If you are injured in a car accident, those injuries can be of several types and can cause you long term pain. You may have physical, emotional and psychological injuries all of which can incapacitate and cause pain to you for an extended period of time depending on their severity.
Injuries sustained in a car accident can be due to irresponsibility, negligence, mistakes or even intentional actions by the driver. In the event you are injured in a car accident and file a successful lawsuit against the driver, the court which may mean the judge or a jury, will determine financial damages to be paid to you. The primary damages paid in a car accident settlement are called compensatory damages.
Damages Awarded in an Automobile Accident
The financial compensation paid to plaintiffs in a personal injury case is called damages. Damages can be assessed for a number of things that happen to a plaintiff; however they fit into two larger categories. They are: compensatory damages, intended to compensate you for your losses and harm, and punitive damages, intended to punish the defendant for their actions if their actions are found to be intentional or particularly egregious. Although punitive damages are sometimes awarded to a plaintiff who prevails in a personal injury lawsuit, compensatory damages are always awarded.
Physical injuries in an automobile accident will likely cause harm to the plaintiff in a variety of ways. Compensatory damages are awarded to cover the entire range of harm the plaintiff suffers as a result of the injuries sustained. Some of the things compensatory damages will cover include:
- Medical bills from physical, mental and emotional injuries sustained during the accident. This will include all doctor, hospital, and clinic bills, any bills for therapy, medical equipment, medicines, and even costs associated with getting to and from medical appointments.
- Lost wages sustained due to the injuries from the auto accident. This can also include any loss of future earnings ability as well.
- Any additional bills you sustained because of the accident.
- Pain and suffering that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the injuries. These damages can include any pain and suffering the plaintiff will feel in the future.
- Loss of enjoyment that the plaintiff suffers as a result of the injuries. Loss of enjoyment would encompass things that the plaintiff may have done regularly before the accident but can no longer do, because of the injuries sustained. These might be hobbies or even sex.
The goal of compensatory damages is to financially restore you financially to the status you were in before the accident. If you win your personal injury case, you will receive damages for each form of injury you suffer.
In general, compensatory damages are not complicated to determine. The court will request invoices, bank records, receipts and paychecks, as confirmation for what is owed.
However for areas like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment and other issues that are more subjective, their determination is not as straightforward, and often be an area of dispute between plaintiff and defendant in a personal injury case.
Your Attorney Can Influence Your Compensatory Damages
A good personal injury lawyer will present a great case for the plaintiff and push for the largest amounts of compensatory damages possible. As mentioned, some compensatory damages will be very straightforward and awarded based on receipts. However, in the areas that are subjective, a good attorney will make a great case for the maximum amounts of compensatory damages so you can get healthy and return to your normal life as soon as possible. So be sure that you select a good attorney to represent you in your personal case.