When someone is injured in a car wreck that was caused by someone else, they may be able to recover damages. Damages allow the injured person to recover and move forward from the accident. If you have been injured in a car collision, contact a seasoned car accident lawyer who is experienced calculating Oak Lawn car accident damages. An attorney could help you hold the negligent driver responsible for your injuries.
While the law dictates the type of damages a person can recover in an accident, it does not state how much they can recover. Insurance is designed to cover damages in an accident, but an insurance company tries to limit the amount it pays in damages. Hiring an Oak Lawn personal injury attorney ensures that a person gets the compensation they deserve, not what the insurance company says their case is worth. A lawyer is knowledgeable about Oak Lawn car accident damages and how to help an injured individual collect the fair amount. An attorney will also protect the best interests of the plaintiff during the legal process.
When legal counsel is retained, they start taking the necessary steps to best present the plaintiff’s claim. This includes gathering and documenting evidence to support the claim. With the evidence, the lawyer can help prove the other driver’s negligence and show how much damages should be. Collecting evidence includes taking pictures of the scene, looking through medical records, talking to witnesses, and reading the police report.
The three types of Oak Lawn car accident damages a person may be able to collect following an accident are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages include the medical bills, lost wages, future lost wages, and property damages due to the car wreck. Non-economic damages are damages recovered for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment for activities. Calculating economic damages are much easier than non-economic damages. However, an experienced attorney will work tirelessly to calculate a fair amount for non-economic damages.
Punitive damages may be awarded when the negligent driver showed egregious conduct. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for their actions.
Out of 100 car accident cases, punitive damages are awarded in less than two. When a driver shows a conscious disregard for the safety of others or intentionally injures someone in a crash, punitive damages are appropriate. The most common situations that give rise to punitive damages are drunk driving accidents.
Before a jury can even consider awarding punitive damages, the judge must hold a hearing to consider whether punitive damages are warranted. The conduct of the at-fault person must rise to the level of disregard for the safety of others. When the judge decides the case rises to this level, they allow evidence of punitive damages. However, that does not mean the jury necessarily agrees and awards them. The decision to award punitive damages rests with the jury.
A car accident case with the potential for punitive damages is handled much differently than a typical car crash. First, a lawyer must carefully gather evidence to present to a judge before a jury can even consider punitive damages. Because punitive damages in car accident cases are so rare, most lawyers do not have experience handling punitive damage cases. Second, arguing to a jury to award punitive damages is completely different from arguing for compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to make the injured person whole again. Punitive damages are meant to deter and punish the conduct of the at-fault person.
To see how an attorney could help you with recovering Oak Lawn car accident damages, call today to schedule a consultation.