Damages You Can Recover as a Car Accident Victim

By: JML Law | August 20, 2018.
Damages You Can Recover as a Car Accident Victim

When a person is injured due to the wrongful or negligent conduct of another driver in California, they may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. This money can make a big difference when it comes to unforeseen financial burdens. Serious injuries sustained in an accident can lead to expensive medical bills, and sometimes force a victim to stay home from work. Medical treatment can be costly enough by itself, but losing your income due to an injury can cause crippling financial troubles. By suing for compensation with a car accident attorney in Riverside, you can recover enough money to pay for these problems, with enough left over to make life a little easier going forward.

Types of Damages

California auto accident victims can usually collect two different types of damages – non-economic and economic. Each plays a part in getting the victim back on their feet financially. Punitive damages may also be appropriate in certain situations, but they are much rarer.

What Non-Economic Damages Are

As a victim of a car accident, you may have harms and injuries of a psychological nature in addition to physical injuries. While these harms don’t usually cost you anything financially, they can still be damaging and disruptive to your life overall. Non-economic damages compensate you for any or all emotionally devastating harms. When in doubt about whether your situation is covered, talk to a car crash attorney Riverside. Examples of psychological injuries normally covered by non-economic damages are:

    • Pain and suffering
    • Psychological distress and trauma
    • Being embarrassed
    • Losing your joy for life
    • Bodily scarring and disfigurement

Loss of relationships with loved ones

What Economic Damages Are

Car accident victims often have unexpected expenses and losses for which they need financial assistance. Economic damages compensate the plaintiff for these costs, but they are limited to the amount of money you can prove that you lost or will lose. Examples of circumstances covered by economic damages are:

  • Surgery
  • Medicine and medical devices
  • Consultations with doctors
  • Hospital Stays
  • Reduced income or lost wages

What Punitive Damages Are

Punitive damages are very rarely awarded in car accident cases. They are considered separate from other types of damages and are in place to punish a defendant. If you can prove that the other driver is at fault due to wanton and reckless misconduct, you may be entitled to payment. Wanton and reckless misconduct is defined as when the defendant intentionally acts in a dangerous manner that would obviously have harmful consequences. Simple negligence and recklessness aren’t enough for compensation.

When you’ve suffered injuries at the hand of another driver, you may be entitled to a monetary award, but act right away because you only have a two-year window after an accident to file a claim. After this limited time period is up, you’ll no longer be able to recover money towards your medical needs. If you’re considering a lawsuit, contact a car accident attorney in Riverside at JML Law. We’ll walk you through the process and make sure you receive fair compensation for physical and emotional harms.

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