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What are the damages you could recover following a car accident?

In the aftermath of a car accident, victims face many financial consequences, mostly pertaining to property damage and physical injuries.

The purpose of tort law is to provide them with an avenue for the recovery of compensatory damages, including general and specific damages.

Specific damages

Specific damages refer to the losses evidenced by tangible bills and estimates from relative professionals. Examples may include:

  • The loss of wages or benefits caused by current and future missed days at work and the loss of earning capacity

  • The cost of medical treatment

  • The cost of future medical treatment, including doctor, hospital and rehabilitative visits

  • The cost of replacing or repairing any damaged property

Since every car accident and injury has unique circumstances, the damages may differ. For example, you may request recovery of payment for at-home services needed while you healed.

General damages

General damages refer to the non-economic losses that are not as easily quantifiable but are just as relevant. Examples include:

  • Pain and suffering

  • Mental anguish

  • Emotional distress

  • Loss of the ability to enjoy life

If you suffered any mental issues, such as depression or anxiety, you can include those effects among the general damages.

Exemplary damages

Exemplary damages do not compensate for any losses. Rather, they punish the defendant for gross negligence or any particularly egregious behavior, such as driving while intoxicated or driving recklessly. The court may require them to pay exemplary damages, as known as punitive damages, to deter such activity in the future.

Keep in mind that you only have a short period of time to file a lawsuit from the date of the accident.

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