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Measuring Damages Following a Motor Vehicle Accident

A successful auto accident lawsuit can be the light at the end of a very long, arduous tunnel. Oftentimes, Westchester County car accident attorneys are able to recover much more for their clients than just reimbursement for medical expenses. What’s more, victims facing severe, life-altering injuries may be able to obtain compensation to redress the limitations and lifestyle changes facing them for the duration of their lives.

If you were recently injured in an auto accident in the Westchester or White Plains areas, an auto accident lawyer can help you determine the value of your case and the likelihood of recovery, as well as assist in obtaining the maximum possible recovery from the individuals responsible for your harm.

Special Damages in New York

Special damages are a type of monetary award meant to help the plaintiff recover from the calculable costs of his or her auto accident. In other words, special damages are available to reimburse the plaintiff for the expenses associated with his or her injuries.

These damages are quantifiable in nature and easily verifiable through invoices or other evidence showing the monetary detriments endured by the victim. Special damages in New York could include any of the following:

  • Medical bills, co-pays, visits to specialists, prescription medications, rehabilitation, chiropractic care
  • Nursing services
  • Costs of future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Future earnings
  • Property damage

General Damages in New York

Also known as “pain and suffering,” general damages are not calculable or quantifiable. In fact, the value of a victim’s pain and suffering is usually left to the whims of a jury or judge based on the testimony and facts at hand. Pain and suffering damages are not available in every case; however the more serious the injuries, the more likely the victim will receive some sort of compensation for the pain and agony associated with the experience.

Certain scenarios constituting a “severe injury” in New York include:

  • Disfigurement or dismemberment (i.e., loss of a limb)
  • Permanent loss of a use of an organ
  • Loss of a pregnancy
  • Loss of the ability to perform daily tasks or maintain an accustomed lifestyle
  • Loss of the ability to use an appendage

Punitive Damages

“Punitive damages” is a term used to refer to damages meant to “punish” the defendant and deter similar conduct by others. Since the civil law is generally geared toward making the plaintiff “whole” again, it is not generally concerned with invoking punishments on liable defendants.

However, punitive damages are available in very limited situations wherein the court determines that the defendant’s actions amounted to more than a mere accident and were actually intentional or extremely reckless in nature.

Contact Lynch, Schwab & Gasparini, PLLC Today!

For more information about the compensation available to victims of auto accidents in New York, contact our preeminent Westchester law firm today. Call (914) 304-4353.


Posted on February 25, 2015 in Personal Injury