If you suffer an Orange County car accident with injuries and other losses, you may be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages. It is best to consult an Orange County car accident attorney when seeking these tangible and intangible damages.
Economic damages, also known as tangible damages, are the kind of damages for which you can define a specific dollar value. Such damages include medical costs of your injuries, property damage, and lost wages.
In contrast, intangible damages are non-economic damages. These damages refer to such losses for which no specific dollar value can be determined. California has no limitation on non-economic damages, except in medical malpractice claims where such damages are capped at $250,000.
Types of Intangible Damages
The key types of intangible damages available in a car crash claim include:
- Physical Pain: Injuries may result in physical pain which can range from mild to debilitating, depending on the severity of your injury.
- Mental Suffering: Crash-related injuries can also cause mental anguish, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a whole range of other psychological forms of suffering. You can seek intangible damages for such suffering.
- Loss of Consortium: Depending on your injuries, you may not be able to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with your partner after the crash. This has a huge impact on your overall happiness and quality of life. California laws allow you to seek damages for such a loss.
- Loss of Enjoyment: An injury may prevent you from attending your son’s graduation, celebrating your grandson’s birthday, or force you to miss out on many other such events and activities. Such losses can be cited when filing for intangible damages.
- Shame and Humiliation: A temporary or permanent disability of a bodily function may cause you embarrassment, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, and humiliation. These sufferings are also covered in this category of damages.
- Scarring and Disfigurement: Prominent scarring and disfigurement are similar to a disability in that they have a significant and ongoing impact on your quality of life.
- Impact on Future Goals: When a crash results in injuries, it may force you to reconsider many of your future plans and goals. It may result in delays in your on-job promotion, or postponement of the studies. These are very real losses which can be sought in lieu of intangible damages.
How to Prove Intangible Damages?
Proving your intangible damages is harder as compared to proving your economic damages. You need to present detailed evidence to clearly show how the accident has affected your quality of life in a negative way.
The most important piece of evidence to prove your intangible damages is your medical records. Such records may include medical test results, notes from a physician, records detailing your hospital therapy and treatment, and so on.
It’s important that you remain honest whenever you visit your doctor for your injury-related treatment. Be detailed in describing the pain and suffering you undergo following the injury.
When proving intangible damages, you will need testimony and evidence from a relevant expert. For instance, to show that you have faced psychological suffering due to the crash, you will need relevant documentation from a psychiatrist.
Factors that Affect Intangible Damages
A number of factors can directly affect the amount of compensation available under intangible damages. These factors include the following:
- Age: Jury will examine your age at the time of the accident. Usually, younger victims get more compensation in lieu of intangible damages compared to older victims.
- Nature of Your Injuries: The severity of your injuries, and whether they have resulted in temporary or permanent losses, also has a bearing on the amount of intangible damages in an Orange County crash claim.
- Impact on Your Life: The short-term and long-term impact of a crash and consequent injuries on your life plays a vital role in determining the settlement amount.
- Visible Impact: The more clear and visible is the impact of an injury on your physique and life, the greater is the amount of intangible damages.
Why Hire An Orange County Car Accident Attorney?
If you have suffered non-economic losses in a car crash in Orange County, it is important to consult a qualified attorney at the earliest. As noted above, intangible losses are typically harder to prove. A good attorney can help you get an estimate of the amount of such damages you can recover under your crash claim. Here at the Crockett Law Group, we help you gather the relevant evidence and recover the maximum amount of intangible damages. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our Orange County car accident attorneys.