When someone gets hurt in an accident, they may wish to pursue legal action against a negligent party. Doing so can result in financial compensation and the acknowledgment of all the ways improper, unsafe acts have hurt you.
Too often, people underestimate all the ways that an accident and injury has affected their lives. And they may not realize that, while a lawsuit can’t turn back the clock, it can make recovery much easier. This is due to the various types of damages that may be available after an accident.
Special and general damages
Per Maryland laws, victims can pursue special and general damages after an accident caused by a negligent or reckless party.
Special damages, or economic damages, can include:
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Home modifications
- Ongoing care services
- Property damage
These types of damages are calculable. In other words, parties can assign a price to them, which may or may not require the assistance of medical or financial professionals.
There are also general damages, or non-economic damages. These refer to more abstract losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of support
- Loss of consortium
- Chronic or disfiguring conditions
These damages are more subjective than economic damages, but they are often just as significant, if not more so.
It should be noted that claims for both non-economic and economic losses are based on what is fair, reasonable, and necessary. Damages that are speculative in nature – what may be required or occur in the future – are regularly challenged. Even in accidents where a party accepts liability or fault, the parties may disagree regarding the calculation of the damages.
If an accident was the result of egregious misconduct or malice, courts might also order punitive damages.
Note that courts do not award punitive damages in every case; in fact, cases involving punitive damages in Maryland are rare. However, they are an option that serves specifically to punish wrongdoing and deter others from similar actions.
Collecting what you deserve
People hurt in an accident may not always realize the full extent of damages.
If you get hurt, it is imperative that you seek medical attention and report the accident. You can then consult an attorney to discuss your options. These steps can help you make informed decisions about your legal rights and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.