When you have been in a car accident and file a claim against the other party or the insurance, you may be getting excited about a potentially large car accident settlement. Before getting your hopes up, it is important to know the value of auto injury cases. This will serve as a guide for your case and offer you a much more realistic figure.
What are damages?
Damages refer to the amount of money you might be entitled to after being injured in a car accident. They would be paid to you by either the other driver or their insurance company. The final amount can be negotiated by both parties, the insurance companies or the car accident lawyers. Should the case make it to court, the judge or jury may be in charge of determining the value of the damages.
Types of Damages
Economic damages are easy to quantify. They cover items like:
When you have been injured, you might have to spend money on doctor’s visits, treatments, medications, surgeries, therapies, and any other medical expense aimed at recovering your health. You must keep a detailed file of all of your expenses to hand to your car accident lawyer.
Loss of Income
Your wages and salary may have been impacted by the accident. This means not only the wages you were unable to earn while recovering but also wages you could earn in the future if you are still not able to go back to work. This is called “loss of earning capacity.” Your pay stubs and statements will help your lawyer attach a number to this item.
Your car may have been damaged in the accident, or it may have been a total loss. Also, your personal items, such as a computer or anything else that you had in the car at the time of impact, might have been damaged, as well as the clothes you were wearing.
There are other items that are much harder to quantify because they don’t have a fixed monetary value. But they are part of the final settlement amount you may get for your accident. These are called non-economic damages, and they may include:
Pain and suffering – This refers to the discomfort and pain you have experienced since the accident.Emotional distress – These damages cover the psychological impact that the injury has had on your life.Loss of enjoyment – Your injuries may prevent you from enjoying activities you used to enjoy before the accident.Loss of consortium – This covers the impact your injuries may have on your relationship with your spouse.
In some car accident cases, the judge or jury may decide to award these damages to the plaintiff. Punitive damages serve to punish the defendant and set an example to others of what not to do.
Your Actions May Impact Your Damages
If you fail to get medical treatment immediately after the accident, thus worsening your injuries, your damages award may be reduced. Check out atlantapiattorney.com/car-accidents/ to learn what other actions or inactions on your part may ultimately play a role in the settlement amount you receive.