When you are hurt in an accident due to the actions of another, it is a scary, stressful time full of pain, heartache and outrage. You know that you deserve financial compensation to overcome your losses and economic difficulties. You know that someone needs to help you regain control of your life. However, you do not know what you are entitled to, or how to go about getting it when the insurance companies are pressuring you to accept lowball offers and sign away your life. Learn the types of personal injury compensation, what you might be able to collect and how an injury attorney can help you get your life back.
Compensatory vs. Punitive Damages
There are two general types of personal injury compensation damages. These are compensatory damages, designed to help you with the financial hurdles you face during recovery, and punitive damages which are designed specifically to punish the negligence or irresponsibility of the other party. Compensatory damages are awarded more often and easily than punitive damages.
Types of Compensatory Damage Awards
When it comes to compensatory damage, which is likely from where the lion’s share of your award will come, there are a broad variety of circumstances for which you can be paid. The first, and most obvious, is recovering your medical expenses. These can be everything from basic doctor visits to medication, equipment, physical therapy and even psychological services that you incur as a result of the accident.
Other types of awards include for loss of earnings, both current and future potential, household expenses, loss of relationship and intimacy (referred to as loss of consortium), mental anguish, pain and suffering and loss of support for dependents.
If a death was involved in the accident, the survivors of the deceased party may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses leading up to the death, for funeral expenses including burial, for emotional distress and damage, loss of financial contribution of the decedent, loss of support for dependents and loss of companionship, among others.
Punitive damages are not awarded in all cases. In general, these are levied only when the behavior that caused the accident was truly despicable, deliberate or unconscionably irresponsible. These can amount to huge sums of money, but are not common.
Getting Personal Injury Compensation
When you are injured, the other party will often go out of their way to avoid responsibility and paying out. Insurance companies will try to strong-arm or otherwise convince you to sign away your rights on lowball offers. It is important in these situations to have an experienced injury lawyer in your corner. Lawyers have experience fighting insurance companies and know how to counter their tactics and get you the money you need and deserve. If you have been in a North Carolina accident and need help, we are ready to fight for your rights. Review our personal injury services and give us a call for more information with no obligation today.