Getting in a car accident can change the trajectory of your life for many months if not years. Injuries may prevent you from being able to work and if the crash was bad enough it is likely your vehicle was totaled. It may be tempting to try to settle with the insurance company fast, but one should not overlook the potential damages that could be pursued through a personal injury lawsuit.
What are compensatory damages?
Compensatory damages are the monetary damages that are meant to compensate the injured individual for their losses. They can cover medical expenses for physical injuries, or even more intangible damages such as compensation for emotional distress. They can also cover back pay missed due to time off of work and the restoration of job benefits that may have been loss due to the time you had to take off of work due to your car accident injury. It is important to note that compensatory damages are only meant to make a person whole again, not to make them richer or punish the defendant.
What are punitive damages?
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are also meant to deter others from engaging in future negligent conduct.
Know what you can pursue
If you are injured in a serious car crash, it is important to know what types of damages you can pursue. Mainly you may be able to pursue compensatory damages although in some circumstances you may be able to pursue punitive damages as well. Knowing what damages you can seek is one of the first steps you can take in order to be made whole again.