What Damages Can I Recover from a Car Accident Lawsuit in MA?
It is not hard to imagine being in a car accident in Massachusetts, as they are common. While you might know that you are entitled to some type of compensation when injured in a car accident, you might not know the full range that you are entitled to.
Car accident claims can result in two types of damages, namely economic and non-economic. Economic damages are straightforward as they have a clear cost attached to them and can be proven with hospital statements, doctors’ bills, pay stubs, and testimony from witnesses and medical experts. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more challenging to quantify as they include losses such as pain and suffering. Recovering non-economic damages can be difficult, but they can significantly increase the amount you receive in your car accident case.
For a free case evaluation with our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.
What Economic Damages Can I Recover in a Massachusetts Car Accident Lawsuit?
When someone is injured, they might be entitled to economic damages to compensate them for the financial losses and expenses they incurred as a result of the injury. Our Wakefield car accident attorneys have years of experience evaluating clients’ damages and helping recover them. Economic damages refer to the tangible, out-of-pocket expenses that a person must pay for medical treatment and recovery. These damages are often easier to prove in court since they can be supported by physical evidence such as medical bills, receipts, and pay stubs. It is important to understand the different types of economic damages that can be claimed in an injury case. Knowing this can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
In a car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff’s medical expenses for their injuries are the most common source of economic damages. The cost of treatment can be very high, depending on the injury. Even if you have health insurance, you might have to pay expensive deductibles before your insurance will cover any costs. You can claim all the treatment expenses not covered by your insurance and deductibles paid as economic damages in a car accident lawsuit.
Injuries can often prevent a person from returning to work for a period of time, and in severe cases, the victim might be unable to work indefinitely. A doctor will usually prescribe the necessary time to recover and return to work. However, if you return to work in a limited capacity, you might still be able to claim damages, such as lost wages from missed work, as economic damages in your lawsuit.
In a civil case, plaintiffs often claim property damage as a significant type of economic damage. The cost of property damage can be exorbitant, depending on the nature of the accident. For instance, a car damaged in an accident or a home flooded can result in high property damage costs. If you can prove that someone else caused the damage to your property through repair bills or estimates, you can claim the costs as part of your economic damages.
Sustaining injuries often means altering one’s daily routine. In many cases, the injured individual might need to visit multiple doctors to assess and treat various bodily injuries. Complete recovery often requires physical therapy sessions, which might necessitate two or three visits per week. These treatments can be expensive, with additional costs for transportation, lodging, and meals. However, any receipts or records that demonstrate travel expenses for medical treatment or any other accident-related business can be claimed as economic damages.
What Non-Economic Damages Can I Recover in a Car Accident Lawsuit in Massachusetts?
Non-economic damages can be difficult to quantify as they are subjective in nature. In Massachusetts, there are caps in place that determine whether your non-economic damages will be subject to limits. However, there are several types of non-economic damages that you can typically claim in a car accident lawsuit. These damages can include, but are not limited to, the following losses:
Physical pain resulting from injuries such as broken bones, scarring, and permanent disability falls under a wide category. The amount of compensation you receive for your physical pain and suffering will be determined by the severity of your injuries, age, and many other factors.
Mental anguish damages aim to provide compensation to an individual for emotional distress caused by an injury resulting from negligence or intentional conduct. Mental anguish generally refers to the shock, fear, or stress experienced due to an accident, while emotional distress can result from various factors like negligence, carelessness, reckless conduct, physical assault, or battery. These damages can be challenging to establish, but if you have therapy records, prescriptions for psychological medications, and personal journal entries, they can help demonstrate the mental anguish and emotional distress you experienced.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
When a person is injured and cannot enjoy life as they did before the accident, they might be awarded damages for the loss of enjoyment of life. This can include things like being unable to play sports or attend social events. To determine the amount of damages, the court will look at the person’s activities before and after the accident and compare them.
Loss of Consortium
When someone is injured in an accident, they might suffer a loss of consortium. This refers to the loss of companionship, intimacy, and other activities that spouses used to do together before the injury. Other types of losses include the loss of parental guidance and caretaking duties.
Humiliation and Embarrassment
Non-economic damages are designed to compensate for injuries that might be too embarrassing or humiliating for the injured party to share with others. For instance, if you sustained severe burn injuries in an accident, you might have felt too ashamed to leave your home, pursue romantic relationships, or engage in activities that you would have otherwise enjoyed. The emotional distress caused by such injuries is considered a non-economic loss as it impedes your capacity to earn a living and live a fulfilling life.
If you have suffered a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages, which includes depression. Depression can cause a person to lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, have difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and feel guilty, hopeless, and worthless. It is a natural emotional response to an event that significantly changes one’s life. It is common to experience depression when a loved one is wrongfully killed or when a serious injury prevents you from living your life as you did before.
Our Massachusetts Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review with our Boston car accident lawyers.