Generally, after a car accident in Omaha, a person can recover economic and non-economic or general damages. These can cover losses such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering and mental anguish. A well-versed car accident attorney from Berry Law can help you determine what compensation may be available in your case. He or she can then bring a comprehensive claim to fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Damages Are Available After a Car Crash?
After a car accident in Omaha, a person could recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, also known as special damages, are damages with a specific dollar amount as defined by the Nebraska statute. These damages include lost wages, the full cost of medical expenses, any uncovered medical expenses, loss of future income, and reduction of earning capacity.
The individual is also entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and additional trauma that are referred to as non-economic or general damages. General damages are typically more subjective in their nature and determination of value because no exact dollar value can be calculated.
There are no punitive or exemplary damages in Nebraska that are meant to punish the at-fault party. That is because, in Nebraska, punitive damages are unconstitutional and cannot be recovered under Nebraska state law claims.
What Auto Insurance Covers in Omaha
A person’s auto insurance policy generally covers property damage up to the defined limits set forth in the policy declarations. In addition to property damage, a policy will generally cover casualty claims for medical expenses, general damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress, and other bodily injuries. Depending on the policy, the person may also have access to Med-Pay, a no-fault provision in insurance to pay preliminary medical expenses. An attorney can help determine what coverage is available.
Calculating General Damages
There is no universal formula for calculating general damages. Many lawyers take the position that non-economic damages are whatever a jury will award in any particular case. However, while there is no universal formula, there are methodologies that lawyers use to determine how non-economic damages are calculated.
The method that is the most well-known but does not apply often is the multiplier method of damages. In this method a number is assigned, one through five, based on the level of trauma the person experienced. A multiplier of one is a relatively minor injury, and a multiplier of five is a relatively catastrophic injury. The total amount of the economic damages is then multiplied by the number assigned to the accident. This method is favored by many insurance adjusters as a frame of reference to evaluate the potential range of damages.
Another way of calculating non-economic damages is the per diem method. The per diem method places a value for each day the injured party suffered the effects of an injury. For example, if the person is permanently injured, the lawyer reviews mortality tables to determine his or her life expectancy and calculates damages over the remainder of his or her lifetime. After determining how many years, months, and days the individual has left to live, a value is assigned for each day they live with the permanent condition. This is a more common approach and is more widely used.
Get Help Recovering Damages After a Car Crash in Omaha
An attorney helps his or her client recover damages after an Omaha car accident by developing the claim and supporting it with the appropriate evidence while making sure they are exploring all avenues of recovery. To discuss how an attorney can help your case, call Berry Law for a free initial consultation.