Car accidents can leave a big mark on your life – and your finances! It's not uncommon to owe thousands of dollars in medical bills in the days and months following an accident. When you are unable to pay these bills, they can pile up, and if you aren't able to work, matters only get worse. Despite this stressful reality that many accident victims have known all too well, the law provides victims recovery by filing a claim against the at-fault driver. In this article, we'll discuss the most common types of car accident compensation that may be available in the case that you are hurt by a negligent or reckless driver.
If you've been hurt in an accident, call or text our car accident lawyers to schedule a free case review at (602) 345-1818. You may also fill out our secure online form at this link, and we will reach back out to you to set up your free case review appointment.
When you've suffered an injury in a car accident, the medical bills are often one of the largest expenses you'll incur. Some examples of medical expenses that victims may have include:
- Emergency room visits
- Surgeries and surgical procedures
- Follow-up doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care
- Ongoing medical treatments
The medical treatment you may need following a car crash could be ongoing for years afterward, which means large amounts of future medical bills, too. In car accident claims, medical expenses – both past and future – may be compensable.
Property Damage + Associated Costs
If you've been in a serious accident, your car may have needed extensive repairs or even be deemed “totaled,” meaning that you'll need to replace it. Victims may file a claim against the at-fault driver for the cost of repair of their vehicles or fair market value of the vehicle estimated by the Kelley Blue Book or a reputable auto dealer. Additionally, you may need a rental car while your car is being repaired, this expense may also be included in your accident settlement.
Lost Income + Related Losses
Many victims of severe car accidents may not be able to return to work. Sometimes, accidents completely prohibit victims from ever returning to the jobs they had before the incident occurred. In these cases, lost income is a huge concern. Claimants should work with their car accident lawyers to determine how much their injuries may have impacted their work life to understand the extent of income loss damages. Depending on your case, your accident settlement may include multiple losses associated with your job including:
- Lost bonuses
- Lost promotions/advancement
- Lost earning capacity - when your injury has caused a permanent impairment of disability that impacts your ability to earn money for an indefinite period of time
- Lost benefits
Pain and Suffering + Emotional Injuries
Non-economic injuries, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc may be calculated into a claimant's personal injury settlement. These losses are more difficult to calculate into monetary terms, but victims have a right to recover emotionally and psychologically, as well. Some examples of other non-monetary damages that may be awarded include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety and depression
- Severe physical pain
- Permanent disfigurement or paralysis
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Mental and emotional recovery is important, too. Don't neglect your emotional healing after an accident. Part of becoming “whole” again or as you were before the accident, includes getting your emotional and mental state back on track.
Helping or Hurting Your Case
Claimants play a large part in either helping or hurting their case. You may be thinking “I'd never hurt my own case!” Unfortunately, victims often inadvertently hurt their cases, which diminishes their potential settlement, thus their recovery. Some tips for optimizing your recovery include:
- Collect and preserve evidence - Evidence (or lack thereof) can make or break your case. Ensure that you take the right steps to gather the proper information and documentation throughout your recovery process. This includes medical records, notes, police reports, financial receipts, follow-up doctor appointments, witness statements, photos, videos, etc.
- Avoid posting about your accident on the internet - It's best to stay away from social media. Posts can easily be misread and twisted to demonstrate that you weren't hurt in the accident. Read one of our previous posts about avoiding social media after an accident here.
- Keep going to the doctor if you need to - Injuries often come with continued doctor visits and treatment. Don't neglect going to the doctor. Missing your appointments can not only make healing more difficult, it can demonstrate to the insurance company that you aren't really injured or that you are not trying to recover, which can also play a part in your settlement.
- Don't “pal around” with the insurance adjuster - The inclination to be overly friendly and volunteer information to adjusters can hurt a victim's chance to recover. Here's a resource about communicating with insurance adjusters after an accident.
- Challenge fault if applicable - After an accident, pointing fingers at other drivers is common. If inaccurate fault has been placed on you, challenge it. Consult a lawyer who will help you collect evidence to place fault in the proper place and help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Car Accident Lawyers
At Impact Legal, we offer free consultations and case reviews. You can schedule yours in person or remotely by calling or texting (602) 345-1818. You may also fill out our online form here, and we will reach out to you to set up your free appointment. If you've been hurt in a car accident, you may have legal options to recover. Let us help you get your life back on track.
This blog is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you speak with an attorney about your specific legal situation.