What Are Damages In A Car Accident Lawsuit?
Even in minor car accidents, people talk about vehicle damage and how much it will cost to repair it. With accidents that are disastrous enough to require a lawsuit, meaning that their cost exceeds the policy limits of the insurance policies of the parties involved in the accident, the word “damages” means something else. In the context of personal injury lawsuits, the word damages refers to the financial losses that the plaintiff (the injured person) suffered as a result of the accident. In the case of a car accident resulting in serious injury, the vehicle repairs can be expensive, but they are just a drop in the bucket compared to the medical bills and other expenses related to living with a serious injury. A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you request and receive adequate damages to recover your financial losses after a car accident.
Accident-Related Medical Bills
Most plaintiffs in car accident lawsuits first decide to contact a personal injury lawyer when they receive the first round of medical bills related to the accident. Even now, with the No Surprises Act limiting the amount of money that doctors and hospitals can charge for emergency medical treatment, the numbers on the invoices you receive from hospitals, physicians, radiologists, and ambulances can still be shocking. The minimum policy limits required by South Carolina law are not enough to cover most accidents where the injuries are serious enough to require surgery or inpatient hospital treatment. In a car accident lawsuit, you can request damages not only for the treatment you have already received, but also for the treatment you will continue to need in the future for your accident-related injuries.
Lost Income and Lost Earning Capacity
When a working person files a personal injury lawsuit, the request for damages usually also includes lost income. (If you were already retired at the time of the accident, then damages for lost income do not apply.) If you were eventually able to go back to your job after the accident, then you can seek damages for the income you missed out on during your unpaid medical leave from work. If you had to switch to a lower-paying job or are still unable to work, you can seek damages for future lost income. This damages amount equals what you would have earned by retirement if not for the accident, minus what you are expected to earn by retirement in your current state of health.
If your injuries are very severe, you can also request non-economic damages, which are sometimes called general damages. Unlike medical bills and lost income, non-economic damages compensate you for things that do not have a specific dollar amount. For example, you can request non-economic damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Let Us Help You Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you recover damages in a car accident lawsuit if your accident-related losses exceed your insurance policy limits. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.