Stethoscope on the dollars. Medical costs.

After an Accident: Three Types of Personal Injury Damages You Can Recover in North Carolina

In the moments after an accident, your mind is reeling and your adrenaline pumping. What happens next? And, who will be responsible for managing the cost of medical bills or property damage that your injury may have incurred?

An experienced personal injury lawyer is essential

Every North Carolina personal injury case that crosses our desk is unique. This is why it’s so important that you partner with a pro to help you sort through the nuances of your case. 

When you’ve been hurt in an accident, we want you to be able to focus on your recovery—and not suffer additional stress on top of any physical discomfort you are already feeling. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can be an important ally during this difficult time. They will closely review and study your personal circumstances—and guide you to a successful outcome.


The three types of damages you can recover in North Carolina

The good news is that in North Carolina there are some damages you can potentially recover if you’re entering into a legal action. These three types of personal injury damages are economic, noneconomic, and punitive.

1. Economic damages: These types of damages include costs allocated to medical expenses, any lost work payments, or wages you’ve experienced (or future earning potential). 

Specific economic damages that you may be able to recover with the help of a personal injury lawyer include:

    • Medical bills
    • Ambulance costs
    • Surgical, dental, and orthopedic costs
    • Hospital stays
    • Follow-up doctor’s visits
    • Physical therapy
    • Counseling or psychotherapy
    • Prescriptions

It should be noted that North Carolina doesn’t have a damage cap on compensation awards for economic losses in personal injury cases.


2. Noneconomic damages: Sometimes difficult to track or record, Noneconomic damages are just as, if not more impactful. The intangible, nonphysical effects of your injury may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain and suffering, emotional or psychological distress, or “loss of consortium” (a legal term referencing the negative impact an accident may have on your family or personal relationships).

These damages are challenging to address, but a good personal injury lawyer will be able to help you gain compensation for the intangible costs of these more complex injuries, including:

    • Emotional anguish
    • Humiliation
    • Damage to your reputation
    • Inability to enjoy activities that previously brought you joy
    • Loss of companionship

There is also no cap in North Carolina on the amount of financial compensation you may receive when collecting noneconomic damages in a personal injury case. 


3. Punitive damages: Reserved for particularly dangerous behavior that has caused acute harm, punitive damages focus on punishing the person who caused your injury—in a way that will hopefully prevent this dangerous behavior from harming anyone else in the future. 

In order for you to receive punitive damages, you must be able to point to specific factors in addition to any negligence that may have caused your injury. These types of factors most commonly include fraud, malicious intent, or willfully harmful actions. 

Punitive damages are awarded separately from any other compensatory damages, and in North Carolina cannot exceed either $250,000 or three times the amount of the compensatory damages that were awarded. 

We’re here to help you recover damages, after your injury

If you’ve been hurt in an accident and need help sorting through your potential case and how to go about securing repayment for damages, Wilson Williams Law is here to help. Please give us a call today at (888) 253-4071 to learn more about how our offices can help you and your specific personal injury case. We look forward to partnering with you, guiding you through the legal claim process, and ensuring you get the maximum compensation possible.


Note: This blog is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.