Compensatory Damages in a New Mexico Personal Injury Case

MPJ Law Firm gives an overview of compensatory damages in New Mexico.

What types of damages might I receive if I am injured in a car accident?

Each year, there are over six million car accidents across the United States, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly three million Americans are injured in car accidents annually, while two million suffer from permanent injuries. Chances are you will be involved in a car accident at some point in your life. A car accident can leave you with serious injuries, which in turn may result in significant medical expenses and losses due to your time off work. If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering what types of damages you can seek if you file a personal injury accident. Our Albuquerque, New Mexico car accident lawyers discuss the types of compensatory damages you may pursue after a car accident below.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages are damages intended to make an accident victim whole again. Losses that you occur as a result of your injuries in the accident should be recompensed through compensatory damages. However, these are different from punitive damages, which are awarded not to return the victim as a whole, but rather to punish the wrongdoer. Whereas compensatory damages must exist in any viable personal injury case, punitive damages are only awarded in exceptional circumstances where the defendant acted with extreme recklessness or intent to cause the injury.

Compensatory damages can generally be divided into economic and non-economic damages.  Economic damages include those tangible damages that the victim has incurred. The most commonly incurred economic damages include medical expenses, both current and future, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle or other property.  To calculate these compensatory damages, you can compile your medical bills, therapy bills, car repair estimates, and the like. You can then extrapolate the costs of your future medical care.  

Non-economic compensatory damages are those losses that are less easily quantified.  These types of damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.  To calculate these damages, your attorney will typically use your damage total and multiply it by an accepted multiplier.  The greater your injuries and suffering, the higher your non-economic damages. Contact our car accident lawyers as soon as possible after your accident to find out more about what damages you may be able to seek.

Posted in: Automobile Accidents