What Are the Three Types of Damages Caused By Virginia Car Accidents?

Motor vehicle accidents are traumatic events that can have a domino effect on every part of your life, particularly if your injury is serious. Unfortunately, the financial fallout of a motor vehicle accident can be mind-boggling since it usually involves a growing pile of medical bills, lost earnings, property damages, and more. In most cases, the more severe your injuries are, the greater the financial loss you could withstand. 

What forms of compensation am I entitled to after a car accident?

There are three types of financial compensation you could be entitled to for your losses: economic damages, noneconomic damages, and punitive damages. Understanding what each of these damages entails is an important part of your personal injury case. After being involved in a car accident, a qualified car accident attorney can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation, and if so, what types apply to your case. 

The Virginia car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been helping their clients obtain full and fair financial compensation for their damages since 1985. If you have questions or concerns regarding a potential personal injury case, schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team today. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are objective, monetary losses you experienced because of the car accident. These can include:

  • Medical bills: When a car accident results in serious injuries, your medical bills can stack up fast. Medical bills typically involve ambulance and paramedic services, hospital emergency room fees, hospitalizations, surgeries and other medical procedures, prescription medications, and physical rehabilitation.
  • Lost income: Car accidents can also impact your ability to do your job either long or short-term, causing you to lose your source of income. Lost earnings can include current and future wages, lost retirement benefits, and the loss of your spouse’s income if they were also injured. 
  • Property damage: In some instances, you might be able to file a separate claim for property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident, such as your vehicle.  
  • Funeral, and burial, or cremation expenses: When a car accident results in a fatality, certain surviving family members of the deceased might be entitled to compensation for wrongful death. Wrongful death compensation can include funeral, and burial, or cremation expenses, medical bills, pain, suffering, and loss of fellowship, especially if the victim was the family’s main financial provider.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages pertain to subjective, non-monetary losses, like mental anguish and grief. These damages are challenging to calculate because they are immaterial. Non-economic damages vary widely from victim to victim and can include:

  • Pain, suffering, and inconvenience: This is remuneration for the emotional anguish, mental distress, physical pain, and inconvenience caused by the accident and the injuries it caused. Pain and suffering damages are based on the nature and scope of your injuries and their impact on your life.  
  • Decreased quality of life: Quality of life is a phrase that refers to a victim’s overall health, well-being, and capacity for enjoying life after their accident. A lifelong disability, like a traumatic brain injury or the loss of a limb, will drastically affect your ability to take part in and enjoy the hobbies and activities you participated in before the accident. This also includes reputational damage if applicable. 
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement: These damages are available if your injuries cause permanent scarring or disfigurement that prevent you from living your day-to-day life, an inability to maintain personal and social relationships or low self-esteem.
  • Loss of fellowship: This particular damage is usually awarded to the spouse of a victim who died in the accident. The loss of a spouse leads to a loss of affection, love, sexual relations, comfort, and companionship.  

Punitive Damages

An award of punitive damages is very rare in these kinds of cases but sometimes the courts do impose them. Although a punitive damage award is paid to you just like other damages, they are not intended to compensate you for any loss. They are meant to be a punishment for the person who caused your accident in the event that the judge determines that their actions were especially egregious. Punitive damages are intended to deter others from behaving in the same appalling manner.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

If you were injured in any kind of personal injury accident and are considering pursuing legal action for damages, contact the Virginia personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. Give us a call at (833) 997-1774 and schedule your free case review with a member of our legal team. We will evaluate the facts of your accident and determine what damages you may be entitled to.  

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