The goal of any personal injury claim is to make the plaintiff “whole” again after suffering damages in an accident caused by a negligent party. If another driver caused an accident with you or a loved one, the at-fault driver is liable for any and all damages resulting from the accident.
Plaintiffs in car accident claims can seek compensation for all medical expenses resulting from a car accident, including immediate treatment costs and hospital bills as well as long-term care costs, surgical costs, and any other expenses related to necessary ongoing medical care.
Property damage can also count as damages. If the insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle and other property, the plaintiff can claim the difference as property damages.
Some injuries may cause plaintiffs to miss work for extended periods of time. If your car accident caused you to miss work while receiving medical treatment, you can claim compensation for lost income. In the event you suffer a severe injury that prevents you from working in the future, a financial expert may help you prove the extent of lost future earnings you can claim as well.
Noneconomic damages like pain and suffering also qualify for compensation, but determining a fair amount usually requires expert witness testimony and the discretion of the court. For example, a relatively minor injury requiring about $500 in medical bills and a week of recovery time will likely lead to far less pain and suffering compensation than a severe injury requiring thousands of dollars’ worth of medical treatment and rendering the victim unable to work in the future.
A jury may award punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior exceeds the scope of typical negligence, involved any criminal activity, or showed a clear disregard for the well-being of others.
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