In a lawsuit following a car accident, the term ‘damages’ refers to the monetary compensation awarded to an injured party in order to make the injured party whole again.
There are different types of damages an injured party can pursue. The amount varies depending on the severity of injuries and how the injuries affect the person’s life.
Economic damages refer to damages that have a quantified value. Medical bills and lost wages are damages with documented proof of a financial loss. The severity and permanency of injuries may also affect someone’s future earning potential if they are unable to return to their previous job or unable to return to work at all. Loss of future earnings covers what a person could have earned in a lifetime if the injury had not occurred.
Non-economic damages are damages that do not have monetary terms already attached to them. These damages cover things like pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of ability to enjoy life. Loss of consortium involves the loss of comfort, support, household services and marital relations provided by a spouse. Comparing a person’s quality of life and lifestyle before and after the accident determines non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are damages intended to punish someone whose behavior was exceptionally awful or intentionally harmful. In New Jersey, punitive damages are rarely awarded in car accident cases. However, a legal expert can help you determine if punitive damages are worth pursuing if your car accident was the result of negligence.