What Are “Damages” In A Car Accident Case?

Car accidents can be very devastating. They can destroy your vehicle, cause expensive and sometimes permanent injuries, and even lead to losing your job. These losses from the accident are “damages.” Damage is a legal term for the harm caused by an accident. Paying damages is a mechanism for making up for the harm caused by an accident. Thus, the value of your auto accident claim is connected to the damages caused by the accident. There are essentially three categories of damages.

The Three Types Of Damages

The first are tangible damages which are easily quantifiable with a financial figure like the cost of medical bills. The second type are intangible damages, these are the damages that cannot be easily quantified by a figure like pain and suffering. Finally, there are punitive damages. Punitive damages are when someone was intentionally negligent and caused significant harm. It is rare to receive punitive damages in an auto accident claim.

Types Of Tangible Damages

The first type of damages are straightforward. They are the direct financial costs of the accident and include:

● Property Damage: Property damage is the cost of the damage to the vehicle like dents, mechanical damage, and in severe cases, replacement value.

● Medical Bills: Medical bills are the costs of all the medical expenses related directly to the accident. These include medical diagnostics and treatments, pharmaceuticals, and therapy.

● Lost Wages: Lost wages is a type of damage for when your injuries from the accident are so severe you cannot work.

● Lost Benefits: Lost benefits are the damages for the employment benefits like retirement plans that were lost when your injuries were so severe you could not work.

To receive these damages, you just have to prove these costs are directly the result of your accident.

Types Of Intangible Damages

Intangible damages are the losses that occur that do not have a dollar figure attached. These will be calculated by your attorney using sophisticated formulas. Intangible damages include:

● Pain and suffering: This type of damage is to pay for the physical pain and emotionally suffering caused by a severe accident.

● Wrongful Death: Wrongful death is when the accident was so bad a life was lost. Though no amount of money can ever make up for losing a loved one, this damage is designed to help make the loss less damaging by helping provide resources to the family.

● Loss Of Consortium: Loss of consortium is when injuries are so severe the accident victim cannot enjoy the normal dynamics of their relationship.

● Loss Of Enjoyment: Loss of enjoyment is a type of damage designed to make up for all the things you can no longer do as a result of your injuries. For example, if you play tennis but the accident caused you to lose function in your arm, you can no longer play tennis.

● Disfigurement: Disfigurement is for when the accident causes permanent disfiguring.

Finally, there are punitive damages which are fundamentally a type of intangible damage. These are for severe circumstances and are designed to “punish” the defendant for gross or intentional negligence.

Calculating The Value Of Your Claim

As you can see there are a large variety of different types of damages that you may be owed as a result of your accident. In fact, most people don’t know the full value of their claim. However, if you hire a skilled attorney, they will help you understand all the damages that you may be owed and calculate the true value of your damages. They will then fight for full and fair compensation for these damages.

To learn more about what damages you qualify for after your auto accident, give The St. Pete’s Attorney Michael Babboni a call at 1-727-381-9200. We offer a free case review and can help you understand the value of your claim. We’ll then fight for your right to a full settlement for the damages.