Were you the victim of a car accident in Billings, MT? If you have not yet consulted a Billings car wreck lawyer, you should. They can help you seek compensation for your losses. The good news is that there are no limits to the amount you can receive.
You can claim it from the party at fault or from their insurer. A rare but still worth considering alternative would be to file your compensation claim with your own insurer. No matter who pays it, the value of your compensation will obviously depend on several factors:
- The circumstances of your accident. You may have contributed to the accident yourself, case in which the compensation will be diminished accordingly. If the party at fault acted intentionally or was grossly negligent, you may be able to claim punitive damages.
- The amount and value of your property damages. The compensation can cover anything from repairs to replacement value.
- The severity of the injuries you received. The more severe your injuries were, the higher the value of the compensation can get.
- The available insurance coverage and the financial status of the party at fault. They could be uninsured or underinsured. You may have to sue them in civil court or seek compensation from your own insurance company. If they do not have the means to pay or you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, your recovery chances drop.
- The amount of evidence you have available. Many claimants have no idea that the burden of proof falls on them. They neglect to gather evidence and their claims get dismissed or settled for derisory amounts.
There could be other factors involved as well. The best way to assess how much your case is worth is to consult a car accident attorney in Billings, MT. The latter will review your claim and tell you what to expect.
Until you get a chance to get personalized advice, some general information may help. In the following lines, we will review the types of damages you can claim and the caps according to Montana laws.
Types of Damages a Billings Car Wreck Lawyer May Claim and Applicable Caps
As you may already know, the damages you can claim after a car accident fall into three categories:
- Punitive damages
1. Economic Damages
They are the easiest to prove and quantify, as they refer to material losses. The most common are property damages, medical expenses, lost earning, and lost earning capacity. Your compensation claim should prove how you incurred them and what their value was.
You can recover the repair costs of any assets damaged in the accident. If the assets were damaged beyond repair, you should be able to recover their full market value. Of course, you have to prove the cause of the damage and the cost of the repairs/replacements.
Medical expenses cover any costs you incurred while diagnosing and treating your injuries. Recovery costs fall into this category as well. To recover all your losses, you will need solid evidence. Therefore, keep any medical reports, hospital bills, pharmacy receipts, drug prescriptions, etc.
As mentioned above, you can claim lost income as well. It represents the money (salary) you lost if you needed time off work to recover from your injuries. To receihe compensation, you will need to prove how much money you lost. It usually takes a doctor’s recommendation to take time off work and previous income statements.
When it comes to lost earning capacity, things are a little more complicated. You will need to prove that the accident left you unable to work, and how much money you could have earned. This means accounting not only for future lost wages but also for future bonuses and promotions.
2. Non-Economic Damages
These damages are available in accidents with more serious consequences. For example, if you incurred severe injuries, you can claim pain and suffering. If you were left disabled and your spouse left you, you can claim loss of consortium.
Proving this type of damages is tricky. You should not even attempt it without the help of a Billings auto accident attorney.
3. Punitive Damages
These are awarded in rare cases, as a measure to punish the party at fault and discourage similar behaviors. In order to obtain them, you would have to prove intentional harm or gross negligence. This is a challenge even for experienced Billings car accident lawyers, more so for inexperienced accident victims.
Caps on Damages
The only caps Montana law impose refer to punitive damages. These cannot exceed $10 million or 3 percentages of the defendant’s net worth, whichever is lower. Obviously, the value of the punitive damages will depend on the severity of the tortfeasor’s action and the available evidence.
Find out How Much Your Claim Is Worth by Consulting a Billings Car Wreck Lawyer
Would you like to find out how much money you can obtain as compensation? The best solution is to have your case reviewed by an experienced Billings car wreck lawyer. Call 406-534-7694 and make the appointment with our law firm!