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Compensation For Car Accidents: What You Can Recover

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Types Of Damages

After a car accident, if there were injuries and the accident was caused due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your losses. The compensation you receive is called damages and is broken down into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. An easy way to differentiate between the two types is that economic damages have a specific price tag on them and non-economic damages need to be calculated to a fair value for having to deal with the injuries from the accident. Let’s break down the difference between the two into greater detail.

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Economic Damages

Economic damages are any sort of loss you had from the accident that has a specific price tag on it. These are things such as property damages, medical expenses, physical therapy, transportation to medical appointments, lost wages, future lost wages, and more. These costs are easy to calculate because they have a specific price tag associated with them. We add all of these up to get our total amount for the economic damages which is the starting point for the settlement. Let’s look at some economic damages a little closer.

Medical Expenses – Your settlement should include payment for ALL medical costs you incurred due to the accident. This means the ambulance ride, your treatment, follow up treatments, ongoing physical therapy, costs for transportation to these appointments, and any other medical costs related to these injuries until you reach maximum medical improvement.

Lost Wages – If you had to miss work due to your injuries, medical treatment or for any other reason related to the accident, then those costs will be reimbursed in your settlement package. This also includes any future lost wages as well. So if it’s going to take you a full year of recovery before you can get back to work, the at fault party will be liable for covering all of those lost wages until the time you are back to work.

Property Damages – Lets say your vehicle was totaled, your laptop was destroyed, your phone was broken and your golf clubs in the back were also destroyed. All of these count as legitimate property damages and you can recover the replacement costs for those items in your settlement.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are the losses you had from the accident that do not have a specific price tag on them. There are things such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of quality of life, impaired mobility, loss of companionship, mental anguish and more. Since these don’t have a specific price tag, there is typically some negotiating back and forth on what each of the items are worth to each party. The more severe the injuries, pain and recovery is, the more you can expect to receive in compensation. Life long injuries will be compensated the most, especially if they majorly affect your ability to do normal activities. These are combined along with your economic damages to get the full settlement amount. In some very rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded on top of that which we will discuss next.

Pain And Suffering – Whatever pain and discomfort you have to go through form the moment of the accident all the way up until you have completely recovered is considered pain and suffering in personal injury claims. This pain that you dealt with was due to the other person’s actions, so you will be compensated for having to go through that in the form of non-economic damages. Since this does not have a price tag, your lawyer will have to use your own records of discomfort as well as any family members that can testify to how much pain you were in during your recovery process.

Loss Of Quality Of Life – If you were an avid hiker and your accident left you with an injury that prevents you from being able to do your favorite activity for the rest of your life, then this is a major loss of quality of life. Loss of fingers or limbs or the ability to walk around pain free can all play a major role in what activities you are able to do in life and all of those things will be reflected in your compensation package. If your accident has prevented you from being able to live your life how you normally would, make sure to bring it up to your attorney so they can add that into your case.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are when the negligent party was acting with willful or wanton misconduct, the judge may add some exemplary damages on to the final settlement as a means of punishment for their actions. These are called punitive damages because they acted in such a dangerous or violent manner that they deserve extra punishment on top of them having to pay for the regular damages.

How Much Do The Injuries Affect Your Life?

One of the biggest factors that affects your non-economic damages amount is how much the injuries affected your life in the short term as well as the long term. For long term injuries like loss of a limb or permanent disabilities that will affect your comfort or ability to live a happy life, you will be compensated at a much higher rate since your injuries will play such a major and ongoing role in your life. For short term injuries like a broken arm that will heal fine, the compensation won’t be nearly as significant because it is only a temporary thing that you have to experience. This isn’t a way of discounting your injuries, as any injury is tough to deal with, but it’s a simple reference to how the seriousness of your injury can drastically alter the amount of your settlement.

How Fault Plays A Role

If one party is completely at fault for the accident, then it is pretty easy to tell who is paying out the settlement, the at fault party. But if both parties played a role in causing the accident, then whoever was less at fault will receive a settlement. However, that settlement will be reduced by the amount in percentage that they were deemed at fault for causing that accident. So if for some reason you are deemed partially at fault for the accident, then you will not receive the full settlement amount, so don’t be surprised if this happens to you.

Contact An Experienced Attorney

Calculating damages is not something that most people do everyday, but at Rector Stuzynski LLC, our car accident lawyers are calculating damages and handling auto accident injury claims on a day to day basis. Our lawyers are extremely well versed in personal injury law and know how to put together a bullet proof case so you can be sure you are getting the most out of your settlement. From start to finish, our staff handles the entire case so you can sit back and let your injuries heal while we take care of everything else. We offer free consultations over the phone 24/7 and you’re welcome to stop by our office in Colorado Springs, CO to speak with one of our attorneys.

Areas We Serve

We serve clients injured in car accidents anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Falcon, Calhan, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.

We serve clients injured in the following zip codes: 80907, 80909, 80918, 80917, 80931, 80932, 80933, 80934, 80935, 80936, 80937, 80941, 80942, 80946, 80947, 80949, 80950, 80960, 80962, 80977 ,80995 ,80997 80901, 80912, 80904, 80915, 80905, 80910, 80923, 80922, 80919, 80920, 80916, 80939, 80914, 80951, 80924, 80927, 80938, 80906, 80840, 80829, 80902, 80809, 80841, 80911, 80908, 80929, 80819, 80921, 80925, 80132, 80926, 80913, 80863, 80817, 80831, 80133, 80930, 80860, 80814, 80813, 80118, 80106, 80928, 80866, 80816, 80808, 80104, 80116, 81008, 80864, 80135, 81240, 81007, 80109, 81290, 80107, 80108, 80425, 81215, 81221, 80117, 80827, 81212, 80134, 80835, 81003, 80131, 81226, 81001, 80138, 80125, 81002, 81009, 81010, 81011, 81012, 80124, 81244, 80126, 80820, 80130, 80163, 80433, 80129, 80833, 80112, 80832, 81025, 81005, 81223, 81006, 80470, 80127, 80122 and beyond.