Damages in Cherry Hill Car Accident Cases
In addition to the physical injuries that can result from a car accident, victims can often experience a wide range of mental and emotional injuries. In legal terms, this is referred to as pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of the accident, the victim may suffer from mild to severe emotional distress. In the context of car accident cases, economic, non-economic and punitive damages could potentially be recovered.
Mild cases can result in things like crying, loss of appetite, mood swings, lack of energy and insomnia. More severe cases can result in acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is crucial for victims of PTSD to seek professional help as soon as possible in order to address and treat their symptoms. It is essential to contact a skilled accident lawyer to pursue damages.
Proving mental and emotional injuries to a jury can be tricky as there is no physical injury to see. For mild cases, the victim simply provides the details of the accident to a jury, explaining what happened and what caused the emotional distress. For more severe cases wherein victims may be suffering from PTSD, a medical professional must testify on his/her behalf and provide medical documentation. A jury will not accept testimony from the victim that they suffer from PTSD as a result of the accident.
As defined by Cherry Hill law, economic damages are those types of damages that are meant to make for any economic loss that a person may sustain as a result of the person’s injuries. That will include lost wages, past, present, and future. Economic damages would also include any medical bills that may not have been covered by insurance, and any sort of economic loss the person sustained or could be recoverable in a claim for personal injury.
Non-economic damages cannot be calculated precisely. They involve greatest damages suffered from an injury, such as the immediate pain from an injury, any disability or impairment or disfigurement caused by an injury. These types of things are considered non-economic damages and the jury will be deciding those and putting reasonable value on them
Punitive damages are damages meant to punish somebody for egregious conduct. Not every case in New Jersey or Cherry Hill involves punitive damages. The conduct has to raise the level of either intentional conduct, false harm or a conduct that is so egregious that the person who caused the harm could be considered reckless. In those circumstances, those people or persons may be responsible for punitive damages which are damages meant to punish them.
Paying Property Damages
Typically in New Jersey, a person’s auto insurance covers their own medical bills and provides some benefits to replace a rental car and some assistance around the home on a minor basis. More importantly, the individual would look to the person responsible for their injury to cover and make up for lost income, pain and suffering, and punitive damages if the conduct is egregious.
Depending on the type of crime, and insurance coverage the injured person has purchased will determine whether or not they have coverage with property damage. There is coverage called collision or comprehensive coverage in New Jersey that would reimburse somebody for the damage to their vehicle. However, there are times when their coverage is not purchased and then the person would have to look to the person responsible for the accident to recover damage costs.
Negotiating With Insurance
Insurance companies will accept claims for mental injuries, but only if the emotional injury claim is in line with the severity of the accident. If the victim claims to have severe emotional distress, or attempts to convince an insurer that they are suffering from PTSD as a result of a minor fender bender, the insurer will not compensate them, and they will lose all credibility going forward.
Insurance companies are also less like to accept an emotional distress claim if the victim never sought treatment, even if the symptoms are fairly minor such as a fear of getting back to driving, loss of appetite or mild insomnia. An insurance company will take a claim much more seriously if the victim was diagnosed by a medical professional.
Minor emotional injuries resulting from a car accident do not typically result in significant monetary compensation. More severe injuries tend to increase the victims’ damages simply because more serious injuries warrant higher medical bills and the potential for lost earnings. In most cases, juries assume that emotional and physical injuries go hand in hand, particularly in the event of a severe car accident.