There are several types of damages in a Charleston car accident claim. The most well-known are economic damages that provide compensation for monetary losses such as lost wages and medical bills. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate for intangible losses such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. Finally, under certain circumstances, punitive damages are available to punish especially egregious behavior.
The specific damages available will depend on the specific circumstances of a car crash. An experienced car accident lawyer can work with you to understand the damages that may be available in your claim.
What are Economic Damages?
A jury may reimburse the injured party for any financial losses a person endures in a car accident. These are known as economic damages. The specific damages and amounts may vary based on the specific facts of the case, but they generally include:
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future medical bills and expenses
- Damage to real and personal property
Essentially, any loss with a set value such as a bill that must be paid by the injured party or wages they failed to earn that can be quantified is considered economic damages. An attorney can help determine the specific economic damages available in a Charleston car accident claim.
Understanding Non-Economic Damages in Charleston Car Accident Claims
The term non-economic damages often refers to the injured party’s pain and suffering and includes the loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairment, as well as physical pain and emotional stress. These are real damages that should be included in a comprehensive claim, however, they are harder to attach a value to because they are subjective and require separate analysis and proof.
To attach value, the lawyer researches jury verdicts for similar cases to see the value they have attached to these losses in the past. It is important to be able to reach a value that the jury will agree to award. Because of that, lawyers will work with economic experts to try to quantify these non-economic losses in a way that makes sense for the circumstances.
When Punitive Damages Apply
Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant, may be awarded in addition to actual damages. These damages are meant to deter future similar behavior. However, they are not available in every case and are only available when the at-fault party’s actions were grossly negligent or they had acted with reckless disregard.
It is important to note that these damages may not be available when a person intentionally harms another. Many times, insurance policies exclude coverage for actions done intentionally by their insured. That could lead to a situation where the party who committed the intentional act could still be sued, but not have insurance to cover punitive damages. An attorney can help assess whether punitive damages may be available based on the specific circumstances of the car accident claim.
Ask an Attorney About the Types of Damages in a Charleston Car Accident Claim
When someone is injured in a car accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another, compensation is available to cover their losses. The specific types of damages in a Charleston car accident claim generally include economic and non-economic damages. However, under certain circumstances, punitive damages may also be available. To discuss the compensation that may be available in your claim, call today to set up a free consultation.