Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawsuits

On this page, our personal injury lawyers will look at Pittsburgh auto accident lawsuits. We will explain the relevant law as it applies to car accident cases in Pennsylvania and we will examine the average settlement compensation payout in Pittsburgh car accident lawsuits.

Auto Accidents in Pittsburgh

Pittsburg is the second most populous city in Pennsylvania with a population of 320,000. The larger Pittsburgh metro area, which is encompassed within Allegheny County, has a population of 1.2 million. Allegheny County is second only to Philadelphia County in terms of the miles of roadways in the county and the number of registered vehicles and drivers.

Allegheny County had more police reported auto accidents than any other county in Pennsylvania. 11,524 vehicle accidents were reported to police in Allegheny County in 2022. 83 of those accidents resulted in fatalities and 4,418 caused serious physical injuries.

Pittsburgh Auto Accident Injury Laws

Pennsylvania has its own unique laws that apply to auto accidents including tort law; traffic laws (rules of the road); and insurance laws regulations. Below is a brief outline of all the key Pennsylvania laws that apply in Pittsburgh car accidents.

2-Year Statute of Limitations for Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawsuits

If you are injured in a car accident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania law imposes a strict deadline on how long you can wait before filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This law is called the statute of limitations.

Pennsylvania auto accident cases are subject to a 2-year statute of limitations. This means that you have to file your lawsuit within 2-years of the date of your car accident or your case will automatically dismissed when you file it (42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(2)). There are some very limited exceptions to this rule, such as when the plaintiff is a minor at the time of the accident. But for the most part, you should assume that 2-years is the maximum time you can wait to file suit.

Pennsylvania’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule

In many Pittsburgh auto accident cases, both drivers may be partly negligent in causing the accident. In situations where the plaintiff’s own negligence is partly to blame for their injuries, Pennsylvania follows the legal rule known as modified comparative fault. Under comparative fault, a plaintiff’s damages are reduced by their percentage share of fault. So if a plaintiff is found to be 10% at-fault for their own injuries, their damages would be reduced by 10%.

Under the modified version of comparative fault adopted in Pennsylvania, if a plaintiff’s share of fault exceeds 50%, then they are totally barred from recovering any damages.

Damages Available in Pittsburgh Car Accident Cases

Pennsylvania does not have a statutory limit or cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in a car accident injury case. Pennsylvania law allows all the standard types of economic and non-economic damages in auto accidents including:

Lost Income: Pennsylvania personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for any wages or income lost from injuries sustained in the car crash. This includes both past and future lost wages/income. Lost income is also available for some family members in wrongful death cases.

Medical Expenses: If you are injured in an Pittsburgh car accident, Pennsylvania law allows you to recover damages for all medical expenses incurred for treatment of physical injuries caused by the accident. So let’s say Joan gets in an accident and goes to the hospital. She gets diagnosed with a back injury and undergoes physical therapy treatment for several months along with medication. Joan can get money damages for the cost of the hospital trip, the physical therapy, the medication, and everything else.

Plaintiffs are entitled to damages not just for past medical expenses, but also for future medical expenses they expect to incur if they are related to injuries suffered in the accident. For example, let’s say that in addition to the treatment described above, Joan’s doctor says that she will need to have spinal fusion surgery next year to correct her back injury. Joan is legally entitled to recover damages for the estimate cost of that surgery.

Pain & Suffering: Pennsylvania law also allows damages to be awarded for mental pain and suffering related to injuries sustained in a car accident. The more severe and painful the injury, the more pain and suffering damages. The judge or jury determines pain and suffering damages if a case goes to trial.

Settlement Value of Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawsuits

The potential settlement payout value of a Pittsburgh car accident injury case depends on a number of different factors, but the most important factor is the severity level of the plaintiff’s physical injuries. Auto accident cases involving more serious, permanent injuries have a higher settlement value.

Accident cases involving what we call Level I or “minor injuries” (e.g., whiplash, back sprains, and other soft tissue injuries) have an average value of around $18,000 to $35,000. Level II or “moderate” injuries have an average settlement value of $57,000 to $160,000. Auto accident cases involving the most serious or Level III injuries (including death in permanent disability) have a settlement value range of $200,000 to $520,000.

The Pittsburgh area is a very favorable jurisdiction for personal injury plaintiffs. Plaintiffs tend to do very well at trial in Allegheny and the surrounding areas. This means that Pittsburgh auto accident cases have a slightly higher average settlement payout value compared to accident cases in others areas in Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Auto Accident Settlements & Verdicts

Below are recent verdicts and reported settlements from Pittsburgh car accident lawsuits. These cases are provided for informational purposes only, to give examples of the types of injuries and associated legal damages awarded in Pittsburgh auto accident cases. You cannot use this to determine the settlement value of your Pittsburgh accident case. But seeing verdict and settlements are very useful to getting a feel for how much money juries give in similar types of cases.

$200,000 Verdict (Allegheny County 2023): In Monroeville, a 54-year-old mental-health worker experienced a rear-end collision while driving on Northern Pike. After the crash, she reported neck injuries, leading her to seek medical attention where she was diagnosed with exacerbated degenerative disc disease in her cervical spine, among other conditions. Following a series of treatments, which included neck surgery, she continued to grapple with enduring pain. Although the defense referenced her prior history of neck issues, an Allegheny County jury ultimately awarded her $200,000 in compensation.

$112,500 Verdict (Allegheny County 2023): The plaintiff, 41-years-old at the time, claimed to suffer injuries including concussion, headaches, left-sided hearing loss, cervical strain, and anxiety and depression after the vehicle she was a passenger in, proceeding through an intersection on a green light, was struck on the passenger side by a vehicle attempting a left turn.

$5,517 Verdict (Allegheny County 2023): The defendant reportedly collided with another vehicle, causing that vehicle to collide with a vehicle insured by plaintiff Progressive Advanced Insurance Company. The plaintiff brought a subrogation claim, alleging the defendant drove negligently, including that he failed to have his vehicle under control; failed to keep a proper lookout; drove too fast; and disregarded traffic control devices.

$26,285 Arbitration (Allegheny County 2023): The plaintiff was reportedly stopped for traffic along an interstate when his vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged various unspecified injuries to his neck, back and shoulder.

$72,000 Verdict (Allegheny County 2023): The plaintiff claimed to suffer permanent injuries including lumbar spinal fractures at L1 and L2, cervical spine injuries and hip trauma when the vehicle she was driving northbound was struck head-on by a southbound vehicle. The plaintiff and her husband, who brought a claim for loss of consortium, claimed that the defendant was negligent in crossing the centerline and driving while intoxicated, resulting in her injuries.

$900,000 Verdict (Allegheny County 2023): A 77-year-old female with pre-existing scoliosis, allegedly suffered a concussion, traumatic brain injury and post-concussive syndrome symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness and nausea, when the defendant collided with her vehicle two times: rear-ending her vehicle and then rear-ending it a second time upon backing up, pulling forward and trying to drive away.

Hire a Pittsburg Car Accident Lawyer

The personal injury attorneys at Miller & Zois can help you with your Pittsburg car accident lawsuit. Contact us today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.

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