November 13, 2019
If you were recently involved in an accident that was caused by another driver, it is natural to desire compensation. Sometimes, it requires a lawsuit to get the compensation you are owed. If you find yourself in this situation, you probably have a lot of questions, such as what kinds of compensation can you receive? It is important to understand this before you file so you can be sure to get compensated for everything you can. Remember, the first thing you should do when a lawsuit seems likely is to hire an attorney. The sooner you have legal representation, the better.
Types of Compensation
There are three types of damages, which are essentially the forms compensation can take. The types of damages are:
- General compensatory damages
- Special compensatory damages
- Punitive Damages
Despite the name, special compensatory damages are actually the simplest. These damages correspond to financial losses. Essentially, if the accident resulted in you losing some amount of money, compensation for that loss will be special compensatory damages. These damages may include repairs to your vehicle, a hospital bill, damage to property inside the vehicle, missed paychecks due to an injury resulting from the accident, and other expenses.
General compensatory damages are the opposite of special compensatory damages. They correspond to non-financial losses. Any type of loss or suffering that you experienced as a result of the accident which does not have an exact dollar value falls into this category. General compensatory damages may include pain and suffering, emotional turmoil, and wrongful death. Because these types of losses do not have an exact monetary value, the judge will decide how much a fair amount for compensation is.
Finally, there are punitive damages, which are completely different from the other two categories of damages. Punitive damages are not meant to be forms of compensation, but rather a punishment for the defendant. These types of damages are rare in car accident cases. Usually, punitive damages are assigned when the defendant intentionally caused harm, but car accidents are almost always unintentional. However, if someone causes an accident by driving drunk, punitive damages are much more likely. Again, the judge will decide whether or not punitive damages should be assigned, and how much they should be.
It will largely be your attorney’s responsibility to correctly file all the claims for your losses in each category. Having an attorney, like a car accident lawyer in West Bend, WI, will help you with this matter will make it much easier to properly make your claims and avoid missing any losses.
Thank you to the experts at Hickey & Turim SC for their insight into types of compensation after a car accident.