What are the Damages I Can Claim in an Accident?
Individuals who are injured in a car accident face many losses and expenses. For example, they are responsible for paying ambulance and emergency room bills, and they experience pain and suffering. Under Florida law, car accident victims have the right to seek monetary compensation for their injuries and damages after a car accident. This is typically accomplished by filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. The injured individual or their Sarasota car accident attorney on their behalf can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company that is representative of their damages. Rarely, if the insurance company refuses to offer a full and fair settlement, the case will end up in litigation.
What are Damages?
Damages are the monetary representation of the losses, expenses, and inconveniences accident victims suffer due to the negligence of the at-fault party. Specific damages will vary from one case to the next, but usually, each case has two categories of damages: economic and non-economic.
Also referred to as special damages, economic damages are the ways that the accident victim suffered financially due to the accident. The two primary examples are:
- Lost wages due to being unable to physically go to work or attending medical appointments
- Medical expenses such as doctor bills, medications, therapies, or medical equipment
- Special damages can also include:
- Property damage—such as to a vehicle, wedding ring, or eyeglasses
- Travel expenses to and from doctor’s appointments
Your Sarasota car accident lawyer can help you keep track of your accident-related expenses and monetary losses so that when it’s time to negotiate, you know if the offer you receive is fair or not.
On the other hand, non-economic or general damages are those that don’t involve money. They have no predefined monetary value. Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
The challenging part of non-economic damages is that they don’t already have a monetary value even though they are extremely real. As such, it can be difficult to negotiate a full and fair settlement for them. You should discuss the potential value for your damages with your Sarasota car accident attorney.
Punitive damages are much less common. Injured parties are only granted punitive damages in rare cases in which the party who caused their injuries did so with serious disregard for safety and knew their actions could be especially harmful. For example, suppose you were injured by a drunk driver or a driver running from the police. In that case, you may be entitled to receive punitive damages.
Meet with a Seasoned Sarasota Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were recently injured in an accident, you can find out more about what damages you might be entitled to receive by meeting with a seasoned Sarasota car accident lawyer from Matthews Personal Injury Law today. Schedule your no-obligation consultation today by calling 941-877-5800 or completing our convenient online form.