Ocala Car Accident Damages
Following a car accident, there are many things that could be going through a person’s mind. A person could be facing heavy medical bills and could be behind on other bills due to an inability to work. If you are a person facing these sorts of problems, you may want to get in contact with a professional car accident attorney. A lawyer may be able to help you recover Ocala car accident damages which can alleviate some of the financial stresses you may be facing.
There are three basic types of Ocala car accident damages a person could potentially recover:
- Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, as well as property damage or damage to the contents inside of one’s vehicle.
- Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium by a spouse.
- Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for his or her gross negligence.
When a person is not at fault for an accident, they are entitled to their economic damages which include lost wages, as well as reimbursement of medical expenses and the payment of damages for one’s vehicle and contents of the vehicle.
Calculating Non-Economic Damages
In order to recover non-economic Ocala car accident damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish, a party to an accident in Florida must meet a certain threshold. The way one meets the threshold is with either death, loss of a bodily function, scarring, or a permanent injury.
Non-economic damages are awarded by a jury in a motor vehicle accident just like any other personal injury case. They are at the discretion of the jury. However, they must be commensurate with the economic damages awarded.
Receiving Punitive Damages
One circumstance where punitive damages are awarded is when the at-fault party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. They can also be awarded when the at-fault party was either grossly negligent or intentionally caused damage or injury to the plaintiff. When there is a potential for punitive damages, it is important for the attorney to gather as much evidence and information possible in order to support such a claim. This includes interviewing witnesses and potentially retaining experts to assist with the punitive damage claim.
Some of the factors that may influence an award of punitive damages are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, intentionally hurting the plaintiff, or if the defendant is grossly negligent. In some cases, punitive damages are awarded based upon the conduct of the defendant.
Damage Cap & Auto-Insurance Coverage
When an individual is involved in a car accident with a vehicle that is owned by a governmental entity, there are statutory caps. That means that what the plaintiff’s recovery is limited to those caps. In some cases, a car accident attorney can circumvent the caps with the passage of a claims bill.
The at-fault party’s insurance will pay for economic damages that are caused by the accident, as well as non-economic damages if the threshold is met. Most policies, however, will not cover punitive damages.
Role of an Attorney
An attorney plays many important roles in helping his or her client recover Ocala car accident damages. An attorney reviews the insurance policies to determine the amount of coverage that is available, gathers evidence including but not limited to medical records, billing, lien information, witness statements regarding liability, all in an effort to recover the maximum amount available under the defendant’s policy. An attorney can also file suit against the defendant and possibly the plaintiff’s insurance company if an inadequate offer is made.
The first thing an attorney does is investigate the accident to determine liability. The attorney also gathers medical records, billing information, and other documentation in order to make a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the claim is not resolved, the attorney will file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you believe you can benefit from these services, get in contact with an Ocala car accident attorney today.