What Are the Different Types of Car Compensation
Posted on July 19, 2023
Major motor vehicle accidents in California often leave victims and families with considerable medical expenses and other damages that could take months or longer to recover. In many circumstances, the victim is left without work, making the financial burden even more difficult for the victim and family.
For this reason, many car accident victims wonder what, if any, monetary compensation they can receive from their car accident claim. Every situation is different and will depend on the severity of injuries, losses, and damages the victim has sustained and to what degree the other driver is responsible for the accident.
Auto accident outcomes are never the same, but our personal injury lawyer at the King Law Firm can evaluate your injuries and losses and determine if you have a claim.
- Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts in California
Despite taking all necessary precautions and practicing safe driving habits on the road, the chances of being involved in a motor vehicle crash in California are, unfortunately, quite high. However, the amount you may be offered in compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company may not cover all of your expenses. It’s difficult to say what the average settlement amount is in California since so many factors go into determining the value of your insurance claim.
If you have incurred property damage only, your settlement will likely be lower than if you suffered physical injuries. In addition, the more severe your injuries, the larger your settlement will likely be.
It is important to remember that total damages awarded for car accidents will vary significantly depending on injuries sustained and overall losses incurred.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered After a California Car Crash?
In motor vehicle accident cases, there are two basic categories of damages—economic and non-economic. There are also punitive damages, but those are only handed down by the court and are not designed to compensate the victim but rather punish the defendant for wreckless behavior.
Economic damages (also called special damages) can be assigned a monetary value that is intended to cover “out-of-pocket” expenses you have already paid or will be required to spend for future needs. Economic damages often include:
- Past and future medical treatment expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Future lost earning capacity
- Funeral expenses (in the case of a wrongful death claim)
It can be difficult to seek compensation for these damages without properly tracking your expenses related to the accident. Your attorney can use the evidence of your serious injuries and other financial losses to fight for fair compensation.
Non-economic damages (also called general damages) tend to be more challenging to quantify and do not always involve out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages often include:
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Unjust hardship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
California state law does not place a cap on the amount of compensatory damages in a car accident case.
California does not have a set formula when calculating pain and suffering. The plaintiff must be able to prove that they have suffered harm or are sure that they will suffer in the future as a result of the accident.
When determining whether a personal injury settlement can include pain and suffering, the following factors are taken into account:
- The amount the plaintiff is awarded in economic losses
- The physical injury severity
- The negligence or intent of the defendant’s actions
- The value of the evidence
How Can Personal Injury Lawyers Help?
Your car accident attorney will collect and evaluate all of the evidence in your case. Your lawyer will review the following documentation to prove the value of your claim:
- Medical records that include doctors’ and therapists’ notes
- Photographs of property damage or physical injury
- Social media posts or other online communications
- Photos or videos that demonstrate the activities with which the plaintiff participated both before and after the injury
- Sworn testimony of family and friends
- Records or testimony from the plaintiff’s workplace that demonstrate noted differences in the victim before and after the injury
- Expert testimony in regard to lost earning capacity
Furthermore, your attorney can handle all communication with the insurance adjuster and the defendant’s legal team. This allows you to focus on recovery while your personal injury attorney manages the complicated claims process. A car accident lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and work toward getting you the settlement you deserve.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in California?
In California, you have two years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within this timeframe, you may be banned from pursuing legal action.
There may be certain exceptions to this deadline that either extend or shorten it. A California car accident lawyer can help you understand how the statute of limitations relates to your case and ensure that you file your lawsuit before the window closes.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
Motor vehicle accident statistics show that victims and their families who use the services of an experienced and knowledgeable law firm tend to receive substantially higher compensation than those who do not.
At the King Law Firm, we take every step necessary to support you and your family through these difficult times. We want to ensure that you get the medical care you require while we collect the evidence needed in order to secure you the maximum compensation for your losses.
The trustworthy attorney at the King Law Firm is skilled in personal injury cases and has the experience to negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies on your behalf. We serve personal injury clients throughout California, with locations in Oxnard and surrounding cities. Fill out our online contact form or call us to get started on your claim today.