In our personal injury blog posts, we have talked a lot about the need for victims to get the compensation that they deserve. But what does that mean? What types of compensation is a victim entitled to receive after, say, a car accident?
What Compensation Can Victims Recover?
The short answer is that victims are entitled to financial compensation for all of their losses – be they financial, physical, or emotional – that came from the accident. Those losses are referred to as “legal damages.” So long as the victim can show that the defendant caused them, they are entitled to compensation for them.
Rarely, victims will be able to recover punitive damages in Missouri if the defendant intentionally hurt the victim.
The Most Common Types of Compensation Recoverable in a Personal Injury Case
In the vast majority of cases, particularly those involving a car accident, victims end up deserving compensation for their:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
This includes both past and future losses. For example, if the accident left the victim disabled, the victim deserves compensation for future lost wages due to their inability to work, also called lost earning capacity. They can also recover compensation for their reasonably anticipated future medical care.
Some of these legal damages are easier to calculate than others. For past medical bills, it is often just a matter of totaling up all of the medical expenses. For future medical bills, defendants will argue that the upcoming medical care is not necessary. For pain and suffering, it can be incredibly difficult to state the victim’s experiences in a dollar amount.
Some Uncommon Types of Recoverable Compensation
Occasionally, car accident victims will be uniquely situated and suffer in ways that others might not. Just because those losses do not neatly fit into a normal type of recoverable compensation, though, does not mean that they are out of luck.
Some examples of uncommon types of compensation are for the victim’s:
- Business losses due to the crash
- Costs of renovating a home or car for a wheelchair
- Property damage from a car hitting their house
So long as these losses and expenses came from the accident, the victim deserves to be compensated for them.
The Victim’s Loved Ones Have Suffered, Too
Often overlooked after a car accident, the victim’s loved ones deserve to be compensated for their experiences, as well. Known as loss of consortium or loss of companionship, the family members of the victim can attach themselves to the victim’s personal injury case and recover compensation that is meant to cover their:
- Mental anguish and emotional distress from seeing a loved one suffer
- Time spent caring for the victim
- Lost personal relationship with the victim
Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office Serve St. Joseph
The personal injury and car accident lawyers at the Smith Law Office strive to recover all of the types of compensation that the victim needs and deserves. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373 for legal representation in western Missouri, including in St. Joseph, Springfield, and Kansas City.