The motor vehicle accident that left you with serious injuries has likely taken all of your attention lately. Your days and nights may be focused on dealing with the pain, helping your body heal and adjusting to any changes resulting from your injuries. Little by little, however, you are going to realize an unjust truth: your injuries are very expensive.
While your insurance or the coverage of the other driver may cover some of the costs, the fact is that there are some damages that are more complex to calculate. Even if your medical bills are covered, you may feel you deserve something more to compensate for losses that do not have a price tag. How would you even begin to calculate the devastation of an accident that resulted because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness?
Actual and general compensatory damages
If you can prove in court that you suffered injuries or other damages in an accident caused by another person’s negligent actions, the court may award you a certain amount of money to make up for those losses. This is called compensatory damages, and they can either be general or actual. Actual compensatory damages may include any of the following expenses related to your accident:
- Transportation from the accident to the hospital, such as an ambulance or helicopter
- Emergency room care
- Your hospital stay, including housekeeping services
- Consultation with multiple doctors and specialists
- Diagnostic tests, lab fees and medical equipment
- Surgical procedures or other treatments
- Rehabilitation services
These may be easiest to calculate since the total is likely on the mountains of bills you are receiving. Additionally, however, the accident and your injuries may be costing you in other ways. For example, have you lost wages because you couldn’t work? Do you have additional living expenses now, such as paying someone to clean your home, walk your dog or take care of your lawn because your injuries prevent you from doing these things?
Perhaps you have experienced damages you cannot put a price on, such as scars or disfigurement, pain and suffering, loss of your former joy for life and opportunities for the future, or anxiety and depression. These general compensatory damages are true losses that money cannot repair. Nevertheless, money can be a tangible way of righting a wrong while providing financial support to help you move forward, and assigning an appropriate value to damages you can prove in court may help you move forward with your life.