What types of compensation can one receive after a car accident?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Personal Injury |

A car accident can be life-changing. It can result in long-lasting physical injuries, emotional stress and financial hardships.

However, if someone else is at fault, you may receive compensation for specific losses. These fall into three main categories.

Economic damages after a car accident

Economic damages cover the financial costs the accident created. A primary consideration is medical expenses. These can add up quickly and include immediate hospital bills, medications and rehabilitation fees. If ongoing treatment is necessary, the liable parties must cover these costs as well.

Lost wages are another common form of economic damage. If injuries prevent you from working, you can claim the income you lost during recovery. In severe cases, injuries might reduce your ability to work in the future. As a result, you can recover this lost earning capacity.

Property damage is also significant. Compensation can cover the repair or replacement of your damaged vehicle and other belongings.

If a loved one dies due to the accident, wrongful death damages come into play. These cover the losses the individual experienced before passing, as well as funeral and burial costs. You can also claim future financial support that the deceased would have provided

Noneconomic damages after an accident

Noneconomic damages address the more intangible consequences of an accident. For instance, pain and suffering cover the physical pain and emotional distress that result from your injuries.

Additionally, you can submit a claim for any inconvenience resulting from the accident. This includes daily disruptions due to injuries and the effect on your quality of life. Disfigurement and humiliation can occur if injuries leave permanent scars or disabilities. The negative impact on your self-esteem and mental health can merit compensation.

In wrongful death cases, surviving family members might seek compensation for the loss of companionship. This recognizes the emotional void left by the deceased and its impact on the family’s daily lives.

When punitive damages are possible

Punitive damages aim to punish the wrongdoer rather than provide restitution to the injured parties. In Virginia, courts only award punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were reckless or malicious. For example, if a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, punitive damages might be possible. However, proving such behavior requires substantial evidence and often involves proving intent, making these damages uncommon.

Proving liability in a car accident case involves gathering evidence and demonstrating the other party’s fault. Although this process can be complex and time-consuming, pursuing compensation can help you recover what you need to restore normalcy to your and your family’s lives.