Your lawyer can be helpful in understanding types of car accident damages. They can explain:
- The difference between general and special damages (also known as non-economic and economic damages)
- The types of damages that exist in your case
- How much compensation you deserve for your losses
The issue of damages is central in car accident cases but not always simple. You may benefit from your lawyer’s explanation of the topic and answers to your questions.
What Are the Primary Types of Car Accident Damages?
The two primary categories of damages are:
- Economic damages (also known as special damages)
- Non-economic damages (also known as general damages)
Economic damages are those with a clear financial cost. Non-economic damages do not have an obvious financial value, but they have an equivalent cost—a lawyer must determine what that cost is.
Car accidents cost billions of dollars per year, and losses continue to climb. Car accidents may cause you several economic damages, including:
Your vehicle may require repairs and you may need to replace your vehicle entirely, which costs money. In addition to repairing damage, you may also need to:
- Pay for temporary transportation (a rental car, rideshare trips, public transportation)
- Repair or replace personal property fastened to the vehicle (a spare tire, bike racks)
- Repair or replace personal property inside of the vehicle (cell phone, sunglasses, other valuables)
An insurance company or liable defendant may pay for your damaged property.
Diminished Earning Power
You may lose earning power temporarily or permanently due to a car accident. Your recovery period may prevent you from working entirely. You may instead scale back your hours so you can receive treatment and rest. In either case, you may earn less than you did before your accident.
Some car accident injuries are permanent. You may make less income—or no income—for the remainder of your life. A lawsuit may cover the earning power you have lost.
Wages are separate from earning power but related. While earning power accounts for lost opportunities, wages are more specific. Your lawyer can help you understand these two types of car accident damages.
Plaintiffs in a wrongful death case may lose financial support. They may seek coverage of the deceased’s lost income, future earning power, and other income streams.
You may face many medical bills after your car accident. Your injuries and symptoms may require:
- Emergency medical treatment
- Long-term medical care
- A hospitalization
- Medical equipment
- Medical imaging
- Other expensive procedures
You need medical treatment for serious injuries. Your lawyer will work to ensure that responsible parties cover all necessary care. If your lawyer succeeds, you might not have to pay these medical costs.
Treatment for Pain and Suffering
While pain and suffering is a non-economic loss, the treatment for your pain and suffering may have a clear cost. Mayo Clinic explains that psychological trauma may require:
- A thorough psychological evaluation
- Various forms of psychotherapy
- Various medications
Psychological trauma can be just as damaging as physical injuries, if not worse. Any settlement your lawyer seeks should cover trauma treatment.
Car accident injuries cost $28,500 on average, per The National Safety Council (NSC). That cost rises to $98,400 for disabling injuries and $1,704,000 for fatal injuries. These figures do not include non-economic damages.
What You Should Know About Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the primary non-economic damage from car accidents. This may cover:
- Lost companionship (in the case of a wrongful death)
- Lost parental guidance (in the case of a wrongful death)
- Emotional anguish
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of sleep
- Pain from injuries
- Grief from losing a loved one
- Loss of physical or cognitive abilities (in cases of a disabling injury)
Any harm without a clear economic price may be a non-economic damage. Again, these are also known as general damages, so don’t be confused by the two.
Can You Recover Compensation After a Car Accident?
Injuries or the loss of a loved one may entitle you to compensation. You may also recover compensation for property damage. However, personal injury lawyers do not generally handle cases involving only property damage.
The amount of compensation you deserve depends on your losses. Your lawyer’s evaluation could help you choose a course of action.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today for a FREE Consultation
Want a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for you? Our firm has more than 40 years’ experience and the case results prove it. Car accidents can be extremely stressful—focus on getting better and leave the rest to us.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today at (888) 612-7001. We will complete your free consultation and answer any questions you have.