Proving damages is essential to establishing your claim against an at-fault driver. Essentially, you have damages when you have sustained actual harm or injury. Also, you must be able to prove that you sustained actual harm or injury. Damages are not assumed. In other words, if you were involved in a minor accident, you would need to prove or establish that your vehicle did in fact sustain damages or that you did in fact sustain injuries. This can be done through repair shop estimates and medical records.
Typically, whenever you are in a motor vehicle accident, there are two types of damages included in a bodily injury claim:
- Special damages: Damages that are quantifiable, meaning reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses
- General damages: Damages that are much more speculative in nature, including things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium
Important note: You must be able to establish or prove a causal relationship between your motor vehicle accident and every individual piece of damage that you wish to claim. In other words, for every dollar you are claiming as your special damages, you must be able to establish that the accident was the cause.
For example, if you have an injury to your shoulder and to your foot, and you seek treatment for both following your accident, you must be able to establish that both injuries were caused by the accident in order to include all medical cost as your damages. Hence, if you suffer from chronic foot pain (pre-existing injury), you may have a hard time proving that the treatment related to your foot pain should be included as your damages for your car accident.
For Help with Your Claim, Contact Wallace Pierce Law
Please keep in mind that this overview provides a very rudimentary explanation of the legal theory of negligence. Negligence has many moving parts and, depending on the facts and circumstances, each can play a very different role in establishing your claim.
If you need help with your personal injury claim, we encourage you to reach out to our Durham car accident lawyers for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We have been providing client-focused legal representation to injured individuals within our community for over 10 years. Find out how we can assist you with your claim today.