The value of your car accident injury case is equivalent to your financial and future losses, such as medical costs, mental anguish, and more. It is challenging to determine the value of your car accident injury case since every case's circumstances are unique. Speaking with a car accident lawyer near you will help you analyze the facts to determine a fair settlement demand.
Types of Damages I Can Recover from a Car Accident Injury Case
Within the context of personal injury laws, damages is a legal term that refers to the amount of money you are claiming after an injury that another's negligence caused you. There are three (3) types of damages you can claim after a car accident, including special damages, general damages, and punitive damages.
Special damages are given when judges or juries wish to compensate you for your measurable, out-of-pocket costs. These damages are easier to prove since they generally leave a paper trail, including invoices, receipts, paychecks, and statements. Ensure that you keep a record of these losses during your recovery by saving a copy of every document.
Special damages include:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages and benefits when missing time at work
- Future lost earning capacity
- Accessibility modifications to your home and car
- Transportation to and from doctor's appointments
- Medical equipment and devices
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Other special damages
For you to receive special damages, you must prove that the losses you suffered are equal to the monetary values you are claiming. It is also vital to verify that the at-fault party was responsible for causing the accident. The rules of evidence vary according to venue and jurisdiction and may require witness testimony, expert opinion, and other forms of evidence.
General damages, also known as non-economic losses and pain and suffering damages, compensate you for your emotional losses. These types of civil damages are more difficult to recover since they are intangible or subjective. However, hiring a lawyer will help you assert your right to these civil awards if they apply to your case.
General damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring & disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of opportunity
- Other general damages
Proving pain and suffering damages may require you to keep a personal journal regarding your daily emotional state and overall pain levels. Your diary is admissible as evidence in court to prove your general damages and other losses. Your legal team will also keep you informed of different ways that you can preserve car accident injury case evidence.
Punitive damages are forms of compensation that are reserved for cases where the defendant exhibited gross acts of negligence. These types of damages were created to “punish” the at-fault party and not tied directly to your injuries. While they do not award you for a particular loss, you do reap the benefit of the award if a jury or judge determines that they are warranted.
Typically, your attorney must prove that the defendant engaged in misconduct or harm intentionally or the oversight was so negligent that it was unconscionable. Depending upon the state presiding over your case, there may be other requirements to receive punitive damages, including recklessness, deceit, or malice.
What Is the Maximum Amount I Can Get From a Car Accident Injury Claim?
The maximum amount you can get from a car accident injury claim is difficult to estimate without a comprehensive investigation of the circumstances. It is also vital to recognize that each state typically has damage caps that apply to the amount you can recover. A damage cap is a statutory limit placed on the total recoverable award that injury claimants can receive.
For example, there are no damage caps on personal injury cases, like car accidents in New York. However, there are limitations on the total amount of punitive damages you can collect from your claim in New Jersey. Speak with a car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible to help you determine which limits, if any, apply to your case accident injury case.
Factors That Influence the Amount of Compensation I Receive
Some factors influence the amount of money you can receive as well as the overall outcome of your case. Negligence and liability play the most significant roles. Whether you live in a state that follows an at-fault or no-fault system, the insurance company can reduce your damages if they believe that you contributed to the accident in some way.
The insurance company may totally or partially deny your claim based on the following actions taken by the claimant:
- Engaging in distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Driving carelessly or recklessly
- Failing to maintain your vehicle
- Not wearing proper eyewear
- And more
As such, it is essential that you hire a car accident injury lawyer to help you navigate the complexities of the claims process while ensuring that you get the money you deserve. A legal team has the knowledge and resources available to conduct an independent investigation of the facts that can then be presented to the insurer. Your attorney may also be able to prove that the other driver contributed more to the accident than previously thought, which could result in your case being worth more.
Contact Hunt & Associates for Legal Advice
The most significant factor involved in the amount of damages you receive from a car accident injury case includes directly proving that the defendant was responsible and the extent of your losses. A car accident lawyer will support you in navigating the legal complexities of a case while protecting your fundamental rights throughout the entire legal process. You should never have to accept a settlement or civil award for less than what you deserve.
Hunt & Associates is ready to protect you from unsavory insurance companies or at-fault parties trying to evade liability. If you or your family member suffered loss of life or injuries in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact us for a FREE initial case evaluation by calling 1-866-456-HUNT (4868) or contact us here. Hablamos español o puedes contactarnos aquí.