Clarksburg Car Accident Damages

After a car accident, personal injury victims have the opportunity to seek compensation, also known as damages, for their losses. Available damages in Clarksburg car accident cases fall into three main categories: economic, noneconomic, and punitive.

Economic Damages

Economic damages or economic losses compensate victims for their losses that have a clear monetary value. That would include any medical bills, including the actual cost of the hospital stay, treatment provided in the hospital, and prescriptions. Additionally, they can recover compensation for other out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical equipment, home modifications, and property damage. If the victim missed work while hospitalized, they would be able to receive compensation for lost wages as well.

If the injuries are permanent and hinder or impair a person’s ability to return to their employment or obtain employment in the future, then the lost future wages are considered economic damages as well.

Noneconomic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate victims for their harms and losses that do not have an objective dollar value. They would include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. When someone has to deal with an injury, it affects their mental state and well-being during the time of their recovery. If it is a permanent injury, it is often at the front of their mind and is a sometimes depressing distraction to them.

Those things are very subjective and they differ from person to person. Every individual has different thresholds of pain, is in a different stage in their life, enjoys life differently, and engages in different activities.

Putting a value on noneconomic damages requires a lawyer to illustrate to the insurance company or jury how the victim’s injuries have affected their life. They do that by bringing in witnesses who can testify about the victim’s quality of life before and after the car accident. A calculation is made based upon the judgment of the evaluator.

Punitive Damages

In Clarksburg and throughout West Virginia, a person who was injured by another person may in some cases recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the person who caused the accident and set an example to the community to deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages are able to be recovered in situations where a person’s conduct was intentional, grossly negligent, or outrageous.

If the facts of the case give rise to a punitive damage award, there is a damage cap that limits the potential damages award a victim can receive. Punitive damages must bear a five to one ratio to the total of the economic and non-economic damages combined.

Notably, liability insurance payments do not always pay for punitive damages. While economic and noneconomic losses are recoverable under most insurance policies, they may not compensate victims for intentional conduct.

A Clarksburg Car Accident Attorney Could Help You Recover Damages

If you were injured in a Clarksburg car accident, you may be able to recover damages for all of your losses. However, effectively pursuing a personal injury claim on your own can be a difficult and time-consuming task. An experienced attorney could help protect your financial future while you relax and focus on your health. Call today to schedule a consultation.