Car wrecks happen all the time, and some of them can leave the victims with serious — even catastrophic — injuries.
If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligent or unlawful actions, you may be eligible for compensation to take care of your treatment costs and other losses. It’s only natural to wonder how much your claim is worth.
Here are a few things you should know about how injury lawsuits work:
Two types of damages apply
The monetary compensation awarded to personal injury victims in civil cases is referred to as damages. In general, damages are either compensatory or punitive.
How compensatory damages are calculated
Compensatory damages are awarded to the injury victim to help take care of their medical bills, property damage, lost income and any other financial losses they might have incurred as a result of the wreck. These can be definitely calculated based on bills, receipts, payroll records and so on.
You can also receive compensation for losses that are harder to calculate. For example, people with severe injuries can be compensated for their future care, future lost wages and more. Most injury victims are also entitled to some compensation for their pain and suffering, the loss of enjoyment of life and other intangibles.
When punitive damages apply
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages are not common in personal injury cases, but they are sometimes applied when a defendant’s actions are particularly egregious.
A serious injury can impact your life in multiple ways. Exactly how much your car accident claim is worth can be difficult to determine on your own because each case is very fact-specific. The more you learn about your legal options, the better.