Awards For Damages In Charlotte Accidents
You may get damages for injuries that you suffer in car accidents caused by negligent drivers. Some of the damages may be awarded for financial losses, physical injuries, and emotional damages directly connected to the accident. The two types of damages are compensatory damages and punitive damages. An experienced Charlotte car accident lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to pursue compensation that you deserve.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
Compensatory damages are designed to compensate you for your losses and pain. They are meant to restore you financially and physically as much as possible to the position you were in before the accident. You may get compensatory damages for actual financial losses directly connected to the accident. These include lost wages, medical bills, rental car costs, property damage, and other economic losses.
You may also get compensatory damages for general damages that cannot be quantified such as emotional distress, diminished ability to enjoy life, and more. Since it is difficult to assign monetary value to general damages, the settlement amount you may end up getting may be determined by the circumstances of your accident and severity of your injuries. Other non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Trauma from surgery
- Lost opportunity
- Lost future earnings
- Future medical bills
- Physical disfigurement
- Loss of consortium (damage to your spousal and family relationships)
Punitive damages are intended to punish a negligent party that knowingly caused an accident. For example, a drunk driver that causes an accident is considered to have caused an accident knowingly. Punitive damages are meant to deter others from engaging in reprehensible acts that put other people’s lives in danger. The jury may award you punitive damages that are three times the compensatory damages or $250,000. For example, if the jury awarded you $500,000 in compensatory damages at trial, they may award you $1,500,000 in punitive damages. There are situations where you cannot get more than $250,000 in punitive damages.
What Factors Determine The Amount Of Punitive Damage
It is the jury that determines the amount of punitive damages the plaintiff is awarded in a trial case. But the injured party’s lawyer can negotiate a settlement amount with the defense to avoid going to trial. A jury decides the amount of punitive damages based on the following:
- The damages suffered by the plaintiff
- Whether the defendant acted in a reprehensible manner with reprehensible motives
- Whether the defendant profited from their reprehensible conducted
- The ability of the defendant to pay punitive damages
- Whether the defendant concealed some facts or consequences of their conduct
If the defendant knowingly caused the accident, there will be no cap on punitive damages.
How An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Your Charlotte car accident lawyer can help you calculate the compensation amount that you deserve. The lawyer will also represent you in negotiations with insurance companies. Most insurance companies in Charlotte often try to use the contributory negligence laws to avoid paying non-policy holders. Your lawyer will help you gather the evidence that may prove that the other party is 100% liable for the injuries you suffered in the accident.