When you suffer injuries in a car accident, one of the first discussions you will have with your injury attorney will be about what you have lost in the wake of your accident. These losses can span from personal items, like your car or anything of value housed inside it, to your physical abilities or emotional changes, to your financial burdens created by medical bills or lost wages. Your attorney works in part to determine the damages incurred as a result of your accident, which can subsequently dictate the level of compensation you and your experienced legal team pursue.
"Damages" refer to the financial compensation that a person who has been injured or suffered losses as a result of the accident is entitled to receive. These damages are intended to provide compensation for various losses and expenses that come as a result of your accident. In Maryland, the damages available in a personal injury case include:
Compensatory damages: Compensatory damages are meant to reimburse the injured party for actual losses suffered. These damages are further categorized into two types:
- Economic damages: These are measurable financial losses resulting directly from the accident, including medical bills, income loss, property damage, and related costs.
- Medical expenses: To request medical cost reimbursement, gather bills from your medical provider, ensuring they detail the costs. Obtain a doctor's report outlining future needs such as therapy, surgeries, and medication expenses for ongoing care. This documentation will be important throughout your compensation process.
- Lost wages: If your injuries stop you from working, you can claim payment for lost earnings. Paperwork from your employer stating your average pay and the time you couldn't work due to the accident will be important to establish lost wages in court.
- Property damage: You can seek compensation for property losses sustained in an accident, such as your vehicle. Keep important documents like repair quotes, invoices, and receipts as proof. Showing the value of your property before the accident can help figure out proper compensation for the damage.
- Non-economic damages: These involve losses that can't be precisely valued in money. These include pain, both physical and emotional, resulting from the accident. Emotional distress relates to the mental toll like anxiety or trauma. Loss of consortium refers to strains in relationships due to the accident. Additionally, there's the loss of enjoyment in life, considering the reduced ability to do activities once enjoyed. These damages acknowledge how an accident can deeply impact your overall well-being beyond just money matters.
Punitive damages: These are meant to penalize extreme wrongdoing and discourage such egregious actions in the future. In Maryland, it's rare to grant punitive damages for car accidents.
Additional damages in fatal accident claims
If your loved one dies as a result of a car accident, the damages you claim will still fall under the categories of “compensatory” or punitive, but there may be additional losses:
- Wrongful death damages can include everything you seek in a personal injury lawsuit, plus funeral and burial expenses.
- Survival action damages, which are filed on behalf of the deceased and can include losses like pain and suffering (of the victim) and loss of future earning potential.
How could Maryland’s negligence laws affect your claim for damages?
Maryland is one of four states that operates under a doctrine of pure contributory negligence. This means if an individual holds even one percent of blame for an accident, their claim for damages can be barred completely.
This strict standard can make it challenging to recover compensation if you are found to share any degree of fault for the accident. For this reason it is encouraged that you promptly seek the help of experienced Maryland car accident attorneys from Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. after your crash, so we can build a strong case to earn you the compensation you deserve.
Car accidents can alter lives in an instant. Choosing the right Maryland car accident lawyer can provide emotional relief during this stressful time. At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., our statewide team of attorneys are ready to earn you fair compensation after your accident. With nine convenient offices across Maryland, at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., we are here to help. Call or complete our contact form to arrange a consultation.