After being involved in a car accident, you may be interested in seeking compensation. You think the other driver caused the crash, and you want him or her to pay for it, since you wouldn't have crashed on your own and you don't deserve the financial hardship it can create. If so, you should know you may be able to consider both specific and general damages.
Specific damages are things that can easily be added up, as they have a specific values. For example, you could have $20,000 in hospital bills after the crash. You never would have landed in the hospital if the other driver hadn't caused the wreck, so that's a clear-cut cost, as long as the injuries being treated were caused in the accident.
Other examples include lost wages or lost earning potential. You may miss two months of work while you heal, for instance, and you need someone to cover the paychecks you expected to get. If you can never work again, your earning potential drops dramatically. If you were making $50,000 per year and expected to work for 20 more years, that's $1,000,000 in potential earnings that you're never going to see.
General damages can be a bit more obscure. For instance, you may have suffered significant mental anguish or physical pain in the wreck. That didn't cost you anything in terms of dollars and cents, but it made your life horrible for days, weeks or months after the wreck. You want compensation just for having to go through that against your will, because of someone else's actions.
Other general damages include things like the inability to have kids, a disfigurement, or the strain the situation puts on your relationships. Some of these things could also have specific costs. For instance, a disfigurement comes with specific medical bills for treatment, but you may also want to seek compensation for the emotional difficulty of living with that disfigurement forever.
As you can see, it's very important to consider all avenues of compensation after an accident. Be sure to arm yourself with the comprehensive knowledge of every aspect -- along the lines of healing and coping with life after the accident -- to which you are entitled.
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