If you have suffered an injury because of an accident that was not your fault, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next. Accidents occur every day – car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and many more types of accidents that are entirely unexpected, but which can leave a lasting impact upon the victims involved.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may be wondering whether you are entitled to compensation, and if so, what your claim might be worth. Certainly, every case will be different, and the compensation you might be entitled to will vary based upon the circumstances of your case and the law of your state. Keeping that in mind, several factors may influence the value of your personal injury claim. Generally, each state has various categories of damages that may be proven in a personal injury lawyer. In North Carolina, for example, there are generally various categories of damages available, including general, special, and in some cases, punitive damages.
Special damages are damages that are easy to calculate, provided that the correct receipts and documentation are available and usually include damages for things like:
- Costs of medical treatment: Depending upon the nature and severity of your injury, you may need medical treatment for a short time, or you may need it for the rest of your life. There can be any number of factors that influence how much medical treatment you need, and the cost of this treatment – both past expenses and anticipated treatment into the future – will be considered.
- Lost earnings: Sometimes, an injury can temporarily disable you and render you unable to work for some time. In the more fortunate cases, those who are injured can return to work and resume a normal life. In other situations, however, those who are injured may be unable to ever work again. The value of your claim will consider lost earnings from work that you were forced to miss because of your injury, and perhaps lost anticipated future earnings as well.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Out-of-pocket expenses typically include costs that you would not have incurred but for the accident. These could be costs for travel to receive medical care, costs for repairing your vehicle, costs for damage to property inside of your vehicle, and other similar costs. It will be important to retain receipts and other documentation of out-of-pocket expenses for proving their value in your claim.
In addition to special damages, there are other types of damages available in North Carolina, which are often called “general damages”. These tend to be more non-economic types of damages and are more subjective in nature. They include:
- Pain and suffering: “Pain and suffering” is a legal term that essentially refers to compensation for having to go through the physical or emotional pain that the injury caused and the impact that ultimately has on your life. After an accident, you may be unable to enjoy many of the things in life that you once enjoyed, and you deserve to be compensated for that loss.
- Emotional distress: Damages for emotional distress are intended as compensation for emotional trauma caused by your accident. This may include conditions like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression. Often, to successfully bring these types of claims the opinion of a psychologist or psychiatrist will be necessary.
- Loss of consortium: Loss of consortium damages are damages for losses involving the companionship of two spouses because of the disability. These damages, while difficult to quantify, may be important and are certainly worth discussing with your attorney.
Lastly, depending upon the nature of the accident, punitive damages may be available in North Carolina.
Punitive damages are essentially additional damages intended to “punish” the defendant for his or her bad conduct. Generally, for punitive damages to be awarded, the defendant’s conduct must go beyond near negligence – it must be of such a reckless and wanton nature as to warrant additional damages because of the extreme nature of the conduct involved. These types of damages are rarer, and consulting with an attorney as to whether you might be entitled to these damages is always the first and most important step.
Call The Law Firm Today
At The Law Firm, we know that being injured unexpectedly can turn your life upside down. Our talented legal team is here for you, and we understand the best legal strategies to pursue on your behalf as you seek the compensation you need and deserve. There’s no better time than now to get started. If you’re ready to share your story, we’re ready to listen, and we’ll let you know how we might be able to help.
Francis Babet loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for Legal. He currently writes for The Clauson law Firm, a USA Based Law Firm that provides SSD, SSI, SSDI, Personal Injury, and Drugs and Devices. His work has been published on various sites related to Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income and more.