,000 worth of damages, you would need to pursue another option. An accomplished auto accident lawyer can help you to draft and file a lawsuit in civil court for the full value of the damages in your case.
Most property damage cases are resolved through insurance claims against an at-fault driver.
Filing a Negligence Lawsuit
When another motorist fails to drive in a safe and legal manner, they can be held accountable for any damage that they cause. Accident victims can sue for property damage due to another driver’s negligence.
Property damage repayment is not the only type of compensation available to uninjured accident victims. Collisions can cause serious emotional and mental trauma. Victims deserve financial recovery for all of the negative consequences of the other party’s negligence — physical and non-physical.
To prove the legal standard of “negligence” in a car accident case, the claimant must show the following:
Duty of Care
The plaintiff must show that the at-fault motorist had a duty of care to the victim. In other words, the driver had an obligation to operate their vehicle safely.
Every driver has the duty to drive safely, reasonably, and in compliance with traffic laws.
Breach of Duty
The claimant also needs to prove that the other driver breached their duty of care. A person breached their duty of care by failing to act reasonably under the circumstances. A driver may breach their duty by speeding, texting while driving, or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated — to name a few.
The plaintiff must prove that the other party’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of the traffic collision. The plaintiff must show their accident would not have happened but for the at-fault driver’s carelessness. They must also show that their accident and injuries were foreseeable.
Finally, the claimant must show that the at-fault driver’s negligence led to damages. Accident victims can claim many types of damages in a traffic accident case, even if they are uninjured.
Some examples include:
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- PTSD, Anxiety, or other mental disorders
- And more
These damages are “non-economic.” To be sure, most injury victims that sue for non-economic damages also suffered physical injuries. It can be extremely hard to prove non-economic losses without physical harm. The process often requires expert medical testimony.
Speaking with a trusted car accident attorney will give you the best chance at recovering maximum financial compensation in your case.