Glossary: Damages 

Posted: October 13, 2022

Damages: 

“Damages” are a type of compensation that may be awarded to a seriously injured person after a motor vehicle accident. The most common form of damages after a car accident is “compensatory damages,” whose purpose is to attempt to restore the injured person to (or nearest to) the place they were before the accident occurred.  

In general, the damages that may arise from a personal injury claim or lawsuit break down into two different categories: Special damages and general damages.  

Special Damages 

Special damages are a form of compensatory damage. Thus, they typically act as a reimbursement for lost tangible financial costs. As such, special damages may include, but are not limited to, accident-related medical costs and lost wages. Special damages compensate for lost tangible financial costs.  

General Damages 

General damages can compensate for intangible losses sustained in an accident, including pain and suffering. This may include, for example, the pain or emotional anguish that a car accident victim suffers following a devastating accident. Since they compensate for intangible losses, general damages can sometimes be more difficult to calculate at times. For example, awarding damages for pain and suffering, a common component of general damages, will require the finder of fact to substitute a dollar value for human experience (or the loss thereof). As you may expect, this can be somewhat challenging. Courts, however, have developed certain rules and guideposts for what is reasonable or unreasonable compensation for pain and suffering under the circumstance.  

Are You Entitled to Damages After a Car Accident?  

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the damages you could be entitled to following a New York motor vehicle accident, you may benefit from speaking with an attorney about your specific case. In New York, a no-fault state, it can get complicated when determining who can make a claim for pain and suffering after a car accident. That is because, in most cases, certain basis economic losses are paid by the applicable no-fault insurance company. Generally speaking, only those motorists who sustain a “serious injury,” as that term is defined by the New York Legislature, can assert a claim for pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, and are interested in asserting a claim for pain and suffering, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at William Mattar by calling (844) 444-4444. 

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