When the negligent actions of a driver causes a collision resulting in damages and injuries for another person, the injured party has a legal right to seek fair car accident compensation for those damages.
Damages can take a number of different forms. The first type that comes to mind for most people would be medical expenses from physical injuries incurred in the accident.
But additionally, the injured party may also be eligible to claim loss of income or diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
Injuries sustained in a car accident could be as slight as minor cuts and bruises, or as significant as paralysis or other, similarly debilitating conditions.
Because some serious injuries may not be readily apparent or manifest themselves immediately, it is important to always undergo a complete physical examination after a car accident, even if you believe you are uninjured.
Available medical expense damages related to car accidents can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Ambulance services,
- Consultations with healthcare providers,
- Physical and/or cognitive therapy,
- Medical accessories, i.e. crutches, braces, etc.,
- Permanent disability,
- Home healthcare services.
At the time your claim is settled, if your physician feels you will need further medical treatments or therapy, he or she will work with your attorney to calculate the estimated costs of those treatments.
If a driver is responsible for the death of another person, a wrongful death claim may be filed in addition to medical expenses incurred prior to death.
Pain and Suffering
Damages can be claimed for the mental and physical hardship caused by the injury. Pain and suffering damages are based on the type of injury, the degree of pain endured, and the prognosis for on-going pain associated with the injury.
Additionally, pain and suffering damages may include stress and anxiety as a result of the accident, also called “loss of enjoyment of life.”
Car accident injuries may disrupt your ability to work. This could be on a temporary basis such as attending doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions, or on a permanent basis due to lessened mobility or permanent handicap.
When awarding car accident compensation for lost earning capacity, a jury will consider factors including age, occupation, experience, skill, and life expectancy.
Loss of Affection or Companionship
A car accident could deprive a married person of the ability to show affection to their spouse, including sexual activity. Legally, this is referred to as “loss of consortium.”
In contrast to other kinds of damages, loss of affection, companionship, and/or consortium are claimed by the uninjured spouse. Additionally, these damages can only be recovered if a recovery for the injury is made.
Surviving family members can make a claim for loss of society and companionship damages if the victim dies because of their car accident injuries.