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What types of compensation are available to car accident victims?

A severe car crash can change a person’s life forever. There are physical injuries, emotional trauma, property damage and other ways victims suffer in the time following an accident.

Because of all the ways that a motor vehicle accident can disrupt a person’s life, an offer from an insurance company is likely not going to cover the full compensation victims deserve. If you have been in a car crash, you should know what types of compensation could be available to you before accepting a settlement.

Economic vs. non-economic damages

In a personal injury claim, there are economic and non-economic damages to which a person may be entitled. Types of economic damages (also called special damages) include:

  • Medical bills
  • The cost to install accessibility equipment in a person’s home
  • Wages lost if a person is unable to work
  • Damage to a person’s car

These damages can be calculated. There is often a receipt or other way to establish monetary losses.

On the other hand, non-economic damages are more complicated to calculate because there is no fixed value assigned to them. Examples of non-economic damages (also called general damages) include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairments
  • Reduction in quality of life

These damages can add up to be significantly more than special damages. However, in Ohio, there is a cap on the amount of non-economic damages victims can receive.

Other financial components to consider

In addition to damage caps, there are other financial components to understand when it comes to car crash damages. In some situations, courts may award punitive or exemplary damages. These awards are in place to punish a wrongdoer for egregious or violent conduct. 

There are also legal costs associated with pursuing damages after a crash. However, attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis only collect payment if a case is successful. And having an attorney can be crucial in personal injury claims, as they can be complicated, and there can be a lot at stake.

Injured victims can be entitled to compensation after a crash caused by a reckless or negligent party. Failing to seek this money or accepting less than you deserve can make recovering from the accident even more difficult. Thus, it is crucial to understand your legal options so you can make informed decisions about your future.

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