Car accidents can lead to different damages, and in California, compensatory damages are there to help with various losses. These damages give financial help to people who got hurt or had damage to their vehicle or personal things because of a car crash.
Insurance companies usually pay damages, but there is not an average settlement amount.
Common injuries in car crashes
In 2022, 160,819 car accidents in California produced 227,396 injuries and fatalities. 12,598 of these crashes happened in Orange County, injuring or killing 17,726 people.
Car accidents often lead to certain injuries that make compensatory damages necessary. Things like whiplash, broken bones and injuries to soft parts of your body are common. Sometimes, people also feel bad mentally, like being anxious or upset, because of the accident. Knowing about these injuries helps understand what damages you might receive.
Economic damages cover things you can count and measure after a car accident. This includes money for medical bills, fixing your car and paying you lost wages if the accident stops you from working. These damages help with the direct monetary impact of the accident.
Non-economic damages cover things you can’t measure easily. This might include pain and suffering, feeling bad emotionally or how your life is not as good after the accident. Even if these things are harder to figure out, non-economic damages try to help with how the accident affected your quality of life.
Sometimes, people receive punitive damages in special cases. These damages go beyond just fixing things and try to punish the person who caused the accident. This happens when the person was really careless or did something very wrong. Punitive damages aim to stop this from happening again.
Figuring out damages
Deciding the right compensatory damages means looking at everything closely. People check things like medical records, invoices, bills and what experts say to see how much you can obtain.
California follows a comparative negligence system, allowing accident victims to recover damages even if they are partially to blame. Damages are lower or higher based on each party’s degree of fault. This means that if you share some responsibility for causing a car accident, your compensation may be lower proportionately to your level of responsibility.
Damages in car accident cases vary because each incident is unique. Factors like the extent of injuries, property damage and the specific circumstances involved contribute to the differences.
Legal considerations, such as fault determination, comparative negligence and the types of damages sought, make each case distinct, resulting in varied outcomes and compensation amounts tailored to the specific details of the accident.