Following an accident due to the negligent or reckless behavior of another it is common for you to have suffered some type of a loss. That loss could range anywhere from financial loss, to loss of life. There are many questions that surround a loss, one of which may be, “what compensation am I entitled to following an accident?”
In many cases, the total costs may not be immediately apparent when an accident occurs. Things like medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of the enjoyment of life, and lost wages may occur in the days, weeks, and even months following an accident. It is important to keep proper documentation over all of the costs that you incur as a result of the accident, to make sure that your expenses are fully covered.
The most common type of damages that are awarded to people following an accident are Compensatory (actual) damages. The purpose of compensatory damages are to put the injured party in the state that he or she would have been in had the accident never occurred. They are intended to fully compensate someone for the injuries he or she suffered as a result of the accident. The damages can be either economic compensatory damages or non-economic compensatory damages. Economic damages are things that are itemized or shown on a receipt, for example medical bills or lost wages. These costs that are directly related to the accident are fully compensated by compensatory damages. Additionally, non-economic compensatory damages, for example pain and suffering, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life, are things that cannot be itemized. In the state of West Virginia, most personal injury actions have no cap for non-economic harm. The jury will decide what is the reasonable amount that will fully compensate someone for the injuries he or she suffered.
The plaintiff may also be entitled to damages beyond just compensatory following an accident. Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant has acted intentionally or in cases of willful and wanton negligence (extreme negligence). Punitive damages are intended to serve as a deterrent and punish the person whose extreme negligence or intentional actions caused the harm.
If you think you have a claim and are wondering what compensation you might be entitled to, contact Colombo Law at 1-888-860-1414. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers can help you determine how much you are entitled to.