An injured victim seeking a top auto accident lawyer Silver Spring MD can provide may be unaware of the complexities of personal injury law. At Cohen & Cohen our legal team has the knowledge needed to help fight on behalf of car accident victims who deserve to be rightfully compensated for their injuries. The following information provides a quick look at some of the damages that could be awarded to personal injury victims.
Compensatory damages are given to compensate the victim who suffered from loss, injury or harm that occurred as a result of another’s negligence. As an auto accident lawyer in Silver Spring MD might attest, damages are intended to put the victim in the place they would have been had the accident not occurred. The quantity of the damages awarded is intended to reflect the severity of the victim’s injuries. This worth is assessed based on fair market value when the injury occurred. Damages are not always awarded for tangible property only – they may also be awarded for emotional pain and suffering. Thus, tort damages are classified into two categories: general damages and speculative damages.
General damages compensate the victim for any non-monetary harm that was caused, which is usually referred to as “pain, suffering and loss of amenity.” Examples of this may include:
- Physical or emotional pain or suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of reputation
- Loss or impairment of mental capacity
- Hedonic damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
As an auto accident lawyer Silver Spring MD drivers trust may tell you, these damages are not easily quantifiable and vary case by case. This is why it is important to turn to a law firm capable of providing distinguished legal counsel for your specific circumstances.
Speculative damages are damages that have not yet occurred, but may occur in the future. As a qualified Silver Spring MD auto accident lawyer may explain, these damages must be proven to be reasonably likely to occur, but not necessarily with absolute certainty. If proven, the victim can recover damages up to the amount of harm that is reasonably likely to occur.
Quantification of Damages
It may be helpful to consult an auto accident lawyer Silver Spring MD has to offer because it is often difficult to quantify personal injury claims. Calculating damages for personal injury victims is not an exact science, but courts often rely on precedent as a guiding hand. Some factors that courts may look at when quantifying damages include:
- The age of the victim. This factor is especially important when the victim’s injury is fatal or permanent. The younger the victim, the longer they must live with the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused by the injury, which is compensated for with a greater payment. In the tragic instances of a fatal accident, the younger the victim, the greater the dependency claim by the children and/or partner.
- The nature and extent of the injuries. Courts will look at precedent, or similar cases with similar injuries, to help fairly compensate for an injury. Although precedents may be considered, a seasoned auto accident lawyer Silver Spring MD provides may attempt to persuade a judge that the injuries are of a greater extent than those in previous cases. After all, it comes down to a matter of opinion in a judge’s assessment of the damages.
- The victim’s gender. Usually, personal injury damages for males and females are equal. However, a difference may be in favor of females if the injury caused permanent scars on a visible part of their skin. Of course, this exception also varies case by case, as a male model might have skin scars and be awarded just as much or even more in damages as would a female.
Special damages refer to quantifiable monetary losses. Examples may include:
- Repair or replacement of damaged property (property may include vehicles)
- Extra costs
- Lost earnings (both in the past and future)
- Loss of irreplaceable items
- Additional domestic costs
Special damages are often divided into two categories: incidental damages and consequential damages.
Incidental damage refers to the cost needed to remedy the victim’s losses and make things right again. As an auto accident lawyer Silver Spring MD trusts may explain, the reinstatement of property is usually the largest of these costs. In the cause of an auto accident, the victim would be entitled to the costs directly required to repair the damage done to their vehicle.
Consequential damages are awarded when the loss suffered by the victim is not immediately or directly caused by the at-fault party. These damages are based on the harm that was caused to the victim’s career.
An auto accident lawyer Silver Spring MD drivers depend on may explore the potential for punitive damages, which are awarded in only select cases to deter the at-fault party and other similar persons from pursuing the course of action that resulted in the victim’s harm. These damages are usually much greater than compensatory damages, and are awarded when the at-fault party’s conduct was egregious or acting with intent and malice. Punitive damages are limited by the due process law clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer Silver Spring MD Residents Respect
Turn to Cohen & Cohen for qualified legal counsel you can count on. Call us today at (301) 250-1957 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team. Even if your accident claim seems confusing, it may be possible to collect substantial damages. Enduring an automobile accident can be an emotional and painful process, and victims should not face any resulting legal battle on their own. So turn to Cohen & Cohen for an auto accident lawyer Silver Spring MD is proud to have fighting for its community.