After you’ve been hit by a reckless driver, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for damages against the at-fault driver.
If the police report indicates that the other driver was at fault, your own insurance company may not cover the claim because the property damage you suffered and the cost of your medical care should be the responsibility of the driver who hit you.
You’ve heard of compensation after a car wreck, but what, exactly, are you entitled to collect?
Economic damages compensate you for the quantifiable losses you suffered after a car collision. These include:
- Repair costs for your vehicle, including motor and body damage
- Replacement of your vehicle if the insurance company declares it a total loss
- Reimbursement of all medical bills, such as an ambulance ride, surgery to fix your injuries, and physical therapy
- Reimbursement for lost wages for the time you missed at work to heal after the accident
- Reimbursement for other personal property damaged in the wreck, like a nice watch or a laptop
Anything you can put a dollar value on would be considered an economic loss in a car accident claim. Your car accident lawyer adds the total amount to determine the economic damages figure.
Non-economic damages are compensation for the non-quantifiable losses you suffered. These can include:
- Pain and suffering from your injuries
- Emotional distress or trauma from the collision — many people develop anxiety or PTSD
- Compensation for disfigurement from your injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life or diminished quality of life
Non-economic losses are calculated based on the value of your economic damages.
Punitive damages may not be awarded in every case and are rarely part of a settlement between the two parties. If your case goes to trial and the judge determines that the defendant acted with egregious disregard for the safety of others, they may assess punitive damages, a type of economic punishment, against the defendant.
For example, punitive damages may be levied against a car manufacturer that knowingly released cars with brake problems or against the city that operates a bus line and fails to keep their vehicles in good repair. Commercial semitruck accidents are also cases where punitive damages could be assessed.
Do You Need a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer?
We can help! Our knowledgeable team at The Harlan Law Firm has proudly served as a voice for injury victims since 2006. We handle even the most complex and challenging car accident cases with successful results documented. Contact us today for a free case review.