Car accidents happen frequently. In the United States, millions of people are involved in car crashes each year; it is estimated a crash occurs every six minutes. Injuries from a crash can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries, such as broken bones or even death.
In addition to physical injuries, crashes can also result in significant financial losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. A car crash can be financially devastating for victims. If you are involved in a car crash and are not at fault, you may be legally entitled to recover damages from liable parties.
Definition of Recoverable Damages
Recoverable damages are the monetary losses you can recover from the other party or parties involved in a car accident. Recoverable damages typically fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages, also known as compensatory damages, are the financial losses a car crash victim has suffered as a result of the car crash. These damages are usually easier to quantify than non-economic damages because they are based on actual financial losses. Economic damages include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
Medical expenses are one of the most significant economic damages in a car collision case. Medical expenses include the cost of emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, and any other medical treatment that you may need as a result of the crash. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The sooner you seek medical attention, the easier it will be to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Lost wages are another significant economic damage in a car accident case. “Lost wages can include hourly wages, overtime pay, sick days and PTO,” note Seattle accident lawyers at The Fang Law Firm, and could include “future wages if you can no longer perform the same type of work due to the accident.”
Property damage is also an economic damage that is recoverable in a car accident case. Property damage includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle as well as any other property that was damaged in the crash, such as computers, phones, and personal items.
Non-economic damages are losses suffered that are not financial in nature. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify than economic damages because they are not based on actual financial losses and rather abstract losses.
Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is one of the most common non-economic damages in a car crash case. Pain and suffering includes the physical pain and emotional distress you have suffered as a result of the accident. The amount of pain and suffering damages that you may be entitled to recover will depend on the severity of your injuries and how long your recovery, if possible, will take.
Emotional distress is another non-economic damage that is recoverable in a car accident case. Emotional distress includes things like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are experiencing emotional distress as a result of a car accident, it is essential to seek the help of a mental health professional.
Loss of Enjoyment
Loss of enjoyment of life is a non-economic damage often overlooked in car accident cases. Loss of enjoyment of life includes the loss of your ability to engage in activities that you once enjoyed as a result of the accident. For example, if you are an avid golfer and can no longer play golf as a result of a car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages for loss of enjoyment of life.
Recovering Damages in an Accident Case
In order to recover damages in a car accident case, you must be able to prove that the other party or parties involved in the accident were negligent, meaning the other party or parties failed to exercise reasonable care in the operation of their vehicle.
If you were seriously impacted by a car crash, speak with an experienced attorney about your legal right to recover compensation. While no amount of financial compensation can replace what you’ve lost, it can help you rebuild your life.