We hear all the time about multi-million settlements and verdicts for people that are injured in car accidents, but there’s not a great deal of information on what claims contributed to these very large amounts of compensation. It would be naive to think that anybody really collects millions of dollars after a fender bender causes a sore neck that heals quickly. No attorney is that much of a magician! That’s why it’s important to understand what damages can be collected for car accidents before you hire a personal injury attorney in NYC.
Economic damages are calculable sums for reimbursement of money lost due to the negligence, recklessness or intentional acts of others. The first category of economic damages is the money that’s been spent on healthcare needed due to the car accident such as:
- An ambulance or medivac, emergency room treatment and testing such as x-rays and cat scans, treatment by specialists such as orthopedists, neurologists and plastic surgeons, outpatient testing such as MRI’s, surgeons, anesthesiologists, physical therapists and chiropractors.
- Accommodations to your home or vehicle to accommodate a temporary or permanent disability
- Home health care or residential care on a temporary or permanent basis and
- Other medical expenses such as medications and appliances.
Economic damages covers not just the money that’s been spent already, but what’s estimated to be needed for the rest of your life. The next category of economic damages is lost earnings, which is the amount of money that you’ve lost at the time of settlement of trial. You are also entitled to collect compensation for what it’s estimated you will lose due to your inability to work or your reduction in earning capacity. The best Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn personal injury attorneys know how to use experts to help you collect the largest amount possible for future medical expenses and lost earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are the subjective pain, suffering and mental anguish experienced by the victim. Those gigantic settlements and verdicts you hear about are almost always due to the non-economic damages. That’s because the sky’s the limit and juries can be very generous to injured victims, especially if the defendant is a large corporation that they view as hurting a regular person. The threat of a jury trial is what gets the insurance to make large settlement offers. Victims that have suffered disfiguring scars, loss of use of a limb, become blind, paralyzed or confined to a wheelchair as sympathetic and their pain can be seen visually. It’s more challenging to prove to collect large amounts of money for less obvious injuries such as torn ligaments and severe back pain. That’s why it’s important to hire the best personal injury lawyer in NYC whether your injuries are catastrophic or soft tissue.
Punitive damages are damages awarded to a plaintiff at trial to punish the defendant for their heinous conduct. They are rarely awarded for car accident cases, but there are situations where they might apply such suing a delivery company that knowing employed a driver with an alcohol abuse problem that drove drunk on the job and the plaintiff lost their leg as a result. Another situation where a Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan or Brooklyn personal injury attorney might be able to collect punitive damages would be if the accident was caused by a defect in a vehicle that the manufacturer knew about but covered up.
Wittenstein & Wittenstein – Top Personal Injury Attorney in NYC
In order to collect the largest amount of compensation for serious injuries from car accidents, it’s important to hire an experienced Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan or Brooklyn personal injury attorney that knows how to maximize the value of your case. Wittenstein & Wittenstein has been serving the community for more than sixty years, offering free consultations and contingency fees. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, call 718-261-8114 as soon as possible after the crash.