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What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?

Posted on October 30, 2020 in

Car accidents can have a serious impact on a victim’s life. Often, these collisions result in serious injuries and property damage that result in psychological trauma, exorbitant medical bills, lost wages, expensive vehicle repairs, and more. In Arizona, drivers who are responsible for car accidents must pay for their victims’ damages — and if someone else’s negligent actions caused your crash injuries, you can hold him or her accountable for your losses.

Possible Damages in Arizona Car Accidents

Under Arizona law, you can collect two types of damages in car accidents: economic and non-economic. Economic damages involve the out-of-pocket financial losses you sustain after the accident. On the other hand, non-economic damages concern the intangible losses you cannot quantify with a receipt or invoice. These may include your physical pain and emotional suffering.

Some common damages in Arizona car crashes include the following.

  • Medical expenses: You can collect compensation for all of the past and future medical expenses you incur due to the accident. This includes hospitalizations, medications, and doctor’s visits. You can also use these funds to attend physical therapy, undergo surgery, and obtain in-home services and assistive devices in case of disability.
  • Lost wages and future earnings: You may lose significant amounts of pay after a car accident. You can recover compensation for the wages you lose while in recovery, as well as a loss of future earnings if your injuries prevent you from returning to your job permanently.
  • Property damage: Car accidents usually result in damage to the vehicle, as well as damage to the personal property inside of the vehicle. You can collect funds to pay for your vehicle repairs and replacements for any possessions you lost.
  • Pain and suffering: Common types of pain and suffering damages include emotional anguish, psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, disability, and disfigurement. The amount you receive for these losses depends on the severity of your accident and the impact of your resulting injuries.

Can You Collect Punitive Damages in Arizona?

In special cases, you may be eligible for additional compensation known as punitive damages. Arizona courts only award punitive damages in cases where the at-fault driver exhibited conduct guided by an evil hand and an evil mind. Instead of proving the driver was negligent at the time of the accident, you will need to prove that he or she either intentionally caused the accident or acted with deliberate indifference.

Although intentional harm can be difficult to prove, drivers who engage in overtly reckless behavior regardless of the consequences usually rise to the standard of deliberate indifference. For example, drunk drivers should reasonably know their behavior is dangerous and could cause an accident. If a driver chooses to engage in this behavior and cause an accident, he or she displays a deliberate indifference for the lives of other drivers on the road.

How to Calculate Damages in Car Accident Claims

Estimating the value of your car accident claim is an important step to seek a fair settlement. Accepting a lower amount than what you deserve can lead to further hardship later on, so it is vital to have a number in mind when you attend insurance negotiations or court appointments.

However, calculating these damages can be difficult without a Cottonwood car accident attorney on your side — you may not know the total of your future medical expenses or the formulas to calculate pain and suffering, for example. Your attorney will help you understand which damages you qualify for and find your optimal pathway to maximize your settlement. If you haven’t already, contact your lawyer as soon as possible to begin the settlement process.