What Damages You Can Recover After a Car Accident

What Damages You Can Recover After a Car Accident

A car accident can quickly turn into a life-altering event. On top of serious injuries and pain, victims frequently experience financial turmoil due to the crash. Medical bills, repair costs, and daily expenses pile up quickly, especially if individuals can’t work and earn an income while they heal.

What can you do to recover the car accident compensation you deserve and get back on your feet again after a collision? At Hardison & Cochran, our experienced car accident lawyers in North Carolina can explain the types of money you can pursue for your losses. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

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(800) 434-8399

What are Car Accident Damages?

In a personal injury claim, “damages” refers to the monetary compensation a person can receive for their losses. Damages are intended to make an injured individual whole again following an accident caused by another party’s carelessness. In a car accident case, the at-fault party is most often another driver.

Types of Car Accident Damages in North Carolina

In North Carolina, there are generally two types of compensatory damages an injured individual can pursue after a car accident: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the measurable costs related to a motor vehicle accident. These damages are easiest to calculate because they leave a paper trail in the form of medical bills, repair receipts, and other financial documentation. Examples of economic damages an individual can pursue include:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Assistive medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers
  • Home renovations to accommodate a new disability
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
  • Property damage

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are a crucial form of motor vehicle accident compensation, but more challenging to calculate. This money reimburses clients for less concrete losses, such as mental trauma or damage to personal or marital relationships. Other non-economic damages can include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

Some states cap the amount of money a victim can recover for non-economic damages. Not in North Carolina. The state only caps pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases at $500,000.

In rare situations, a car accident victim may also recover money for punitive damages. Punitive damages do not cover a person’s financial losses. Instead, they act as a financial penalty or punishment when an individual commits a malicious, fraudulent, or wanton and willful act that harms another person.

Determining the Value of Your Claim

Calculating the value of car accident damages can be challenging to do on your own. Before you accept money from the insurance company, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. An attorney can review your unique situation and calculate the value of your financial losses.

The amount of compensation you could receive depends on several factors, including the cause of the accident and the severity of your injuries. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits can also play a role in estimating the value of your claim and the best strategy to seek maximum compensation for your losses.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in North Carolina

Your actions after an auto accident can impact your ability to recover compensation. You can protect your legal rights and strengthen your claim by taking proactive steps at the accident scene. You should:

  • Check yourself and others for injuries, if possible.
  • Call 911 to bring law enforcement and paramedics to the scene.
  • Exchange insurance information with every driver involved in the crash.
  • Document the accident scene by taking photos and videos and collecting the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Seek immediate medical attention to assess your car accident injuries.

In the days and weeks following the car crash, make sure to:

  • Contact a car accident attorney – One of the best ways to protect yourself and seek maximum compensation for your losses is to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in North Carolina. Any attorney can provide advice and help you navigate the claim process more effectively.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders – Seeking medical treatment immediately after a collision is crucial. However, it is equally essential to your health and your car accident claim to follow your doctor’s instructions. Go to every follow-up appointment, take medication as prescribed, and stick to your treatment plan. Medical records are essential evidence in personal injury cases.
  • Keep all documentation – You can help your attorney calculate your claim’s fair value by keeping all medical bills, pay stubs, co-pay receipts, car repair costs, and other financial documentation related to the accident.
  • Stay off social media – Never post about the case on social media until your attorney resolves your claim. Your words, actions, and photographs can potentially be used against you by an insurer or opposing attorney to diminish the value of your claim.

Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer in North Carolina

Pursuing motor vehicle accident compensation can be challenging. Insurance companies may use aggressive tactics to intimidate car accident victims into accepting less than their claim is worth. By involving an experienced car accident lawyer from the beginning, you increase your chances of recovering maximum compensation.

Our car accident attorneys can help by:

  • Guiding you through the personal injury claims process
  • Investigating the cause of the accident
  • Gathering and preserving evidence to prove liability
  • Negotiating with insurers for full and fair damages
  • Filing a car accident lawsuit and representing you at trial, if necessary

North Carolina has harsh negligence laws that can prevent you from recovering compensation if you are even one percent responsible for a car crash. An attorney can build a strong case with compelling evidence to give you the best chance of recovering the money you deserve.

Contact an Experienced North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

If you suffered injuries in a North Carolina car accident, let the experienced team at Hardison & Cochran advocate for you. You deserve justice and accountability for your losses, not a lowball settlement from the other driver’s insurance company. Contact our law office today for your free case review. It’s time to recover the money you need.

Call Now for a Free Consultation

(800) 434-8399

About the Author

Managing partner Benjamin T. Cochran oversees the operation of Hardison & Cochran Attorneys at Law in addition to representing individual clients in cases involving workers’ compensation and personal injury law.

A lifelong North Carolinian, Cochran knew from his high-school days in High Point that he wanted to be an attorney. He received a B.A. degree in economics and African-American studies from the University of North Carolina in 1999 and then enrolled at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University.

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