Q: What types of things can I receive compensation for in a car accident lawsuit?
A: If you sustained a bodily injury in a car accident you are entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages would include things like medical bills, lost wages, car rental, and any out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages include things like distress, discomfort, inconvenience, pain, anguish and the like. If your vehicle was damaged, you are entitled to the cost of repair and potentially a loss of value. If you've been injured in an automobile accident, it's always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
A: First, you would be able to recover your monetary losses. These include: (1) the value of the property damage to your car; (2) your medical bills (past and future); (3) your lost wages from work (past and future); (4) the value of your lost contribution to your household; and (5) any other out of pocket expenses that you would not have incurred if you were not in the accident. In addition to these "economic damages", you could recover for the pain and suffering (past and future) you experienced as a result of your injuries. If you are married, your spouse can recover for the damage done to your marital relationship (if any) due to injuries you suffered in the accident. No one can put a dollar amount on these last two items. They are called "non-economic" damages. Juries are asked to simply use their best judgment, based on the evidence, to provide an amount of money to compensate for non-economic harms. In Maryland, non-economic damages are limited (capped) to a maximum amount that depends on the year the accident occurred. Therefore, even if a jury awarded you more than the capped limit for your pain and suffering, the Court would reduce the verdict to the applicable cap. The current non-economic damages cap is $830,000.
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