Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “Should I file the property damage claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or with my insurance company?”
What Types of Damages Can I Expect in a Personal Injury Case?
A serious injury can happen in an instant. An injury may occur due to a vehicle accident, a fall, a mistake made by a doctor or other medical professional, or many other ways. When your injury is caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. While you may hear people refer to the damages in your case, you may not be aware of what your damages are and whether you can seek money for your injuries. A skilled North Carolina personal injury attorney will guide your case and help you get the money you deserve for your injuries.
What are Damages?
When you get hurt in an accident, you incur a number of expenses related to your injury. ‘Damages’ is a term that encompasses all the expenses and costs that are caused by the accident. Damages are either compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages are real costs that you incurred due to the injury. The judge may also choose to impose punitive damages, meant to punish egregious wrongdoing.
Economic damages are costs that have an actual price that you can show as they relate to your injuries. After suffering a severe injury, your medical bills will likely begin to pile up. If you had to stay in the hospital or needed surgery, the resulting bills can be extremely high. Some examples of economic damages include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, costs for medications, surgery expenses, hospital bills, and more. In addition, if you had to stay out of work for a period of time you might be owed money for your lost wages. When you are unable to return to work or to the same position, you might request money for loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are costs that do not have a specific price tag. They are intangible losses that you incurred due to your injuries. Some of the most common non-economic damages are money for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. You may also seek compensation for loss of enjoyment of life in situations in which your injuries are permanent or disabling.
When the negligent party’s actions were far out of line, they might be considered egregious. An example of egregious behavior is when someone maliciously or intentionally causes harm to another. The judge has some leeway to order punitive damages in a case. In North Carolina, there is a limit on punitive damages of three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is higher. The exception to that limit is when a drunk driver causes some else’s injuries.
Can I Collect Damages?
To collect damages in an injury claim in North Carolina, you must prove negligence. A person has a duty of care, and if they fail to provide that care, that person might be deemed negligent if their actions result in someone else’s injuries. It is important to know that North Carolina utilizes the pure contributory negligence doctrine. This means that someone can only collect damages as long as they themselves were not negligent. This differs from some other states that allow you to collect even if you were partly to blame for your injuries. To prove negligence, you must show that the person had a duty of care and that they breached that duty, which directly caused your injuries.
If you were hurt in an accident due to someone’s negligence, you might be owed money for your damages. Contact our legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss the details of your case today.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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