The aftermath of a car accident is chaotic and confusing, especially when the victim is dealing with serious injuries. Unfortunately, the distress often continues for months, even when they’re on the road to physical recovery. Car accident claims for damages can be complex when insurance companies undervalue or wrongfully deny claims. Many car accident victims turn to personal injury attorneys to carefully calculate their damages. A diligent New Haven car accident attorney often identifies damages that the car accident victim may claim that they might otherwise have missed.
What Are “Damages” in a Car Accident Claim?
When someone is injured in a car accident, the legal term “damages” refers to more than just the property damage to a vehicle. As in other personal injury claims, damages in car accident injuries refer to all consequences of the injury. These consequences are categorized into two types, economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages: this refers to tangible damages that are easy to calculate using bills, receipts, and sometimes testimony from medical and financial experts about the economic impacts of the injury on the victim
Non-economic damages: these are intangible damages that might be more difficult to assign a monetary value, but often have the worst impacts on the victim’s life and emotional wellbeing
Although monetary compensation for non-economic damages can’t erase the pain the victim has experienced, it can help them achieve a sense of justice for the harm done to them due to someone else’s negligence. It also significantly increases the amount of financial compensation the victim recovers, helping to relieve financial hardship caused by the car accident injuries.
Common Damages Available in Car Accident Claims
Car accidents quickly become costly when they involve injuries. Damages in car accident claims can include any of the following:
Property damage to a vehicle and personal items
Future medical expenses for upcoming injury-related surgeries, procedures, treatment, physical therapy, rehabilitation, or home healthcare
Reimbursement for lost income
Future income loss
Diminished future earning capacity due to injury-related disability
Traumatic limb loss
Loss of enjoyment of life
Loss of consortium (The ability to enjoy a full physical and emotional relationship with a loved one)
While most car accident claims in New Haven involve many of the above damages, some may not apply to a specific case. Damages available for an injury victim depend on the unique circumstances of the case.
Who Pays the Compensation in a Car Accident Claim?
After a car accident, the insurance company as well as the attorney for an injury victim investigates the accident to determine who was at fault. The driver at fault is liable for damages to the injury victims. Compensation in these cases rarely comes from the victim’s personal funds, but instead, their car accident insurance pays out on the claim after the insurance adjuster assigned to the case reviews the evidence. A skilled car accident attorney documents evidence to make a compelling case for full compensation of the victim’s damages.
Negligent drivers are most often liable for damages in personal injury cases, but less commonly, the at-fault party in a car accident may be a negligent road maintenance agency or the manufacturer of a defective auto part.