Passengers and drivers face different dilemmas when being injured in an auto accident in North Carolina. All drivers must deal with the assignment of personal fault as a potential denier for injury claims because all drivers are evaluated for personal contribution to causation. Passengers are typically not held to that standard unless there are unusual circumstances. Depending on the material facts of the accident, passengers can usually claim specific damages that are payable by the insurance providers of the drivers found to be at fault to any degree. They are classified as “special” or “general” damages based on exact compensation and are either economic or non-economic in the same regard.
Reimbursement for medical expenses is usually the first element of an accident claim for passengers. Classified as economic “special” damages because they can be stated in exact dollar amounts, they are the initial submission for financial recovery. These monetary requests not only include costs for surgeries and specific necessary medical repair but also include costs of injury rehabilitation until they reach the optimum anticipated level of improvement.
Lost wages reimbursement
injured passengers who are employed are unable to return to work immediately following an accident injury. While this may not apply to all injured passengers such as a minor child, those who are proven employed at the time of the accident can claim financial recovery for lost wages for the entire time period it takes for the injury to rehabilitate to an acceptable level. This can become a substantial amount in the event of debilitating injuries, and it is often the most valuable component of an accident injury claim. They are also categorized as special compensatory damages just as medical expenses.
Pain and suffering
Many passengers receive long-term injuries that can have an impact for the remainder of their life. Determining a financial value for these impositions is not necessarily scientific, but the court does try to use a standardized formula for determining an equitable amount. For this reason, the court either will use the multiplier method or the per diem method that establishes a set amount for each day, and then parties agree on a total number of days. The multiplier method is performed by party agreement on a multiplier factor and then using the total amount of special damages calculated by adding both medical expenses and lost wage payments. Pain and suffering awards are classified as non-economic “general” damages, but they are still considered compensatory by the court.
Potential punitive damages
Many auto accident cases in North Carolina are horrific incidents where the at-fault driver was acting in wanton reckless disregard for other motorists on the highway. This can happen in a wide variety of scenarios, ranging from trucking accidents to drunk driver accidents. Having the right car accident law firm handling a punitive damages case is vital in North Carolina because they are only awarded by a sympathetic jury following a jury trial specifically intended to prove the gross negligence exhibited by the respondent. Punitive damages potential can also be used as leverage in settling an accident injury case for a passenger even though they are not typically included in the standard lawsuit compensation demands.
Contact our North Carolina car accident law firm
The North Carolina car accident attorney an injured passenger chooses to represent their case can be very important, especially in serious accident cases where extensive damages should be awarded. All injured passengers are usually entitled to whole damages even when there are multiple parties who share in fault. Claim negotiations can be intense and very contentious. And, regardless of how seriously injured the passenger is, the respondent insurance company will still want to reduce the claim value as much as possible. The attorneys that injured passengers choose matter significantly, and it is important to choose one with a long track record of solid results for their clients.
Call us and let us help maximize your passenger injury claim.