Types of Damages If You Are Injured in an Auto Accident
December 21, 2015
There is nothing fun about getting injured in a car crash. This is especially true if you are hurt due to someone else’s negligence – regardless of whether the responsible party is another driver, a mechanic who improperly fixed your car, the city or state in which the accident occurred, the company you or the other people involved worked for, or an auto manufacturer who produced a faulty part.
Auto injuries can be quite extensive – and medical bills add up quickly. Far too often, the settlement that you are offered from insurers doesn’t even begin to cover your costs. The only way to receive fair and just compensation that will truly pay for your recovery is to file a lawsuit.
There are a number of types of damages that you can sue for in a personal injury claim. Car crash victims have several different categories of damages that they may be able to pursue. Below are just a few.
Punitive Damages. If the person at fault in the auto accident was doing something inappropriate or illegal, you may sue for punitive damages. This means that he or she will have to pay a fine based on their behavior, and this is intended to deter them from repeating the problem. Florida allows you to sue for punitive damages only in cases where you can show that the person or entity responsible for the accident engaged in “intentional misconduct or gross negligence.” In other words, if you are hit by a drunk driver, there is a good chance that you would be able to seek punitive damages since it is both illegal to drink and drive and possible to argue that their conduct was so reckless that it showed a disregard for the safety of others.
Wrongful Death/Loss of Companionship. If you are the loved one of someone who was killed in an auto accident, you can sue the responsible person or entity for personal injury damages, including restitution for wrongful death. This means that the person died due to someone else’s negligence or misbehavior, and the next of kin (spouse or parents of minor children) can be awarded damages in such an event. In other cases, individuals can seek restitution when their partner or family member dies, leaving them alone. This is a severely emotional occurrence, one that many personal injury attorneys seek to rectify with damages.
Pain and Suffering/Emotional Distress. Did your auto accident result in a terrible injury that took a while to recover from (or is still in progress)? Did you lose someone in an auto accident? These types of situations are often awarded pain and suffering damages in order to support a person through their traumatic experience or cover costs associated with physical and mental pain. In other cases, victims of auto accidents can also add emotional distress damages, citing psychiatric evaluations, stress levels, and more.
Finances and Compensation. Car crashes result in a number of expenses: the actual trip to the hospital, surgeries and/or treatments for injuries, the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, lost wages, and so on.
What it all boils down to is that you should never have to pay for a mistake that somebody else makes. If another party’s negligence causes you harm, fight back with a personal injury attorney who has a track record of success in these types of cases. You deserve to be fairly and justly compensated for everything that you have gone through – not have your bank accounts emptied as you attempt to pay for recovery costs on your own.
About the Author:
John K. Lawlor, a South Florida personal injury attorney who focuses his practice on complex personal injury, wrongful death, and professional malpractice, founded the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey in 1998. Since 1995, Mr. Lawlor’s trial advocacy and litigation skills, as well as his wide-ranging legal expertise, have provided plaintiffs and their families with a distinct advantage when seeking financial compensation and justice for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Lawlor is an EAGLE member of the Florida Bar Association and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Broward County Justice Association, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and several professional associations.