Motor Vehicle Accidents Law
Types of Car Accident Damages
A personal injury claim can help you get money for your financial losses after a car accident. Car accident damages can include financial costs and other damages based on emotional distress and loss of quality of life.
To find out more about damages for your car accident injuries, find a local personal injury lawyer to talk look over your case with you and advise you about your legal options.
Serious injuries in a car accident can turn into permanent injuries. These could keep you out of work for an extended time. In some cases, you might not ever be able to return to employment. Taking legal action to recover these costs and secure your financial future may be the best option. While laws vary by state, there are several ways to recover financial compensation from car accident cases.
You could receive money for these types of damages:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Medical bills for surgery, doctor visits, physical therapy, mental health care, etc.
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages from missing work
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Your auto insurance may have limits on how much money car accident victims can recover. Even if the other driver is at fault, their insurance company may pressure you into a settlement. Before accepting any insurance claim settlement, make sure you understand your legal rights. Your lawyer can give you professional advice on how much your claim might be worth.
If you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may have racked up expensive bills for medical care. Car accidents involving severe bodily injury can require surgery, physical therapy, and hospital stays. Some injuries may require continuing care in the future. These are all medical costs that you may be entitled to recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
As part of a jury award or settlement, you could receive compensation for lost wages and lost future earnings. For instance, you may have missed time at work because you were in a hospital recovering or because you had to take time off for doctor’s appointments. The at-fault driver who caused your injuries may be liable for lost wages even if you had sick days or vacation time available.
Lost future earnings may be paid to you if you are unable to ever return to work. These amounts are calculated according to a variety of factors, including your:
- Age and life expectancy
- Current occupation
- Education level
- Skills and training that you have had
- Projected future earning potential
Many people don’t think about non-economic damages after a car accident. Non-economic damages can include losses that don’t have a clear dollar value. These damages can include:
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
While it may be difficult for you to quantify these losses in terms of a dollar amount, that’s where having an experienced personal injury lawyer advocating for you can make a difference.
If a loved one is killed in an auto accident, they are not able to file a lawsuit. However, family members or a personal representative may be able to step in and file a wrongful death lawsuit. While it’s also hard to place a “value” on a person’s life, a wrongful death claim can help your family recover damages for the loss of financial support caused by the death of your loved one.
Personal injury claims can be complicated, especially when insurance companies get involved. It’s generally best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. There is a time limit for filing personal injury cases, known as the statute of limitations.
For example, in California, a driver generally has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim for car accident damages. In New York, the statute of limitations for a personal injury car accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the injury. A lawyer will help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit and make sure that you do so before the deadlines are up.
Working with an attorney can make it easier to maximize your damages award. The car insurance company may offer you a settlement, but the amount may be too low to cover your losses. A car accident attorney with experience handling cases like yours can deal with the insurance companies to put you in the strongest position to get the amount you deserve. Contact a local car accident lawyer for a case evaluation and legal advice about your case.