Our Murrieta Car Accident Lawyers Explain How Damages Work
Car accidents injure more than 2 million U.S. drivers each
year and kill an additional 35,000. Some car accident injuries are relatively
minor, meaning the individuals involved will not suffer extensive damages.
Roughly 200,000 auto accident victims require
extensive treatment in a hospital after a crash. Some of these individuals
suffered major injuries, some of which are catastrophic
and last the rest of their lives.
Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit
There are three types of damages in a
California car accident lawsuit. Economic damages encompass your medical bills,
lost income, transportation costs and other direct expenses that are
quantifiable. Noneconomic damages cover the pain and suffering caused by your
injury. Finally, there are punitive damages, also called punishment damages.
These are damages that can only be awarded by a jury.
We can look at this concept further by using a
specific type of injury to illustrate how damages could work during a car
accident case. Let’s say for example that your average 25-year-old healthy male
suffers a complete C1 spinal cord injury during a car crash. This type of catastrophic injury would likely incur
extensive economic and noneconomic damages. A complete C1 spinal cord injury
could result in tetraplegia, or a loss of function below the neck.
The person would need around-the-clock care,
therapeutic care, home medical equipment, coverage for a loss of current and
future income, and money for transportation costs. These are examples of
economic damages that a person with a complete C1 spinal cord injury might
A person with this type of injury would also
suffer noneconomic damages, such as a loss of enjoyment in life, mental
anguish, or loss of companionship. While noneconomic damages are more difficult
to quantify, an experienced attorney can help maximize your compensation.
Insurance companies are much more likely to
put up an extensive fight if claims involve noneconomic damages. For this
reason, it is important to pick an experienced attorney who has experience with
jury trials involving car accident and catastrophic injury cases.
Damages for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Some car accident victims lose their lives.
Family members suffer damages as a result of a loss or losses. This is
especially true in cases where the decedent (the deceased person) was the sole
source of income for the family.
Damages in a wrongful death case are similar
to damages in a case involving injuries. You may be able to obtain compensation
for funeral expenses from a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our attorneys can personally answer any
questions you have about seeking compensation for the death of a loved one.
Proving Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit
There are a couple of ways to prove economic
damages in a car accident case. For instance, it would be necessary to analyze
and estimate the cost of your current and future medical bills. It would also
be important to take a look at how much money you were making or could have
made if you had not suffered an injury.
With noneconomic damages, the process is more
difficult because you are attempting to quantify the impact your injury has on
your quality of life. The amount you can recover depends on the extent and
severity of your injury, and possibly other factors. An attorney will need to
successfully argue for compensation for these damages.
Punitive damages are only possible if your
case proceeds to a trial, as a jury can only award punitive damages in
About Our Murrieta Car Accident Lawyers
car accident lawyers at Gnau & Tamez Law Group, LLP can help you
determine if you have options to file a lawsuit against another driver. We have
experience with car accident injury and wrongful death cases in California.
You can learn more about how damages could
apply to your case by calling us for a free consultation. To reach our firm,
dial (951)370-1111 or use the online
case review form on our website.