If you sustained an injury in an Arizona car crash, you may be able to file a lawsuit in order to obtain compensation for the harm you suffered. Knowing the general outlines of how damages awards work can help you understand why working out a proper demand is so important yet complex.
Ultimately, the estimated worth of your case depends on a variety of factors, including knowledge that may not be available immediately after the accident. A qualified lawyer can explore available avenues and arrive at an assessment that reflects the harm you suffered.
Compensation for monetary losses
Generally, damages awarded in most personal injury cases are compensatory damages, so called because they aim to compensate you for losses caused by another person's negligence. There are two major categories of compensatory damages: economic damages and pain and suffering.
Economic damages tend to be easier to calculate as they simply reflect monetary losses that result from the accident. By the time you file a lawsuit, you may have already spent significant sums on medical treatments, medication, replacing or repairing your car, and lost earnings due to missing time from work.
Calculating these damages gets somewhat more complicated when you move on to projecting future damages. You may continue to need treatment, surgery, medication, rehabilitative therapy and even long-term care. You will need to show medical need, the basis for the projected time frame as well as estimated costs.
Effect on earning capacity
If your injury resulted in a disability that will prevent you from working, force you to cut your hours or take away opportunities to advance, you may have the right to damages reflecting the earnings you would have otherwise had but now will not. Relevant facts may include your salary and career trajectory before the accident and the way in which the injury impaired important functions necessary to do your job.
Pain and suffering
Non-economic damages, often referred to as pain and suffering, tend to be less straightforward. Clearly, an injury affects far more than your financial situation. After sustaining a car crash, many continue to experience pain and discomfort, including psychological trauma. Many types of necessary treatments, such as surgeries, may result in additional suffering.