If you ended up hurt by an auto accident that was not your fault, you may be owed damages. After considering all the ways you've been harmed, damages are paid as financial compensation. You can be hurt physically, but you can also suffer from the financial and mental health effects of an accident. To find out more about what is meant by money damages and how they are divided up, read on and know what you are entitled to be paid.
What Is Meant by Damages?
It's not only your wrecked vehicle that suffers damage after an accident – although that is a form of damage. Civil law says you can be paid for several categories and all of those can be divided into compensatory, non-economic, and punitive. You might easily recognize some of the below forms of damage common with an auto accident:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Wrecked vehicle repair or a check for a totaled vehicle
- Lost income from a job
- Pain and suffering from physical injuries and mental trauma
Dollars and Cents
Compensatory damages can be defined by the ease with which they can be calculated. The exact amount you need to pay your medical bills will be paid in compensatory damages. Other compensatory damages include vehicle damage and lost wages. Proof of compensatory damages is required so be ready to show your pay stub, medical bills, and repair estimates to your personal injury lawyer.
Putting a Price on Pain
It can be challenging to assign a dollar figure to something like pain and suffering. The method used varies from place to place. Some insurance companies and lawyers use the dollar amount of medical treatment costs to determine payment for pain and suffering. Some may assign a dollar amount to each day since the accident occurred. Your lawyer can help you understand how much you could receive with pain and suffering. In general, the more severe your injuries, the higher the pain and suffering payment tends to be.
Punishing the Other Guy
The final form of damage is punitive damages. While many accidents settle out of court, those cases that do make it to court may include punitive damages. This form of damage is meant to make an example of or draw attention to wrongdoing by the other driver. For example, if they were not paying attention and using the self-driving function at the time of the accident, that could call for punitive damages.
If you are in line for some of the damage types above, speak to a personal injury lawyer to learn more.