Being a victim of an accident is challenging enough. Then, the bills start to pile up, and the situation becomes even more serious for you. That’s where seeking car accident damages through a personal injury case can be beneficial.
When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, there are three types of damages you can pursue:
We’ll explain each of these types of damages in detail and what they include.
Economic Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Much like the name indicates, economic damages provide expense reimbursement for financial losses you incur from a car accident. Damages that fall under this category include the following:
- Property damage, such as necessary repairs to your vehicle or damaged goods that were inside the vehicle at the time of the accident (i.e., smartphone, laptop, bicycle)
- Medical expenses, including doctors’ visits, hospital stays, and prescription costs
- Loss of income, which could be temporary or long-term due to an inability to return to work
- Ongoing medical expenses to deal with long-term disability or permanent ailments
- In the case of the wrongful death of a loved one, funeral expenses
- Personal care costs, such as hiring a home cleaner if you’re physically unable to care for your home
When calculating economic damages, your car accident attorney will work with you to consider future expenses. This is one area that many victims don’t think about when evaluating total settlement costs. Some injuries take a few years to heal and rehabilitate. Others are ailments that the victim must live with for the rest of their life.
Non-Economic Car Accident Damages
This type of personal injury lawsuit damage is more challenging to calculate. That’s because it won’t have a specific monetary value from bills or anticipated bills. Non-economic damages are those that affect your way of life or enjoyment of life. These might include any of the following:
- Mental distress, which could be depression, anxiety, or insomnia
- Pain and suffering you experience as a result of your injuries
- Loss of companionship if your loved one passed away from the car accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life from physical limitations due to injuries
Calculating these expenses can be challenging as they include a variety of factors, including the victim’s age, occupation, and injury severity. Economic damages are much more black and white as they have specific values from invoices and receipts.
This is where having a skilled attorney is crucial. Attorneys with many years of experience defending car accident victims know how to document and prove the impacts of non-economic damages for injury victims.
The final type of damages you can pursue after a car accident is punitive damage. This type of damages is not applicable in all cases. Generally, for the courts to award this as part of a personal injury case, the defendant must have engaged in criminal misconduct.
Some ways this could happen in a car accident case is if the defendant was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if they were engaged in reckless driving behavior.
This is another area where your attorney will offer insights and advice on whether this type of damage applies to your case.
Discussing a Personal Injury Lawsuit With an Attorney
Each car accident and the injuries that the victim sustains are unique. Determining fair settlement amounts and the best course of action for a case takes expertise. Before you do anything in your case, including talking to an insurance company, you should discuss the matter with a personal injury attorney.
Schedule a free consultation with the Indiana car accident attorneys at Stewart & Stewart.