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Although no one ever plans to have a car accident, the risk of a crash exists every time you get behind the wheel. While you certainly do not want to anticipate an injury, if you do suffer an injury after a car crash, you should have a basic idea of what to do.

Oftentimes in motor vehicle accidents, injuries occur due to the negligence of another driver. If you suffer an injury due to the carelessness of another driver, such as distracted driving or driving while intoxicated, you may have grounds for pursuing specific types of compensation and damages as a result.

1. Damages to compensate you for losses

The most common type of damages that plaintiffs seek in lawsuits regarding personal injury are those that compensate for expenses. Expenses that often occur following a car accident include medical bills and lost wages due to time off work to recover from injuries. However, there are other types of compensation that courts may also take into account, including future lost wages and lost earning power due to the injuries. Some cases may also seek loss of consortium, which seeks to compensate for  interference in the marital relationship as a result of the injuries.

2. Damages of a general nature

General damages provide compensation for things such as pain and suffering, which an insurance company or a judge quantifies based on your individual case. If your accident caused you permanent disfigurement or scars, this type of compensation falls under general damages as well.

3. Damages designed to punish behavior

Punitive damages punish the behavior of another, effectively making him or her pay the plaintiff as a sort of reparation for harm done. This is particularly applicable in cases where the defendant engaged in criminal behavior that led to the plaintiff’s injuries. Punitive damages are usually awarded in cases where there was particularly egregious or malicious behavior. 

If you suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to seek the compensation you deserve. The law ensures your right to seek damages such as those described above to help you manage financial hardship as well as pain and suffering as a result of your injuries.