Car accidents can have far-reaching consequences, affecting your physical and financial well-being. When pursuing a car accident claim, it’s essential to understand the types of damages for which you can seek compensation.
1. Economic Damages
- Medical Expenses: Medical expenses are one of the most significant economic damages in a car accident claim. These expenses cover all costs related to your injuries, such as hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medications, rehabilitation, and medical devices. Maintaining detailed records of all medical bills and expenses is crucial to ensure you receive total compensation.
- Property Damage: Property damage includes your vehicle’s repair or replacement costs and any other property that may have been damaged in the accident. This can encompass the cost of repairs, replacement parts, towing, and even rental car expenses while your vehicle is being repaired.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries have forced you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes the income you have already lost and any future income you will likely miss due to ongoing medical treatment or disability. Providing evidence of your lost income is essential to secure total compensation.
2. Non-Economic Damages
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, aim to compensate you for the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries. These damages can be more challenging to quantify than economic losses but are equally important. Pain and suffering damages may cover physical pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and the impact on your overall quality of life.
- Loss of Consortium: In cases where your injuries affect your relationship with your spouse or family members, loss of consortium damages may be available. These damages compensate your loved ones for the loss of companionship, care, and support that they have experienced due to your injuries.
3. Punitive Damages
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are not intended to compensate you for your losses. Instead, they serve as a form of punishment and deterrence. Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the at-fault party’s actions were reckless, malicious, or intentional. Their primary purpose is to discourage similar behavior in the future.
It’s important to note that punitive damages are not available in every car accident claim and are subject to specific legal requirements and limitations. Your attorney will assess your case to determine if punitive damages apply.
How A Lawyer Can Assist You
Navigating a car accident claim and determining the types of damages you can pursue can be complex. A car accident lawyer can advocate for you to ensure your interests are protected. Some of the ways your lawyer can do this are:
- Identify the economic and non-economic damages applicable to your case.
- Collect and present evidence to support your claims for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
- Negotiate with insurance companies and the opposing party to secure a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations.
Thanks to our friends from Ted A. Greve & Associates for their insight into car accident cases.