Car Accident Damages

How Are Damages Calculated in Auto Accident Cases?

It’s no secret that car accidents often result in serious physical, emotional, and financial losses. What is a bit more of a secret is how much those losses are worth when you decide to seek compensation. Calculating damages in an auto accident case can help you get what you rightfully deserve after another person’s negligence derails your life. Plan on providing significant documentation of your losses and how they have affected your life.

Having a strong personal injury attorney by your side during this process can help you fight for full and fair compensation. That’s where we step in to help. Call Kingbird Legal at 484-289-4880 to discuss your case with our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers.

Different Types of Damages

There are several different types of damages awarded in car accident cases in Pennsylvania. Your attorney will calculate each of these categories separately since they are documented differently.

The bulk of most personal injury settlements are made up of economic damages. Economic damages are the tangible financial losses that arise after a personal injury. These are the easiest to calculate since it’s a straightforward process to prove what you have lost, what you owe, and how you have financially suffered. Economic damages include:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Transportation to and from appointments
  • Over-the-counter supplies needed for adaptive purposes around the home
  • Other miscellaneous expenses and purchases that were only necessary because of the accident

Non-economic damages can be just as challenging for victims, but they are undoubtedly harder to calculate. While these losses don’t have a cut-and-dry financial value, the impact they have on a victim’s life means that they are worthy of compensation. Damages falling into this category include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Disfigurement

Two different parties can look at the same non-economic losses and come up with entirely different valuations, which is why it’s so important to work with an attorney who can advocate aggressively for you.

Punitive damages are awarded in certain circumstances in Pennsylvania, but this outcome is fairly rare. The court only awards punitive damages when a defendant’s conduct is so egregiously negligent and reckless that the court feels it necessary to punish them.

Calculating Economic Damages

In order to calculate your economic damages fairly and accurately, make sure to keep thorough financial records after the accident. This means keeping receipts for every accident-related purchase you make, keeping all of your medical bills, documenting your time away from work, and keeping copies of repair estimates. 

If your injuries are serious enough to require future medical care or take you out of the workplace permanently, documenting these losses is a little more complicated. These situations often require the input of expert witnesses who can speak on the cost of your future medical care and the amount of money you would have brought in had your career not been cut short by your accident.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages

Since non-economic damages don’t have an obvious financial value, be prepared to document them in great detail to prove that you deserve fair compensation. Pain and suffering generally make up the majority of a victim’s non-economic losses, so you’ll want to take steps to document your pain throughout this process. 

You may find it helpful to keep a personal injury journal that tracks your pain levels. You may also want to log the activities you no longer participate in that you once enjoyed, as well as those you cannot physically do any longer because of your injury.

If you have mental health issues that arise because of your injuries, your therapist can be helpful in proving your mental anguish and distress. Documentation of your struggles and setbacks may be enough to prove the financial value of your loss.

Explore Your Legal Options with Kingbird Legal

Figuring out exactly how much your car accident is worth can be difficult, particularly if you’ve never been in a collision before. However, calculating your losses correctly is key to getting what you deserve after a crash. That’s why we’re here to help; we’re committed to advocating for you every step of the way. Get in touch with us online or call us at 484-289-4880 to schedule a consultation right away.

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