When people suffer injuries in motor vehicle collisions or other such accidents, they may lose income and incur medical bills, on top of having to deal with their pain and suffering. Under some circumstances, those who experience such injuries may consider taking legal action to recover compensation for these and their other associated losses. To help them make their decisions, then, it is important for people to understand the types of damages that may be awarded in North Carolina personal injury claims.
Some losses, including medical expenses and wages missed out on or lost while people are off work recovering from their injuries, are quantifiable. The compensation that may be awarded for such losses is referred to as economic damages. According to FindLaw, the state of North Carolina does not put a damage cap on compensation awards for economic losses in such cases.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may be awarded for the less tangible losses associated with people’s accident injuries. This includes compensation for people’s mental anguish and their physical pain and suffering as a result of their injuries. There is a cap of $500,000 for medical malpractice claims. However, there is no limit on the amount of non-economic damages that may be awarded for all other types of personal injury claims.
In some cases, the court may also see fit to award punitive damages in personal injury cases. These damages are not related to people’s associated losses and, instead, serve to punish the defendant. According to state law, punitive damages are awarded separately from any other compensatory damages that are awarded. These damages cannot exceed the greater amount of either $250,000 or three times the amount of the compensatory damages that were awarded.