If you have recently been involved in a car accident and are considering suing the individual responsible for it, you might be wondering how much compensation you can receive.
A quick Google search will show that the average settlement amount for a common, non-catastrophic car accident in Alberta, Canada, can be around $50,000. However, this amount is just an estimate, and the actual compensation amount can vary depending on the particular circumstances of your claim.
How can you know how much your particular claim might be worth?
“Damages” refers to the money you request from the person who you believe caused the accident and is responsible for your injuries and expenses.
There are two primary types of damages: compensatory and non-compensatory. Compensatory damages are intended to cover the actual losses that the victim has experienced as a result of the accident. This type of damage usually constitutes the majority of the compensation amount and includes expenses related to lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other similar costs.
Compensatory damages come in two subtypes: pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Pecuniary damages are specific and can be calculated accurately, such as lost income and medical bills. On the other hand, non-pecuniary damages are more subjective and include factors like loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Non-compensatory damages, on the other hand, are rare and usually make up the smallest part of the compensation amount. If the defendant (the individual who caused the accident) behaved in an especially egregious way, these damages may be considered by the judge.
After filing a claim in court, damages are divided into two types: special damages and general damages. Special damages relate to pecuniary damages that have specific dollar values, such as expenses for lost wages or prescription medication, which can be accurately calculated. These damages only apply to everything that happens up to the trial date.
On the other hand, general damages are for expenses and losses that are estimated because they have not yet occurred. For instance, medical bills that are yet to be incurred. Even though the medical bills will eventually have a specific dollar amount, that amount is not known at the time of the trial. Therefore, they are considered general damages that require estimation.
General damages also cover non-pecuniary damages, such as your loss of enjoyment of life and the stress you’ve suffered due to the accident. Estimating non-pecuniary damages can be challenging, which is why working with an experienced lawyer is crucial to ensure that you are adequately compensated.
The amount of compensation you receive often depends on how good your lawyer is. At McGuiness Law, we’ve had clients who received very small settlement offers before working with us or tried to settle a claim without a lawyer, but then came to work with us and received higher offers.
If you want to read about a real-life experience of one of our clients, be sure to check out our blog post entitled, “Settling Without a Personal Injury Lawyer? Beware of this Unethical Strategy used by Auto-Insurance Companies.” Prepare to be shocked!
We know that some people believe that they cannot afford a lawyer, but we offer completely free consultations to give you a clearer picture of the next steps that make the most sense for your unique situation.
If working with us will not benefit you, we will tell you. We only take on cases that we believe we can win. We are passionate about our clients and ensuring that they are compensated for every penny they are owed.
If you’re considering making use of our free consultation services, please use our online contact form, or call our toll-free number at 1-833-585-4145!