After being involved in a car accident, your attorney will work to recover any damages that were incurred as a result of the accident. Damages can be awarded for everything from a loss of compensation, to being physically disfigured, depending on the severity of the accident.
There are three types of damages that are relevant in cases involving car accidents. In this article, we will outline economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, as well as the monetary values that can be recovered from each type.
Economic damages include:
Past medical expenses: Medical expenses that have been paid since the accident, but before the case has been decided.
Future medical expenses: Medical expenses that will continue to be incurred after the case has been decided.
Past loss of earnings: Income that has been lost since the accident, but before the case has been decided.
Future loss of earnings: Income that will continue to be lost after the case has been decided.
In Maryland, there is no cap on economic damages. This means that there is no limit on the amount that can be awarded for a loss of earnings or accrued medical expenses, so long as the amounts are causally related to the accident and fair and reasonable for the geographic area.
In order to explain non-economic damages, we will use the example of a woman who has broken her leg as a result of being involved in a car accident. With that, non-economic damages include:
Pain and Suffering: Physical or mental injuries caused as a result of the accident.
For example: This could not only refer to the woman’s broken leg, but also the depression that she may suffer from because of not being able to use her leg. If applicable, it is important to seek medical attention for mental injuries.
Inconvenience: The disruption in a person’s life that results from an injury caused by an accident.
For example: The woman’s broken leg has made her unable to drive to pick her children up from school, thus causing an inconvenience.
Physical impairment: The inability for a person to use their body to its usual function as the result of an injury.
For example: The woman’s broken leg prevents her from walking without crutches as an aid, and she cannot walk long distances.
Disfigurement: Damage to a person’s body that is permanent and affects their appearance.
For example: The woman’s broken leg successfully heals, but a large scar remains.
As of this year, Maryland law governs that there is a $785,000.00 cap on non-economic damages. This cap is essentially a limit on how much a person can receive for any non-economic damages sustained after being involved in a car accident.
Punitive damages are those that are awarded to the plaintiff, or the person making the claim, and taken from the defendant, or the person whom the claim is made against, in order to punish the defendant for a wrongdoing.
According to Maryland law, punitive damages may be awarded if there is evidence of actual malice, meaning that the defendant acted in a risky or negligent way on purpose, and was aware of the consequences that could result from their actions.
In Maryland, there is no cap on punitive damages. However, punitive damages are awarded in very few cases, particularly in cases of car accidents because there must be proof that the accident was caused with intent. If the accident was in fact caused with intent, the defendant’s insurance company can generally disclaim coverage, meaning that the plaintiff’s damages will not be paid for through the defendant’s insurance.
If You’ve Been Injured In A Car Accident, Call the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team
If you or someone you love has been injured, or even died, as the result of a car accident, the Pinder Plotkin legal team is on your side. Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in auto accident cases and for other personal injury claims, and we’re prepared to fight aggressively in court to defend your rights.
We always offer free initial consultations for personal injury cases, so there’s no risk in speaking with us and receiving an honest and informed evaluation of your case. Call us at (410) 661-9440 or fill out our online contact form to speak with an attorney and discuss your legal options.
The information provided in this website/blog is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.