Car Accident Recoverable Damages
It’s hard to put a dollar amount on your suffering after you’re injured in a car accident. However, that’s exactly what you must do in order to file an auto accident claim. Below are "damages" you may potentially recover by filing an auto accident injury claim.
Medical bills add up quickly. Recoverable medical damages may include anything from ambulance and EMT costs to hospital stays, lab fees, follow-up visits, prescriptions, physical therapy and more. Be sure to make copies of all accident-related medical bills so you can prove how much money you paid. Sometimes, accident-related bills come in months or even years after you receive your court settlement. A skilled lawyer will know to estimate medical costs in the future and then include them in your injury claim.
If your auto accident injury forces you to miss significant time at work, you may qualify for lost wages compensation. That’s especially true if your injury’s treatments occur during working hours for weeks, months or years after your car accident.
Pain & Suffering
Estimating these damages can be difficult, since certain pain and suffering amounts are legally allowed for different types of injuries. The court bases award amounts on things like long-term disability, permanent injury and the injured person’s age. A 20-year-old who becomes permanently disabled after a wreck will experience more pain and suffering than an 80-year-old, for example.
In certain cases, injured people may win damages for emotional distress. This is when you really want a qualified lawyer helping you, because emotions cannot be concretely proven like medical bills.
In most cases, damages in auto accident injury claims are awarded to the plaintiff in a single lump-sum payment. Other times, it's impossible to know how much money you might need to pay for long-term care and rehabilitation. Also, some defendants may not be able to pay the full amount owed all at once. If that happens, structured settlements let defendants pay the total amount owed over time in regular installments.