Being involved in a car accident can be devastating and cause all sorts of physical, emotional, and financial problems. You are driving down the alley and enjoying your favorite music in one moment. The next moment, another car collides into yours, and your life is changed forever.
If you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the law may entitle you to seek financial compensation for your damages. While no money can undo the harm that has been done, it can help you get your life back on track.
There are different types of damages that may be available in a car accident case, depending on the facts and circumstances. Read on to learn more about the types of damages that may be available.
1. Economic Damages
Economic damages are the most common awarded in car accident cases. They are designed to compensate you for your losses since they have a specific monetary value attached to them, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Calculating economic damages in a car accident claim is relatively straightforward. You add up all of your damages and present that number to the insurance company or jury.
For instance, if you had $5,000 in medical bills and lost $2,000 in wages, your economic damages would total $7,000.
However, things can become complicated when you try to calculate future damages, such as lost earning potential, if you cannot return to work due to your injuries.
In these cases, you will need the help of an experienced car accident attorney to ensure that you are fairly compensated for all of your economic damages.
2. Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are designed to compensate the victim for their intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.
Since these damages do not have a specific monetary value attached to them, they can be more difficult to calculate.
One common method used to calculate non-economic damages is known as the multiplier method. Under this method, you would take the total value of your economic damages then multiply the figure with a digit between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries.
For example, if you had $7,000 in economic damages and were injured in a serious car accident, you might multiply your damages by 3 to arrive at a figure of $21,000 for your non-economic damages.
Another method that is sometimes used to calculate non-economic damages is known as the per diem method. Under this method, you would divide your economic damages by the number of days you were in pain.
For example, if you had $7,000 in economic damages and were in pain for 30 days, you would receive a figure of $233 per day for your non-economic damages.
Also read: Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
The method used to calculate your non-economic damages will depend on the facts of your case and the jurisdiction in which you are filing your claim.
3. Punitive Damages
These damages are designed to punish the responsible party for their reckless or careless behavior. They are typically only awarded in cases where the at-fault party exhibited a wanton disregard for the safety of others.
For example, if the at-fault driver was speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, they may be subject to punitive damages.
Punitive damages are only available in some car accident cases and can be difficult to obtain. You will need the help of an experienced car accident attorney if you are seeking punitive damages in your case.
4. Compensatory Damages
These damages are designed to compensate the victim for their losses. They can include both economic damages and non-economic damages.
Compensatory damages are perhaps the most common type of damages awarded in car crash cases. They are designed to make the victim whole again and to put them in the position they would have been in if the accident had never happened.
Calculating compensatory damages can be a complex process. You will need the help of an experienced car accident attorney to ensure that you are fairly compensated for all your losses.
Several damages may be available to you when you are involved in a car accident. We have outlined four types of damages that may be available in your case. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help you understand your rights and the potential damages available to you.