Most people who have sustained damage to their vehicles or physical injuries
know how fast their losses can add up after a crash. From property damage
to medical expenses and lost wages, car accidents can be costly. This
is why victims of collisions often file personal injury claims in order
to recoup their losses.
The goal of filing a personal injury claim after a
car accident is to get the at-fault driver to pay you “damages,” which
essentially means making a financial recovery for your injuries and other
losses related to the crash. In this article, we will outline what types
of damages are available following an auto accident, what damages injured
victims can expect to recover in a personal injury claim, and how those
damages are determined.
“Damages” is the legal term for a monetary award that victims
are entitled to for their losses. There are two types of compensatory
damages: economic and non-economic damages.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are considered special damages that are tied to a dollar
amount and compensate victims of car accidents for losses such as:
Medical bills. Compensation for medical expenses related to the accident can include
bills for an ambulance ride, ER visit, hospital stay, surgical costs,
doctor visits, prescription costs, physical therapy and rehabilitation
expenses, and more.
Lost wages. A financial recovery for lost income can include any wages you lost as
a result of your crash-related injuries. Compensation may even include
future lost income if your injury affects your ability to make the same
living in the future.
Property damage. When a car is in a collision, there could be thousands of dollars in repairs
that need to be done. Additionally, it may be considered totaled. Getting
compensated fairly for property damage is critical so you can return your
vehicle to its pre-accident state or purchase another similar vehicle.
What Are Non-economic Damages?
Non-economic damages (often called general damages) refers to recovering
money for a victim’s non-monetary losses, such as:
Pain and suffering. This phrase is a legal term that refers to getting compensated for physical
injuries as well as emotional injuries that occurred as a result of a crash.
Emotional distress and mental anguish. If you suffered depression, anxiety, worry, fear, and grief, or if the
accident affected you psychologically, you are entitled to a financial
recovery for this type of suffering.
Disability or disfigurement. If you suffered a permanent disability such as paralysis or if your face
or other body part has been disfigured, you should be compensated fully
for enduring such devastation.
Loss of enjoyment of life. If the accident left you with the inability to enjoy life in the same
way you did before the crash, you should receive compensation for the
loss of enjoyment of life.
How Are Damages Determined?
It is easy to see how recovering money for one’s medical bills is
determined, but when it comes to making a financial recovery for one’s
pain and suffering or other non-economic damages, it can be complex. The
insurance company as well as your lawyer will use calculations to determine
what your non-economic damages are in terms of a dollar value. If the
two parties cannot agree on a fair number, your case may go to court.
If your case makes it to trial, a jury will help decide what a fair financial
figure is for your damages.
In order to determine your non-economic damages, we (or a jury if your
case goes to trial) will look at how your life has been impacted since
the accident. In addition to reviewing your income loss and possible future
lost income, any emotional distress or psychological issues you suffered
related to the crash will be taken into account as well as any disabilities
and disfigurement. It is critical to your case that your injuries and
other losses are thoroughly analyzed in order to get the full compensation
you are due.
This is why having an experienced accident attorney in your corner can
help you in recovering the maximum amount of damages you need and deserve.
Please call our law firm
703-721-4233 with any questions you may have. We are happy to provide you with a free
consultation and provide you with more information.