What Types of Car Accident Damages Can Be Collected After A Wreck?

What kinds of damages can be collected after a car accident?

The law offers a few different types of legal compensation to help you put your financial life together after a car accident. These include: 

In some cases, a property damage claim may be necessary if valuable property was lost as the result of an accident. For example, if there were valuable items in your car during the accident, a property damage claim may help you offset the financial loss of these items. It’s important to note that a property damage claim is handled differently than a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Available Damages in Car Accidents

After being involved in a car accident in Florida or Georgia, you may be owed substantial compensation. The average settlement for a car accident is often much more significant than the insurance company will tell you. Only when you have the complete picture of the events surrounding your accident will you be able to understand who is liable. 

Typically, people only consider the most apparent vehicle accident expenses, like medical bills, property damage, or increased auto insurance premiums. Many people also believe that an insurer will cover all of their car accident damages. However, they often fail to consider all of the economic and non-economic damages that can result from a car accident, and the total sum for a car accident can be well above what insurance covers.

When you are in an auto accident, there are two claims that may need to be filed. The first type of claim is an injury claim. The second is a property damage claim. If there is damage to a motor vehicle, a property damage claim should be filed. At Farah & Farah, we can assist you with both injury and property damage claims. With the right representation from a qualified personal injury and car accident property damage lawyer, you may be entitled to both property damages and compensatory damages for any injuries sustained.

Compensatory And Punitive Damages

When looking at damages available in a car accident case, it’s important to consider the totality of economic costs and non-economic costs. If your case was also the result of misconduct, you may also qualify for punitive damages. The full extent of damages from a car accident can be hard to quantify. But these three types of damages can help you cope with financial strain after a serious car accident:

Economic Costs

Economic damages include any monetary value you lost as a result of the accident. These costs are calculated based on your actual financial loss. Items like lost earnings, medical treatment, and vehicle repair are examples of economic damages because you can add up their loss and determine a monetary figure. 

Other costs — such as getting a rental car or the cost of transportation to your doctor’s appointment or even compensation for future economic losses due to a compromised earning capacity — are economic damages. 

If you are involved in a car accident, your insurer will probably cover immediate medical claims. In Florida, personal injury protection (PIP) will only cover 60% of your lost wages, and 80% of your medical bills. And they will only help you up to $10,000.

Medical bills often quickly skyrocket past this threshold. When we consider some of the more severe injuries that can occur in a car accident, we are looking at expenses that can go well beyond $10,000. When everything is said and done, the first-year medical costs for a spinal cord injury can total over $1 million. 

A qualified legal counsel will be able to give you more information on what economic damages are available to you after a Florida or Georgia car accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages include both emotional and physical pain and suffering, and permanent or substantial loss of an important bodily function, or change in physical appearance as a result of your accident.

Beyond these include examples like disfigurement, permanent scarring, or even loss of life. These damages are harder to put a price on. While they are not outright financial burdens, they have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Hiring a legal team that understands how to account for your non-economic damages can help get the right compensation.

Punitive Damages

Sometimes accidents are caused by negligent and irresponsible parties. Punitive damages punish defendants for careless behavior. If a reckless driver was engaging in risky behavior and caused your accident, you may be entitled to punitive damages.

These also include additional considerations. For example, if a commercial vehicle was involved in your accident, or if there was a liable party beyond the driver. Perhaps the company that the driver worked for was creating a hostile work environment for its employees, which contributed to the accident. There are many other ways to factor in the cost of punitive damages.

Property Damages

When a car accident results in property damage, you may be able to seek compensation through a property damage claim. Typically, this type of claim is handled separately from a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Property damages can help you recover compensation for harm caused to anything other than a person, such as your vehicle. That may include harm caused to items inside your vehicle during a car accident, such as laptops, equipment for your job, child car seats, or other valuables. It might also include damage caused to the property where an accident occurred, such as a home, fencing, or trees.

If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to document the scene and any related property damage as quickly and thoroughly as possible. That includes photographs of the scene, witness testimonies, and any relevant repair bills from an auto body shop. If your car is totaled or its value is diminished due to damage caused by a car accident, then additional information about the value of your car from sources such as dealer estimates or Kelley Blue Book can also help your claim.

Diminished Value

At Farah & Farah, we’ve been successful at obtaining a recovery on a claim for diminished value in certain situations. That is when a car has been in an accident and repaired but is now worth less than it was prior to the accident. This loss of value will typically be recorded in CarFax reports or similar consumer auto reports.

When your car is damaged in a car accident, it will always lose some of its value. If you take two nearly identical cars, but only one has been in an accident, then that one will inherently be considered less valuable – even if it’s returned to its pre-accident condition. When a car accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, insurance companies should be paying that difference to help make you whole.

Total Loss

On total losses, insurers will only pay you the fair market value of your car (as recognized on the day of the accident). You are also entitled to the applicable sales tax on the fair market value of the vehicle.

Often the insurance company will cover your rental car during the time they are negotiating the fair market value of your vehicle. For example, if the insurance company and you are able to reach an agreement as to the market value of your vehicle within a week of the accident, they will often allow you a rental car for that one-week period. 

Typically, insurance companies also have the right to take a totaled car and resell it on the secondary market in an attempt to recover some costs. Unfortunately, this can put you in a bind if what you owe on a car loan exceeds the fair market value of your car, leaving you with more bills and no car. If your car was totaled in a car accident, then the car property damage lawyers at Farah & Farah may be to help you with a claim – schedule your free case review to learn more.

Different types of insurance can affect the types of damages you receive for your accident. If your accident included property damage — like fences, trees, or houses — you may be eligible for other types of compensation. Similarly, you may be able to restore funds for the loss of valuables like laptops and car seats may qualify for coverage. 

Learn more about how the type of your insurance coverage can influence your eligible compensation. 

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After an accident, it may feel like a struggle to get your life back together. On top of the unexpected financial setbacks, such as an inability to work or staggering medical bills, you could be looking at a long and hard recovery with an uncertain future. 

However, just because you may be entitled to certain damages doesn’t mean that you will automatically receive them.  after a car accident, and nobody is guaranteed a fair settlement. It’s important to act quickly after a car accident, and nobody is guaranteed a fair settlement.

The experts at Farah and Farah are here to help you fight for justice. If you’ve been in a car accident on the Florida roadways, call us today to discuss your case options.

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