A man recently lost his life in an overnight, early morning, head-on crash on Lockbourne Road. The accident occurred when the man’s car drove into the path of a teenage girl’s SUV and their two vehicles collided head on. Both drivers were transported to a medical facility; the man died as a result of the accident and the girl is in stable condition. According to reports, though no cause for the crash has yet been determined, police believe alcohol was a factor in the accident.
Auto Accident Damages
Any time an accident occurs, those involved will almost definitely suffer losses of some kind to their property or their person. Some of these damages are obvious – the damage to one’s vehicle, or the broken bones and physical injuries requiring medical attention and treatment -but these are often not the extent of the damages. Some other typical types of losses suffered by accident victims may include lost income, pain and suffering, and even mental distress. Some of these types of damages are actual damages, also known as compensatory damages; other kinds of damages that may be sought and/or awarded to an auto accident victim are punitive damages.
Compensatory Damages – Making an Accident Victim Whole
When someone has been involved in an auto accident and incurs costs and bills as a result of the property damage or injuries that occur, they usually seek reimbursement for these expenses. Compensatory damages include these monetary amounts that are awarded to victims to compensate them for the actual losses they suffered as a result of the accident. Compensatory damages often include compensation for costs to repair or replace a damaged vehicle, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental distress, and lost wages due to an inability to work that was caused by the accident.
- Property Damage – Most states, including Ohio, require a driver to have insurance to cover property losses incurred by those involved in an accident. Property damage may include the damages to vehicles involved in the accident as well as other types of property such as buildings, land, and objects. When we think of accidents we often picture vehicles colliding; it often happens that a vehicle hits something besides another vehicle and causes damage to it. Homes, businesses, mailboxes, landscaping – it is potentially all subject to damage due to an auto accident.
- Bodily Injury – As with property damage, most states require that drivers have policies to cover expenses associated with bodily injuries suffered by accident victims. Medical bills, costs for prescriptions and medical equipment, rehabilitation costs – all these types of bills that are necessary to treat accident victims and help them make a recovery for their physical injuries and are part of the category of compensatory damages sought by accident victims as part of their accident claims and lawsuits.
- Physical Pain and Suffering – This category is often difficult to put a price tag on after an accident, as so often it is associated with medical conditions which could continue for an unknown length of time. A common physical injury incurred during an auto accident that often results in a claim for physical pain and suffering is whiplash; with this injury there is often very little way to determine if the victim will get better or even worse over time and how long the symptoms may last. There is no set calculation for how much compensation one should receive for pain and suffering in an injury case and it is quite subjective as a result. Each case is different and it is up to the victim, and often his expert witnesses, to show the judge or jury how much is a fair amount for the victim to receive for this type of injury.
- Mental Pain and Suffering – Another type of damage closely related to physical pain and suffering is mental pain and suffering. Though it stems from the physical injury, it describes the mental injuries that an accident suffers as a by-product of the physical injuries such as depression, anger, anxiety and fear. Many factors go into these determinations about both physical and mental pain and suffering including the victim’s credibility, whether there were pre-existing conditions, and how the pain and suffering affects the victim’s normal life activities. Having the right expert witness testify as to these factors will often make a difference in whether or not an award for damages for both types of pain and suffering are made – and if so, how much is appropriate.
- Lost Wages – The category of damages is also sometimes difficult to quantify at the time the accident case is in front of the court for many of the same reasons as with pain and suffering. Though it may be easy to know the rate of pay that a victim is losing due to their inability to work after an accident, there is often no way to know for certain how long an accident victim may be unable to work, which makes it difficult to calculate the total amount of lost wages that are expected. Again, as with pain and suffering, expert testimony can be beneficial to determine a fair amount of compensation for lost wages.
Punitive Damages – Punishment For Wrongs
Punitive damages, unlike compensatory damages, have no relationship to actual monetary costs incurred due to an accident. Instead, these types of damages are sought specifically to punish someone for wrongs they have committed. The ability to be awarded punitive damages in auto accident cases varies from state to state; in Ohio, accident victims can be awarded punitive damages in specific types of cases and under specific circumstances. Under Ohio Law, punitive damages may only be awarded if compensatory damages have been awarded in the case and, in addition, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted with malice; while this is a high standard to meet, showing that the defendant consciously disregarded other people’s safety in such a way that his or her actions were highly likely to cause substantial harm, such as by drinking and driving, may be sufficient to meet that standard.
The Ohio Car Accident Lawyers – Representation For Your Auto Accident Case
When you have been involved in an auto accident, you need an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights. The attorneys at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers are the ones to turn to when you have suffered losses due to an auto accident. Our legal professionals will help you understand how the law works and what rights and responsibilities you have. Choosing a great attorney is the best first step you can take in pursuit of the best possible outcome for your auto accident case. Count on the reliable auto accident attorneys in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers to have your best interests in mind from the start to finish of your case. Allow us to help you understand how the legal system works and get the results you deserve – contact the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers today to schedule your consultation at no cost or obligation to you.