When you are involved in an accident, you may suffer a wide range of losses. If the accident is the result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to recover for those losses. Personal injuries may be physical, emotional, mental, or financial and damages may be recovered for any of these. Compensatory damages are sought to compensate the victim for his or her losses that are the result of someone else’s negligent action so that the victim is made whole.
Compensatory Damages Versus Punitive Damages – What’s The Difference?
Another type of damages that courts sometimes award in cases where they are warranted are punitive damages. These types of damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for acting in a malicious or evil way, as opposed to just acting negligently. The types of cases in which punitive damages are rightfully sought and awarded are a much narrower range of cases; some types of accident cases may fall into this category depending upon the circumstances and individual sets of facts, but in Maryland these types of cases are far and few between. Despite legislative attempts in both the House and Senate to bring some types of accident cases, such as those involving drunk drivers, into the small circle of cases in which punitive damages may be awarded, the courts still refuse to allow punitive damages in auto accident cases. At least for now, the only damages that may be awarded in Maryland are those considered compensatory.
Types Of Compensatory Damages
Having established that Maryland accident victims may only recover compensatory damages, the next step may be to determine exactly what types of damages are considered compensatory. The types of personal injury losses for which compensatory damages are often awarded may include any of the following:
- Loss of physical property: One of the easiest types of damages to value, accident victims are entitled to compensation for loss property such as damage to their vehicle, rental car charges, diminished value of the car due to being in a crash, or other types of property as a result of a crash. Whether the vehicle is able to be repaired or is completely lost in a crash, the owner of the vehicle is able to recover for these costs.
- Medical expenses and treatment: Medical bills can add up after a crash – not just the bills for treatment at the time of the accident, but also for expenses associated with future medical bills and treatments, tests and rehabilitation. These types of expenses can be difficult to estimate and usually require the assistance of a medical expert to make a reasoned estimate of what will be required in the future.
- Lost wages: Damages for lost income as a result of a crash can include not just actual lost wages but also loss of earning capacity that stems from the injuries sustained in an accident. As with medical bills, an expert is usually employed to provide testimony about loss of future earnings and earning capacity.
- Funeral expenses: When a crash claims a life, the victim’s final expenses may be recovered by his or her survivors.
- Pain and suffering: Injured parties often experience pain and suffering as a result of their injuries. This may include not just physical pain but mental, emotional, and psychological pain as well. This is often difficult to quantify and medical experts can be useful when attempting to recover for these types of damages.
Other types of compensatory damages that are sought by crash victims may be those associated with a loss of consortium/companionship, the loss of enjoyment of life, and the costs of living with a long-term or lifelong disability. These types of compensatory damages are often hard to quantify and difficult for juries and decision-makers to decide upon; proper expert valuation is necessary when seeking these types of recovery.
Let Us Help You Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Jaklitsch Law Group. You do not need to face an unfamiliar legal system alone – our legal professionals are here to help. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with all types of accident matters and know how to help you obtain the best possible recovery. When trying to recoup for losses resulting from an accident, you want to be sure that you pursue everything you are entitled to recover. Our associates know how to determine the full range of your losses so that nothing is overlooked. Do not take the chance of missing out on a full recovery. Contact the Jaklitsch Law Group to speak with us today. Schedule your free consultation and move forward towards getting the results you deserve.