Personal Injury Recoverable Damages
In order to file a personal injury claim, you must have suffered harm that has a dollar amount attached to it. Below are potential "damages" that you can claim as a basis for your auto accident injury claim:
Medical bills add up quickly and recoverable damages in this category include everything from ambulance and EMT care to hospital stays, lab fees, follow-up doctor care, prescriptions, therapy and more. Be sure you save copies of all medically related bills so you can prove how much money you must pay. Sometimes accident-related bills come in months or even years after a court settlement. A skilled attorney will know to include future rehabilitation into the lawsuit. After all, you don't want to be stuck paying more than you have to.
If an injury or illness causes you to miss work for any extended period of time, you may be eligible for lost wages compensation. This is especially true if you have to visit doctors or therapists for treatment during working hours for weeks, months or years after an auto accident.
Pain & Suffering
These damages can be hard to total up as the law allows certain pain and suffering amounts for different types of injury. They also base awards on things like long-term disability, permanent injury and how old the injured party is. A 20-year-old person permanently disabled will experience more pain and suffering than an 80-year-old person.
Emotional distress damages can be awarded in certain cases. This is when you really want a qualified lawyer on your side, because emotions cannot be concretely proven like a medical bill.
Often times a court will award a flat sum to be paid to the plaintiff for the entire injury. Other times, it's impossible to know how much money will be needed for long-term care and rehabilitation. Also, sometimes defendants simply cannot pay the amount owed all at once. So, structured settlements let the defendant pay in installments over time.