What Damages Can I Claim From a Car Accident? If you are the victim of a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you are likely feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and anxious about your future. Being involved in an auto accident is unsettling—to say the least. Navigating the claim process after your auto accident can be much easier (and will likely have a much better outcome as well) when you have an experienced Cohen & Malad, LLP car accident lawyer by your side.
The Cohen & Malad, LLP personal injury attorneys have significant experience helping Indiana residents just like you. We will ensure you are not taken advantage of and that you receive an equitable settlement for your damages. Depending on the extent of your injuries, as well as other factors, you may be entitled to receive one or more of the damages listed below. Damages are broken down into three broad categories (compensatory, wrongful death, and punitive), then compensatory damages are further broken down into special and general damages.
- Punitive Damages—Punitive damages are relatively rare, usually reserved for defendants who exhibited particularly egregious, willful, or malicious behavior. A severely impaired driver who causes an accident could be liable for punitive damages because drinking to excess or using drugs, then getting behind the wheel is willful behavior.
- General Compensatory Damages—General damages are much more difficult to quantify. General compensatory damages address harm received from an auto accident such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, physical disfigurement, physical impairment, and lowered quality of life. Since these things are largely subjective, if the case goes to trial general damages might hinge more on the skill of both attorneys, the sensitivities of the jurors, and the “gruesomeness” of the injuries.
- Special Compensatory Damages—Special compensatory damages are unique to you and your accident, therefore vary significantly from one personal injury claim to another. Special damages are easily quantifiable, with the goal of making the victim whole again, financially speaking. Special compensatory damages can include lost wages, lost future earnings, medical expenses (past, present, and future), and even household expenses directly related to the accident.
- Wrongful Death Damages—When a car accident leads to death, a wrongful death claim provides damages to the loved ones of the decedent. Wrongful death damages can include expenses for funeral and burial, any medical expenses prior to the death that resulted from the auto accident, emotional distress of the survivors, loss of financial contribution, loss of services and support, and loss of companionship and consortium.
Can I win my lawsuit, but not receive damages? In some cases, being awarded a settlement or winning in a trial is different than actually collecting the award. A defendant may be unable to satisfy the award or unwilling to pay. Your personal injury attorney can help you with the collection process by garnishing wages, placing liens, or discovering undisclosed assets. Since interest accrues on most damage awards, insurance companies are likely to pay up within thirty days.
Getting the Help You Need from Cohen & Malad, LLP
At Cohen & Malad, LLP, we fully understand that your damages award can be crucial to your health and your future. We will work hard on your behalf to ensure you receive an equitable settlement and that you receive a check as quickly as possible. Do not face an auto accident on your own—contact Cohen & Malad, LLP today!