Car accidents are one of the leading causes of accident-related mortality in the United States. In the first quarter of 2022, there were nearly 10,000 deaths attributable to car crashes, according to the official statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Getting involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience that can leave a victim with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, including medical expenses and property damage. Seeking legal action against the negligent party is advisable to obtain compensation for a car accident.
If you’re contemplating legal action against the negligent party, you may wonder about the damages for which you can sue the defendant. Read on as we explore the types of damages you can recover from a personal injury lawsuit after an accident and the importance of understanding your legal rights and skilled legal representation.
Economic damages are meant to compensate for your financial losses resulting directly or indirectly from the accident. These damages are partly or entirely compensable, depending on the specifics of each car accident. These items are lost earnings, medical bills, and repairs you must make to your vehicle. Whatever monetary value you have lost in the said accident are the economic damages that you can get money back from.
You can sue the negligent party to obtain compensation for your medical bills, including the cost of medical and surgical treatment, costs of ongoing therapy, ambulance charges, physical therapy, medication, and more. These bills either must come out of your pocket or insurance can cover some of the costs. Either way, it’s important to keep track of these bills and medical records to build your case. As the accident wasn’t your fault, you should not have to pay for all these damages yourself.
Loss of Income
Even a minor car accident can render you unable to return to work immediately afterward. If you are unable to work due to your accident-related injuries, you can include your past, present, and future loss of income, depending on your course of recovery. It’s important to take care of yourself but it can be stressful if you’re not able to make money. Keep track of what income you are losing as you may be able to be compensated for said losses.
Any property damage including damage to your car is compensable and can be included in the demands mentioned in the demand letter for your injury lawsuit. You can recover the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle through your lawsuit. Your car is an important asset of your property and should be treated as such. If you lose your vehicle in the accident, you should be compensated accordingly. Keep any receipts of anything you had to spend on your vehicle. This will build up your liability case to earn back the money you are currently losing.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for your intangible losses resulting from the accident. These might include the following:
Pain and Emotional Suffering
You are entitled to financial compensation for any physical pain, discomfort, emotional distress, and mental trauma you experience because of your car accident. Although these losses are not quantifiable, your legal team can use certain multipliers to assign an estimated monetary value to these variables. It’s best to apply these to either your medical records or income loss.
Loss of Consortium
Consortium means “companionship between two married people” and typically refers to those types of relationships. But this can tie in any relationships between family members or close loved ones. If your accident impacted your relationship with your loved ones or your significant other, you could sue the negligent party to recover compensable damages related to loss of support and companionship.
In some cases, the offending party’s conduct might be so egregious that the court awards some punitive damages. This amount is awarded to set an example and dissuade others from behaving similarly. Punitive damages are a punishment set up to make sure these types of negligent accidents never happen. It does not stop them completely, but it does make a difference.
Proof of Damages
Obtaining compensation for your injuries and property damage depends on proving these damages in a court of law. Physical evidence, including medical records, receipts for incidental expenses, wage statements, police reports, and other relevant documentation is essential to proving your claim in court. Your legal team can help you compile this evidence and build a strong foundation for your legal defense.
If you or your loved one got involved in a car accident, you may be able to recover legal damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, emotional pain, and suffering, lots of consortium, and more. It is important to get in touch with a skilled personal injury lawyer to ensure that your legal rights remain protected after your car accident.