Car Accident Damages
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What Are Car Accident Damages?
Among personal injury claims, car accidents can sometimes involve the most serious injuries and damages. This is due to the nature of car crashes, especially those involving high-speed crashes or drunk driving. These accidents may result in car accident damages in court, if they result in either a civil lawsuit or a criminal charge.
In a car accident lawsuit, one party may be responsible for causing the injuries of other drivers or passengers on the road. In such cases, the party at fault will usually be required to pay car accident damages, meaning money to the injured party.
The term "car accident damages" refers to the amount of money that is paid from the person who caused the accident/injury to the person(s) who were injured or sustained damages to their vehicle or person. These are usually ordered by a judge after the court analyzes the facts.
What Do Car Accident Damages Cover?
Damages and injuries sustained in a car accident may be expensive and you may ask yourself how you will cover these costly damages. The injured party may receive what is called a "compensatory damage" award. Compensatory damage awards are intended to cover the cost of the expenses sustained during the car accident. These costs may include:
- Medical bills
- Fee of a hospital stay
- Price of medication
- Cost of rehabilitation
Other losses for which you may be compensated money from the guilty party are as follows:
- Damage to your car or property
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost time at work
- Lost earning ability
- Medical bill expenses
It is important to remember that some car accident damages also include a punitive damages award. This is a monetary amount that is intended to punish the person reasonable for the intentional conduct, or for reckless behavior. The concept of punitive damages may be complicated. Below are some guidelines regarding this type of monetary compensation which may be awarded by a jury if the case goes to court:
- Most car accidents are not deliberate and do not warrant punishment of the driver who caused the accident.
- If the car accident is caused by deliberate wrongdoing, a judge or jury may find the award of punitive damages more appealing.
- If the damages of a car accident are caused by a person under the influence of drugs or alcohol, punitive damages may come into play.
How Are Disputes over Damages Resolved?
During a lawsuit, it is common for the expenses of damages to be disputed. This is especially true for car accident damages, as these can be difficult to calculate (each case is different and each state varies on the law). Disputes over damages are usually addressed by an examination of the evidence presented during trial. This can include an examination of photos, videos, documents, medical reports, and witness statements. In many cases, the opinion of a medical expert is crucial when calculating losses based on injuries.
As you can tell, a dispute over car accident damages can end up being very complicated and such disputes usually require the assistance of a qualified lawyer.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Obtaining a car accident damages award requires a great deal of legal knowledge and practical experience in court. It’s in your best interests to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer for help with a car accident lawsuit. Your attorney can provide you with legal guidance and representation during trial. Also, your lawyer can advise you on how the injury laws in your area might affect your case.
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Last Modified: 01-28-2015 11:35 AM PST
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