When you get in a car accident, the financial and emotional ramifications can go far beyond paying for a stint in the local hospital. In fact, insurance providers might be quick to offer coverage for all initial medical expenses, hoping that you will feel grateful not to have to bear the financial burden upfront.
However, don’t be too quick to settle after a car accident. There are numerous other types of losses that might not initially come to mind, but these expenses and loss of income can quickly add up. Keep in mind that some losses might be calculated on lifelong changes to a person’s lifestyle or employment. Below, you will find three types of losses from car accidents that go far beyond any initial injury.
Types of losses from car accidents
Losses due to car accidents are typically broken down into three types:
Economic damages are those that can have a definitive value attached to them. Examples include reimbursement for medical bills, fixing a vehicle, or replacing damaged property.
Non-economic damages include intangible losses. These are losses that could differ from person to person and might be case-specific, which is why it is best to seek an appointment with an auto accident Attorney San Antonio. Without a knowledgeable legal team behind you, it would be challenging to fine tune a monetary equivalent for such factors as emotional distress or loss of companionship.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim in a car accident. Instead, punitive damages are awarded to deter and punish the defendant or guilty partner for encouraging them to change their reckless and negligent behavior. Note that not all states allow for the collection of punitive damages by a plaintiff, and it can be a challenging loss to prove.
Economic losses as the result of a car accident can go far beyond medical issues. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Initial loss of wages
- Long term loss of earning capacity
- Loss of retirement benefits
- Loss of pension
- Loss of a spouse’s wages (if they must limit their work as a result of the accident)
- Loss of enjoyable employment (if you need to change your career path)
- Loss of housekeeping (you may need to hire someone to do jobs such as home maintenance, gardening, dog walking, or babysitting that you otherwise would have done)
- Traveling costs (additional expenses for traveling to specialists, hotel stays, or taxi fare if you can no longer drive yourself or your dependents)
- Loss of use of a vehicle (reimbursement for insurance and other expenses for a car that might need to sit idle if you can no longer drive or be in a repair shop for weeks)
- Loss of property (items in your vehicle that may have been damaged or destroyed, such as electronics, sporting equipment, or expensive clothing)