Despite what most lawyer advertisements and billboards lead you to believe, it’s impossible to give exact figures for how much you can recover from an injury. That one accident settled for $400,000 in no way implies that yours will too. The fact of the matter is that each victim’s losses and damages are different, and the total amount recoverable will be determined by the facts of the case.
The better question is, “What types of damages can I recover?”
Accident victims have the right to sue the at-fault parties for economic (“special”) damages and non-economic (“general”) damages. Punitive damages could also be on the table in extreme cases.
Economic damages are your compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses related to the injuries you sustained in the accident, including:
- medical bills,
- lost wages, or
- property damage.
Non-economic damages often include future harms or injuries that lack specific “replacement” values. You and your lawyer will assign values to these items by their impact on your quality of life, such as:
- loss of capacity to earn,
- loss of consortium (companionship or familial love),
- pain and suffering.