Auto accidents never perfectly mirror another accident, but they’re always an inconvenience at the very least. In many instances, they’re devastating. There are many accident victims who sustain injuries from which they never recover, some don’t live, and others are injured badly enough they cannot return to work for months or even ever. This means lost wages, time off work, medical bills, and car repairs just to name a few of the many expenses accident victims incur. When the at-fault driver’s insurance agency refuses to cover your costs, stops paying your medical bills when they reach a specific dollar amount, or they offer a settlement that’s too low to help you with the expenses you’ve incurred, you might consider filing a lawsuit to recover damages.
What Damages Can I Recover Following a Car Accident
- Medical treatment past and future
- Lost income
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
It’s not always easy to understand what each one means, which is why personal injury attorneys encourage accident victims to call following an accident. Understanding what damages mean helps accident victims determine whether they have a case. Here we will break down what each one means.
Medical treatment – Past and future medical treatment is one of the most common damages sought by accident victims. If you sustained any injuries in your accident, you’ll incur some medical bills. Minor accidents might not mean many medical bills, but major accidents often mean tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. If your injuries result in surgery, the cost of those bills might exceed more than a hundred thousand dollars even with insurance by the time you take into consideration all that goes along with a major surgery. Some accident injuries require long-term medical care, special needs items, and specialized equipment you need for the rest of your life thanks to your new injuries.
Lost income and wages – Some injuries keep you out of work for a while due to recovery. This means you’re not being paid for your time off, and that’s a financial burden. If you have to take time off work to recover from your injuries, you won’t lose your job according to the law. However, your employer is not required to pay you during this time.
Diminished earning capacity – If your injuries are so bad they have a life-long effect on you, your doctor might inform you that you can no longer work in the industry in which you previously worked. This means you might be able to get another job, but it might not be a job that pays very well. This is diminished earning capacity. For example, if you are a surgeon and can no longer operate on patients because you lost your left arm in an accident, you can get plenty of other employment but you cannot work as a surgeon anymore.
Pain and suffering – This is a difficult damage to understand. Pain and suffering is not the stress you go through when you are involved in an accident. It’s the cost of hiring an attorney, the cost of driving a rental car, the cost of repairing your own car, and it’s any other financial suffering you did. It can also be the cost of emotional medical treatment if you developed anxiety or another health issue as a result of your accident.
You can also sue for loss of consortium if you have a loved one lost in an accident. You no longer have your companion, which causes emotional stress and grief. It’s not easy to live when your entire life has been turned upside down, and many people want to know what they can expect as a result of their injuries if they choose to file a lawsuit.
If you have been involved in a car accident, call a personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case. No two accidents are the same, which means it’s difficult to determine whether a case is valid or not without the details. It’s imperative you call an attorney to find out what rights you’re entitled to following an accident that changes your life forever.