There are several types of damages you may claim in a personal injury lawsuit if you have been injured in a car accident. Claims for medical expenses are chief among these, but you may also claim damages for lost wages, diminished employment opportunities, and pain and suffering.
- Vehicle Damage
- Personal Property Damage – compensation for items such as a computer that may have been in the car, or a bike on a carrier, if those were damaged in the accident
- Car Rental – most insurance companies will reimburse you for a rental car that you needed while your vehicle was being repaired
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses – if you had to hire a taxi to get home from the accident scene or police station.
The insurance company will extend a settlement offer to you based only on the information and documentation you provide. If you haven’t provided proof of an out-of-pocket expense, for example, then the insurance company will take the position that you’re not entitled to be compensated for that part of your loss (understandably so).
If you are in a car accident, injuries may be as minor as a few cuts and bruises, or as serious as paralysis or some other permanent disability, up to and including death. Since some injuries may not produce symptoms at first or may need additional medical care down the road, it’s important to undergo a thorough medical examination immediately following a car accident if you believe you may have been injured. Medical expenses arising from a car accident may include any of the following:
- Physical and/or cognitive therapy (if a brain injury)
- Ambulance fees
- Consultations with healthcare professionals
- Accessories such as crutches or heat pads
- Permanent disability
- In-home services (even if non-medical)
If your doctor believes you will need additional medical treatments or therapy at the time your claim is settled, your attorney may calculate the likely costs. Doctors and healthcare professionals can help with these estimates. If a motorist is liable for the death of another motorist, the surviving family could file a claim for wrongful death, in addition to any medical costs incurred between the accident and time of death.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are legally defined as a mental or physical distress for which one may seek damages in a lawsuit. These damages are based on the type of injury, the seriousness of the pain suffered, and the prognosis for future pain associated with the injury. Pain and suffering may also include mental and/or emotional damage stemming from the incident, such as anxiety or stress.
After a car accident, injuries may cause you to lose work or earning capacity. This may also include an inability to work due to physical therapy sessions, time spent in a hospital, problems with mobility, or other factors that prevent you from earning your usual wages. You must be able to prove that the injuries have impaired or diminished your ability to earn money in the future, based largely on past earnings. A jury will consider factors such age, occupation, skill, experience, and life expectancy when determining the full amount of lost wages.
Get a Free Consultation of Your Legal Damages Today
You may be entitled to any of the different types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit if car accident injuries have impacted your life or the lives of those closest to you. Don’t delay: have your claim reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer at Greenwald Law Firm for no cost to you. You’ll then better understand how you may be compensated for the harm you or your family has suffered.