Getting into an automobile accident is something that one knows can happen to them at any given moment but never plans for it to happen. When it happens, the damages that occur during and after the accident can be devastating. It takes a Mobile, AL car accident lawyer to sort through every detail and get their client the right amount of compensation for the “damages” and the “non-economic damages.” Though some are fortunate to walk away from an accident unscathed, others are not so lucky. Once the information is gathered from the incident and the medical statistics on the extent of injuries, the attorney will take over and know how to fight for the victim’s rights to get their proper compensation.
The Difference Between Damages and Non-Economic Damages
The best way to describe the differences between damages and non-economic damages is damages are the direct effect of the accident. In contrast, non-economic damages are the long-term after-effects that affect the way of life for the victim. The attorney will go after both rewards in a case settlement.
What Are Considered Damages?
In legal terms, damages are the car accident injury claim that requests the negligent driver to pay the injured party for everything lost due to the accident. Everything included in damages is listed below:
- Medical treatment consists of hospital stays, doctor visits, therapy, ongoing care, rehab, prescriptions, and medical equipment or devices to assist bodily and mobility functions;
- Vehicle and property damage;
- Loss of income due to recovery time;
- Future loss of income if the victim can no longer work and is labeled disabled.
- Physical and mental pain and suffering for the victim
What is Considered Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are those that are long-term that affect the lifestyle of an individual. Listed are examples below:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
All of these cause emotional trauma and can affect a person while they are awake, and some will keep them from sleeping. PTSD is a case that can sum up everything in a nutshell because the person will relive the accident in dreams, flashbacks, or simple thoughts. Some medications help to alleviate traumatic stress, but there is no cure. Some get over the events through counseling over time, while others live it for the rest of their lives. If a passenger in either vehicle or the other driver was killed in the accident, it would have lasting effects for sure.
Breaking Down the Damages
The different categories that determine the amount awarded to the client rely on the data and statistics of each client’s damage.
Medical treatment occurs right after the paramedics pick up the person and ends up on the doctor’s release. Some may recover quickly while others remain with the effects from the accident for life, and they will constantly be under doctor’s care and treatment. There is no set price for the awarded amount in a case because the situations vary for each client. The hospital stays rack up the medical price each day as well as the treatments from therapy and rehab. Some are put on ventilators or feeding tubes, and the use of X-rays, CAT scans, and other medical equipment raises the price per use each day.
Vehicle and Property Damage
All vehicles by law are supposed to be insured with no less than liability coverage, and liability insurance pays for the other person’s vehicle in the event of an accident. There are instances where the insurance company will try to wither their way out of paying the total amount for the vehicle. Some of the properties will get overlooked in paying the value. Any of the victim’s belongings inside the vehicle or connected to the vehicle, like a trailer or bags of groceries inside the vehicle, is the property and must get reimbursed by the insurance company. This is why attorneys warn so many times not to just sign for a check. The amount of money the victim loses when they sign for a one-on-one settlement with the insurance companies is heart-sickening.
Loss of Income
When a person gets in an accident, they may not be able to work to provide for themselves and their families. These situations are called loss of wages or loss of income. It takes an excellent car accident attorney to fight for the victims to get what is rightfully theirs in compensation when they cannot return to work due to the injuries. Loss of income and future loss of income is pretty much the same thing, except one is dealing for now moments while future loss of income deals with the future projections. These are all factored in with the price as the doctor gives the good or bad news on recovery.
As far as disabilities, it does not take much to disable a person. A neck or spinal injury could paralyze the victim from the impact. Limbs could get ripped off in the wreckage, and other things could happen to legally disable a person. The person may lose the use of a leg and an arm. By being disabled, the person will have to have someone work to take care of them, or they may have family members. Some have different schedules to follow, but many times those who are the caretakers get compensated too.
Physical and Mental Pain
Physical and mental pain may also last for a short time to forever. When it comes to the person receiving compensation, it is called “compensation for pain and suffering.” It is almost like a punitive award due to the other driver’s negligence who caused the accident, which is called “Justice.”