Lehigh Valley: 610-435-7400

Philadelphia: 215-567-6616

Understanding Negligence: Actual Loss

Actual LossIn earlier blogs, we explained the negligence principles of standard of care and of causation. There’s a third requirement—you must also show that the defendant’s breach of the duty to act as a reasonable person caused you to suffer actual loss. That may seem obvious in most situations—you were in an accident and required medical treatment, or had damage to personal property. But that may not necessarily mean that you’ve suffered what the law defines as “actual loss.”

When is a Loss an “Actual Loss”?

Here are the losses that generally meet the requirements to be considered as actual losses:

  • Wages and income—If your injury kept you from working, you may be able to recover lost compensation from the defendant. However, if you have a disability insurance policy, any amount you receive through that policy will offset what you can recover from the defendant. Even if your injury prevented you from performing the job you had prior to the accident, if you perform other work for the same or greater salary, you have not suffered an actual loss.
  • Unreimbursed medical expenses—As a general rule, the law frowns on double recovery for personal injury—the total amount you recover from all parties for actual losses cannot exceed the total amount of your actual losses. Accordingly, if you have been reimbursed for medical expenses through an auto or health insurance policy, you cannot recover for those losses from the defendant. The insurance company may seek reimbursement of any payments made to you from the at-fault party, though.
  • Physical pain and suffering—Actual losses do include compensation for both past and future pain and suffering tied to your injury. That includes compensation if you are required to give up activities that you engaged in before the accident.
  • Loss of consortium or companionship—If your accident made it impossible, difficult or painful to engage in intimate relations with a spouse or partner, or to spend quality time with friends and family, you can have a claim for actual losses.
  • Property damage—If the accident caused damage to your personal or real property, you have a right to pursue damages for the cost of repairing or replacing the property.

Contact Metzger & Kleiner

At Metzger & Kleiner, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment, contact our office online [Link to Contact Page] or call us at 215-567-6616 in Philadelphia, 610-435-7400 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 866-847-4170.

We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. We will only bill you attorney fees if we recover compensation for your losses.

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