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Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit

What are the different types of damages that are awarded in a personal injury lawsuit?

drunk driving accident

car accident can result in injuries that range from minor to debilitating. If you have sustained injuries as a result of an automobile accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for causing the accident. If your lawsuit is successful, the judge will award you compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the accident. The at-fault driver or the driver’s insurance company is supposed to pay this compensation amount. If the at-fault driver was found to be excessively careless and negligent on the road, the judge may give an award for punitive damages.

Compensatory Damages

These are payments for the economic losses incurred in the past and are likely to be incurred in the future. These include medical expenses already incurred and likely future expenses due to the medical condition caused by the accident. The loss of wages due to absence from work during the recovery period is also covered. Pain, suffering, and mental anguish caused by the accident are included. A jury generally decides the amount of compensation to be awarded to the plaintiff; however, some states have a restriction on the amount that can be awarded.

Injuries that result from a car accident can range from minor cuts and scrapes to catastrophic head trauma. With so many factors to consider, such as the speed the cars were traveling and their size, it is easy to understand why this would be the case. Car accident victims have the right to pursue financial compensation for all of these injuries from a reckless driver who caused them.

There are a number of different ways that injuries from a car accident can affect your life and just as many ways to pursue compensation for them. Bring our legal team the full details of all of your injuries and the ways that your life has changed as result. We can help you pursue the amount of financial compensation you are entitled to.

The following are some of the more common damages resulting from car accident injuries:

Medical Expenses

All of the medical bills that are acquired in the aftermath of a car accident should be added to your car insurance claim. These would include the obvious physician and hospital bills plus:

  • Physical therapy to regain use of a limb or help to cope with a spinal injury and cognitive therapy for those car accident victims who suffer a brain injury
  • The fees paid towards an ambulance, if one was dispatched to take you to the hospital
  • Medications prescribed for treatment and pain management
  • Medically needed accessories such as crutches or walkers and wheelchairs
  • Occupational therapy if you need help learning to adjust to a disability

If you suffer a debilitating injury from the car accident, our team of car accident lawyers will also advise you to pursue compensation for future medical care, including the cost of in-home nursing care, or the placement in a rehabilitation facility.

It is of utmost importance that you save all of these bills to provide as a proof for the medical care portion of your car accident claim.

Lost Wages

Part of the damages you may recover after a car accident are the wages you lost as you spent time recovering. Our team of lawyers will also be able to help you show how the injuries you sustained have diminished your capacity to earn wages at your full potential. Direct loss of current wages and the loss of potential future wages are both damages that can be applied in a car accident claim.

Pain and Suffering

Legally pain and suffering refer to the mental or physical distress that was suffered by the victim as a result of a car accident. Damages recovered for pain and suffering depend on the type of injury and the effect it has had on your quality of life. The amount of physical pain associated with the injury and any disability or disfigurement you may now be living with are all considered pain and suffering damages. In some circumstances, mental anguish and emotional stress can be grouped into pain and suffering as well.

Comparative Fault

Certain states follow the law of comparative fault. The judge or jury will examine the case and determine your percentage of fault in causing the accident. If you contributed to the accident by your negligence, your recovery amount will be reduced by that percentage. Comparative negligence is a term used in the law which means that your own negligence also played a part in causing the accident as well as your injuries.

Punitive or Exemplary Damages

You may be awarded compensation apart from the actual expenses incurred on medical treatment of injuries and pain and suffering. These are punitive or exemplary damages and they are awarded a motive to further punish the defendant for a lack of proper care while driving and also to deter the same carelessness and negligence again. Conduct of the defendant which goes beyond basic negligence, such as malicious, vindictive, willful, or reckless conduct is considered while awarding this compensation.

There are various factors which give the courts a reason to award punitive damages. The main factors are driver incompetence, driving at speeds much higher than the speed limit, violation of traffic laws and safety regulations, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or knowledge of an existing defect in the vehicle which could have caused the accident.

St. Louis Injury Lawyer

To get the maximum possible compensation for your injuries speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Call us today at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Updated: January 30, 2019