Compensatory Damages in Car Accident Cases
- August 28, 2014
- Car Accidents
The main job of a car accident attorney is to protect the rights of their client and assist them in making a recovery in the damages. However, there are different types of damages that may be involved in a car accident case. Depending on the case, a claimant may be entitled to compensatory or punitive damages. With compensatory damages being the more common claim, we would like to address what this term means and the different types of compensatory damages that may be involved in an automobile accident.
What are Compensatory Damages?
In the most basic sense, a claim for compensatory damages in a car accident means that the plaintiff is seeking financial reimbursement for a loss that they claim was the result of the car accident. This could include property damage, medical expenses, lost wages and even things like loss of enjoyment or pain and suffering. Some types of compensatory damages are easier to demonstrate and value than others and it often takes a complex multi-layered case to get fair compensation.
In a case involving a car accident, property damage is the most common form of compensatory damage. Almost every accident has some level property damage, so it is always a part of the case. Along with being very common, it is also the least complicated to value. This is fairly straightforward and it is done by documenting the damage done and showing the cost of repairs or replacement for the damaged property.
Recovering the cost of medical treatment is also a fairly common type of compensatory damages. Since injuries often occur in a car accident, the injured party has the right to seek compensation for their medical expenses from those who are responsible. This should include any medical treatment that the claimant has needed to address the related injuries and any medical treatment they may need in the future as the result of the accident.
Loss of Income
Car accidents that result in injury are also likely to take the injured party out of work either temporarily or even permanently. In this situation, the claimant is attempting to recover compensation for time that they may have to spend out of work or a reduced capacity to earn a living. This can come down to proving that you already lost income as the result of the car accident or that you will continue to lose income in the future.
Pain and Suffering
This is a claim that is intended to compensate the plaintiff for the pain that resulted from the injuries. This could include pain that exists in the here and now and pain that could result in the future. A plaintiff can also claim loss of enjoyment. If their life was impacted in a way that decreased their quality of life, they could be due compensation.
Understanding compensation and actually getting it are two different things all together. The damages need to be evaluated, demonstrated and valued. Beyond that, your lawyer will need to prove that they were the result of the accident and demonstrate that the defendant is responsible. The depth of this litigation and the time and resources that are necessary require the skills of Dallas car accident lawyers.