Car crash statistics show West Virginia’s roads are less dangerous now than they were just 15 years ago. Still, far too many people who get behind the wheel end up suffering life-changing injuries as a result of a wreck. In 2015, 1,267 people suffered serious injuries in West Virginia car crashes.

While they survived, the incident likely changed the course of their life. A personal injury claim is meant to hold the person who caused the crash responsible. So what types of financial compensation might be available to an injured victim?

Medical bills and lost wages

The sum of money an injury victim is awarded as part of a personal injury lawsuit is referred to as damages. Damages can usually be broken up into two types.

The first is economic damages. Compensation for economic losses applies to things that come with a relatively clear dollar figure. This might include:

  • Bills for emergency care immediately after the crash
  • Ongoing health care costs related to the crash
  • Lost wages (if the victim had to take time off work)
  • Loss of earning capacity (if the injury impacts a victim’s ability to do certain work)
  • Property damage

Non-financial impacts

An injury suffered in a car crash can have a serious, negative impact on a victim’s life. This is where non-economic losses may come in. This category of damages represents compensation for things that are not obviously financial. For example:

  • Pain and suffering the victim dealt with
  • A loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Grief
  • Loss of consortium (meaning the injury affected a personal relationship in a significant way)

Proving negligence is important

After a car crash, you cannot be awarded compensation just for suffering an injury. You have to prove that someone else acted irresponsibly, and that their negligence caused the wreck – and consequently, your injuries.

You should also keep in mind that this is a simplified overview of personal injury lawsuits. The law is quite complex, and there are other factors that have to be taken into account with each case. Hopefully this provides a better understanding of the types of compensation that might be available in the event of a serious injury.