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Amber W. Hughes, Martza J. Majstoravich, Edward L. Murrelle

What types of compensation can I recover after a car crash?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Auto accident injuries

Car crashes are a leading cause of both major injury and death in North Carolina. Even those who buy vehicles rated as very safe and who consistently follow traffic laws could end up hurt in a crash.

After a car wreck in North Carolina, people have a few options available to them. Some individuals can obtain adequate compensation through an insurance claim. Others will need to file a personal injury lawsuit to fully recover from the financial impact of the collision.

What types of compensation can someone potentially request after a wreck where another driver is at fault?

Economic losses

Most people are at least passingly familiar with the right to recover economic damages after a wreck. They know that compensation can help pay to repair or possibly even replace their damaged vehicle. They could also claim compensation for other property damage that occurred. If there are injuries related to the crash, compensation for medical care is usually also available. In fact, people can seek reimbursement for lost wages if they have to take time away from a job or stop working permanently because of the injuries they incur.

Non-economic losses

Particularly if someone must file a personal injury lawsuit after a crash, claiming non-economic damages could be a wise decision. North Carolina permits claims for emotional distress, loss of enjoyment and possibly loss of consortium. Emotional distress relates to the non-physical suffering someone experiences after an injury.

Loss of enjoyment relates to the lingering impact of crash injuries and emotional distress on someone’s day-to-day life. For example, if someone has to have a surgical amputation because they suffer a crushing injury that damages one of their hands, they may never be able to bake, swim or knit the way they used to. The loss of that personal enjoyment could contribute to the overall value of their lawsuit.

Loss of consortium relates to the ability of an individual to offer love, affection and support to their spouse. Non-economic losses can be hard to quantify, but they can have a major impact on the total value of a North Carolina personal injury lawsuit.

Punitive damages

In some cases, the courts can award punitive damages after a wreck. Punitive damages are a form of penalty for the defendant rather than reimbursement for the plaintiff. Factors including the likelihood of someone’s actions to cause harm, the impact of the situation on the plaintiff and the frequency of misconduct could influence whether the courts award punitive damages and how much they award someone.

Many people struggle to put an appropriate price on their losses after a wreck. Reviewing the situation carefully with an attorney can help people quantify their losses accurately and request an appropriate amount of compensation after a North Carolina crash as a result.