What Types of Damages Will a Car Accident Settlement Cover?

By  //  October 22, 2021

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Being involved in a car accident can be a challenging experience. After an accident, you will first want to ensure that all parties involved are OK or receive necessary medical attention. You will also need to have your car repaired while also dealing with police, the other parties involved, not having access to a vehicle and insurance companies.

If you incur damages in an accident that was due to the fault of another party, you should always attempt to settle and come up with a fair amount of reimbursement. If you have incurred damages, there are a variety of expenses that you should expect to be covered as part of the settlement.

Economic Damages

The first type of damage that will be covered in a car accident settlement is economic damages. These are typically easier costs to define as they will usually be supported by evidence of financial losses you incur. There are several forms of economic damages that are most common in a car accident case. 

Vehicle Repair Bills

One of the most common forms of economic damages that you can incur during a car accident are vehicle repair bills. Even if the accident is relatively minor, the costs to make repairs to the body or mechanicals of a car can quickly become thousands of dollars.

In more significant accidents, the vehicle could be considered a total loss and it may require a full replacement. If your vehicle needs any type of repair or replacement associated with the accident, the other party and their insurance company should cover it.

Costs of Not Having a Car

While your vehicle is being repaired and inspected, you may also find that you are going to incur costs that come with not having access to your car.

This can include the cost of rental cars, public transportation, taxis, and towing services. As these are costs that you would not have otherwise incurred, it is very common to include them in a car accident settlement request.

Medical Bills 

A more serious form of economic damage that may need to be covered following an accident is medical bills. If the accident is bad, or the vehicle simply hits in the wrong spot, it can lead to serious injuries. These could then require hospitalization, surgical procedures, and future therapy costs.

During a settlement for a car accident case, you will be able to seek reimbursement for all medical and therapy bills that you have incurred to date. Depending on the situation and effort that will be required to receive a full recovery, you may also request compensation for future estimated medical costs.

Lost Wages and Lost Earning Potential

If you have been badly injured, it can greatly impact your ability to work for a period of time. In some cases, this can mean losing out on income while you recover. In other situations, life-long injuries can make it harder for you to ever work and earn the same income again.

Due to this, it is appropriate to include current lost wages and future expected lost wages that can be occurred as a result of the auto accident.

Non-Economic Damages

While economic damages are often the most common included in a car accident settlement, there are other forms of expenses that are frequently covered as well. Other types of costs that are typically covered include non-economic damages. There are various forms of non-economic damages to consider when you are going to file a car accident claim.

Pain and Suffering

A common form of non-economic damages that you can incur is pain and suffering. If you have been in an accident, you could deal with a very traumatic situation that leads to both physical pain and mental anguish. This can make it much harder for you to enjoy your life and can drastically impact your overall quality of life. While it can be hard to place a value on this cost, including it as part of a settlement process is a good option.

Physical Disfigurement or Disability

Physical disfigurement, which can include a loss of a limb or drastic change in your appearance, can also be a non-economic expense. While you may be stabilized and no longer need medical care, any type of disfigurement is something that you will continue to have to deal with for the rest of your life.

These disfigurements can have a dramatic impact on your overall confidence, personal relationships, and success in the professional world. If you have incurred a physical disfigurement due to the vehicle accident, you should include that as part of your filing for an auto accident settlement.

Mental Health Challenges

Struggling with mental health is common for someone that has gone through a difficult car accident. If you are experiencing changes in your personal or professional lives due to the outcome of the accident, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and an overall lack of life satisfaction. Fortunately, you are able to include a cost estimation for this when you are filing a car accident settlement.

Punitive Damages

The majority of vehicle accident cases will come to a settlement that will include economic and non-economic damages. These damages are intended to provide you with support and compensation for losses that you have incurred. Another form of cost that can be included in a settlement or potential judgment in court is punitive damages.

Punitive damages are different because they are not intended to benefit the victim. Instead, they are intended to punish the guilty and negligent party in the accident. As most vehicle accidents are completely accidental, punitive damages are not frequently awarded.

However, if the other drive in the accident was grossly negligent and broke the law during the accident, they could be assessed. Some situations in which punitive damages can be assessed will include if the other party was driving under the influence, if they were excessively speeding, or if they were committing another crime when operating the vehicle.

Hire an Attorney for Representation

If you have been in a vehicle accident that led to damages, it is always a good idea to have legal representation by your side. Your attorney can offer many services that can prove to be very helpful following an accident of any kind. This can include providing you with a full consultation on your case while also providing insight into what types of damages you can expect to receive.

They can also handle all negotiations with other parties and the insurance companies involved. When you are looking for legal representation, calling the team with Ringer Lingold & Spencer. These are experienced car accident lawyers that will offer great support and ensure that your rights are properly represented.