Car accidents happen every day. If you or someone else has been injured, you may consider seeking legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer. In addition to helping you get medical care and financial support, they can also help you file a claim against the at-fault party.
Several types of compensation for you and your family might receive after a car accident. These include lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other damages. The compensation you receive depends on the severity of the injuries you suffered. It is important that you fully understand what you will require to cover all aspects of your loss.
- Medical Expenses
You may have medical bills to pay if you were injured in an auto accident. Your doctor’s bill could cost you hundreds of dollars each month until you heal. You might need physical therapy, chiropractic care, surgery, or other treatments.
You also likely spent money on prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and tests. Don’t forget the additional costs associated with buying new clothes, getting haircuts, eating out, and spending money on entertainment.
All of these situations add up quickly. Because most insurance policies only partially compensate victims, it is often necessary to sue the responsible driver. This means you must hire a personal injury attorney who can help you recover the full amount of compensatory damages owed to you under the law.
- Lost Wages
After a serious car accident, many people lose their job. Even if you do not lose your job, you may miss work as you recover. Other ways you may lose money include losing business opportunities, missing vacation days, and going without housing. As you can see, even minor injuries can affect you financially.
In some cases, you might be able to get your salary cut back or take unpaid leave while you recover. However, you will likely need to prove to your employer why you cannot return to work. A good personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
- Pain And Suffering
Pain and suffering are two separate categories of compensation. Pain comes first. It refers to the immediate feeling of hurt you experience when something physically hurts you.
Suffering is the emotional distress and mental anguish that accompanies the injury. For example, you might suffer because you worry about how much your injuries will impact your life. Or you might suffer because your injuries will prevent you from returning to work immediately.
Even though it sounds like a small thing, suffering takes a big toll emotionally. Looking back over the past few weeks or months, you probably remember moments when you felt sad, angry, frustrated, or guilty because of your injuries.
While recovering from your injuries, the feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, and guilt continue. They become part of your daily routine as you deal with the effects of your injuries.
Another reason suffering is so painful is that it is impossible to quantify it. No number represents the amount of suffering someone has endured because of an injury. That makes it difficult for judges to decide how much they should award.
However, it is important to note that pain and suffering are distinct concepts. If you ask a judge what he thinks constitutes fair compensation for lost wages and other costs, he might tell you that $10 million would cover everything. But if you asked him what he believed was appropriate compensation for your pain and suffering, he might give you much less.
The best way to address this issue is to seek legal advice before filing a suit. Then you will know exactly what to expect when you go into court.
- Punitive damages
A lawsuit also could result in punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded if the defendant acted maliciously and intended to inflict harm. This damage is meant to punish the person who caused your injury and deter others from acting carelessly.
For instance, suppose you were hit by a drunk driver who ran a red light. The jury might find that he intentionally drove recklessly. In this case, the trial court would award you punitive damages and send a message to everyone else that reckless driving is unacceptable.
This punishment is meant to hurt the defendant’s wallet. So, if you win your injury case, you typically receive punitive and actual damages.
If you don’t win, you won’t see any money. Because you couldn’t sue on your behalf, the law doesn’t allow you to collect punitive damages from your insurance company.