When you are injured in an accident and wish to pursue a claim for damages you may be wondering what types of things you can claim for. Broadly, damages are payable for actual losses suffered. Examples are paying for medical treatment, replacing damaged or destroyed property, losses suffered as a result of not being able to go to work, and travel expenses for journeys arising out of the injury, e.g. having to take taxis to hospital because your car has been totaled.
Typically, an insurance company will pay out on acceptable claims for the following types of damages:
Car accident injuries vary from minor whiplash injuries to permanent disability or death. Thankfully, a significant number of people injured in car accidents each year are able to make a full recovery but in order to do so in the shortest time possible it is normal to require a period of therapy, specialist treatment or other type of medical assistance under the supervision of a doctor. As well as consultations, you may need crutches, bandages, heat pads, or other items to assist in your recovery and these can also be claimed as an expense.
You may still be having treatment for your injuries at the time your claim is settled. As a result, it will be necessary to calculate the likely cost of future medical expenses to treat any ongoing conditions you suffered as a result of the car accident. It is normal for doctors or other health care professionals to assist in estimating how much more treatment you require, which makes it easier to provide a calculable figure for the purposes of the claim.
If items belonging to you were damaged in the car accident, you will be able to claim for their repair or replacement. Although the most obvious of these is the vehicle itself, claims under this category can include clothing, shoes and jewelry amongst others.
If you had to take time off work as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident you will be entitled to claim for these. It may be possible to claim for lost wages if you are unemployed at the time of the accident, provided that you can demonstrate what you would have earned between the accident and the date of the settlement or judgment. It may be that the accident has affected your ability to earn money in the future, in which case evidence of how much you have earned in the past will be used to calculate this sum.
Damages payable for the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of a car accident are payable based on the type of injury, the extent of the pain suffered, and the prognosis for the injury in the future. If the accident victim is likely to suffer pain for the rest of his or her life, damages will be greater than if he or she is likely to make a full recovery within a few years. Damages for pain and suffering aren't purely paid out for physical afflictions: it is also possible to claim for psychological injury and emotional damage. This can include embarrassment, humiliation and shock as well as anxiety and stress.
If an injury sustained by a person in a car accident affects their marriage, it may be possible to claim for loss of companionship, care, affection and sexual relations. Unlike the other types of damages, it is the uninjured spouse who makes this claim, which is dependent on the success of the plaintiff's claim. (If the plaintiff does not recover any damages for his or her personal injury claim, the spouse will not be able to recover damages either).
If you have questions about a car accident claim, contact a specialist attorney today.