A car accident can result in multiple types of losses for an injured person. When pursuing compensation for your losses, your attorney will seek to determine the financial impact and the emotional and physical impact on your life.
For example, if you suffer a disabling injury that prevents you from working and providing for your family, your current lost income and the income you might have earned in the future may figure into the dollar amount of your personal injury claim. Similarly, the pain and suffering resulting from the crash may be represented by an estimated dollar amount. These estimated dollar amounts are known in legal terms as “damages.”
5 legal categories of damages
In legal terms, the definition of “damage” is “the money awarded to a party in a civil suit as reparation for the loss or injury for which another is liable.” Here are five common types of damages in New Mexico personal injury lawsuits:
- Medical damages: These could include emergency medical care and future treatments such as physical therapy. Any expense for medical treatment that is necessary as a result of an accident is considered part of “medical damages.”
- Lost wages: Often accidents result in victims being unable to immediately return to work. Loss of income that resulted from an accident is considered “lost wages.”
- Pain and suffering: Suffering in mind, body and emotions after an accident is not uncommon. Physical and mental suffering connected to a crash is considered “pain and suffering.”
- Punitive damages: Sometimes an accident is a result of someone acting with extreme disregard for the safety of others. Compensation awarded when a person drives their vehicle with recklessness or malice that results in an injury is called “punitive damages.”
- Property damages: Compensation for damage to your vehicle or other personal property is known simply as “property damages.”
An important part of building a strong personal injury claim is determining the full extent of the damages. To receive all the compensation you need to move forward after a serious injury, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney with a record of success. To learn more, please see our Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions.