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Millions of car accidents occur each year injuring people and damaging property. Where an accident is minor, many people simply file police reports, inform their insurance company, but pay the losses out of their own pocket. However, when an accident isn't minor, it's important to realize that you can be compensated not only for the damage to your vehicle, but for other damages as well.
If you're injured in a car accident, you'll likely incur expenses related to the accident such as medical treatment, rehabilitation, renting a car or using a taxi while your car is being repaired. It's likely that while your expenses increase, you may lose income due to your inability to work. In addition, you may also lose the ability to perform various activities of normal daily living, in both the short and long term, and may also endure pain and suffering as a result of the accident.
You can be compensated for these types of injuries and expenses. Generally, auto accident victims seek what are known as compensatory damages. These are intended to "make you whole again" and place you back in the same position you were before the accident occurred. There are two types of compensatory damages - economic and non-economic. Economic damages are awarded for those "out of pocket expenses" that you've incurred, while non-economic damages are awarded for any pain and suffering you may have experienced. Both types may be available to auto accident victims in determing the value of their claim.
In addition to normal compensatory damages, in extreme cases punitive damages may be available, if the injury was the result of the other driver's reckless or irresponsible behavior, or if the accident or the injury was caused by something about the car that is dangerous or defective that the manufacturer should have corrected.