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Types Of Damages Available In Car Accident Cases

Understanding the types of damages and how they’re determined in Alabama or Mississippi car accident settlements can be challenging. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Pepper & Odom, P.C. guide you through the car accident claims process and help you understand which types of damages are available to you and how they’re calculated.


Compensatory Damages

Two types of compensatory damages are available in a car accident claim. Economic reimbursement is actual monetary losses, so they’re simple to determine. It’s harder to put a number on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.


Economic Damages

Medical bills — The cost of hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and ongoing medical care can reach into the millions when a victim has suffered a catastrophic or permanent injury. Our car accident lawyers fight to help you recover compensation for all past and future accident-related medical expenses.


Lost wages — Injured victims often need to take weeks or months to recover from a car accident. We make sure your car accident settlement includes all lost wages for all missed workdays.


Loss of future earning capacity — Victims who suffer permanent or catastrophic injury may not be able to return to work or have to pursue a different career that pays less. In these types of cases, we calculate the value of the income the victim could have reasonably been expected to earn in the future.


Property damage — In car accident cases, the negligent party is responsible for all damage caused to the victim’s vehicle.


Noneconomic Damages

Pain and suffering — Victims of car accidents often suffer severe, chronic pain that they may have to endure for a lifetime.


Emotional distress or mental anguish — Being involved in an auto accident can result in serious, long-lasting emotional and psychological problems, such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, nightmares, insomnia, and other conditions.


Diminished quality of life — When an injured victim can no longer participate in activities they once enjoyed, such as sports, reading, or playing with their children, they may be entitled to compensation for those losses.


Loss of companionship or consortium — A family member of someone who has been severely injured or killed in an accident may seek compensation for loss of support, guidance, and companionship. A spouse or partner of a victim may also pursue recovery for the loss of a sexual relationship.


Punitive Damages

Although it’s rare for Alabama or Mississippi courts to award punitive damages, in cases where a defendant’s actions were egregious or maliciously willful, punitive damages may be granted. Punitive damages aren’t intended to compensate the injured party. Instead, they’re awarded to punish the defendant’s wrongdoing and deter them and others from committing similar acts.

Calculating Damages

Monetary damages are determined by looking at the actual and future costs of medical bills and lost wages. There’s no set formula for calculating damages, including pain and suffering. The value of these types of damages depends on the extent and severity of your injuries, long-term prognosis, how the accident has affected your quality of life, and other factors. The maximum amount of damages you can collect in a car accident settlement also depends on the negligent party’s insurance policy limits.

Some insurance companies and lawyers use a multiplier to calculate noneconomic damages. They may take the total of your economic losses and multiply them from 1.5 to 5 times, depending on the severity of your injuries. It’s also important to note that Alabama applies the doctrine of contributory negligence, which means that if you’re found to have contributed to the accident in any way, you may not be entitled to recover any compensation at all. Mississippi is a comparative fault state, which means an injured victim can seek compensation from the defendant even if they’re partially at fault for a car accident. Our personal injury lawyers can evaluate your car accident case and give you a straightforward assessment of how to proceed.

Contact A Birmingham or Jackson Car Accident Lawyer

Attempting to calculate damages on your own can lead to accepting an inadequate car accident settlement and put you in a precarious financial situation. Our experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyers at Pepper & Odom, P.C. know how to determine and calculate all types of damages accurately. We’re dedicated to fighting for your rights and achieving the best possible outcome in your car accident case. Contact us online or call our office in Birmingham, Alabama, at 205-250-1107, or in Jackson, Mississippi, at 601-202-1111. We handle cases throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and nationwide, utilizing local counsel.