What Kind of Damages Can I Get Compensation for After a Car Accident?
Car accidents are often nothing more than minor fender-benders. In far too many cases, however, they result in severe injuries that can result in a lifetime of debilitation. These types of accidents lead to incredibly large expenses, known as “damages” in legal terms. These include medical treatment, hospital stays, wages lost due to an inability to work, and many others.
The car accident attorneys with McEwen & Kestner know how to help injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve to recoup the damages they’ve experienced. We will keep you thoroughly informed through every step of your case, and we’ll be here to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to schedule a free review of your case, please use our online contact form or give us a call at 651-224-3833.
Here is some information on what types of damages car accident victims can often pursue through legal action.
These are tangible monetary losses suffered by an accident victim. In most cases, these damages are fairly easy to calculate. The following are a few examples.
Medical expenses will typically make up the lion’s share of damages in any car accident case. Not only do these expenses include the costs associated with a victim’s current plan of treatment, but also estimates of possible future medical-related expenses. Medical expense damages will typically include many of the following:
- Ambulance and hospital costs
- Doctor’s appointments
- Surgical procedures
- Physical therapy
Any attorney can easily prove medical-related costs. They basically only need the bills. But it can be a little more complicated to calculate how much medical treatment may cost in the future. Attorneys must be able to call in compelling, easy-to-understand medical experts. These experts will know the extent of a victim’s injuries, and will also be able to provide an accurate estimate of future medical expenses.
Past and Future Lost Wages
If you’re severely injured in an automobile accident, it’s highly probable that you won’t be able to work. There’s a very good chance you won’t be able to do so for quite a long time. Whether you’re unable to work for a few days or a few months (or longer), you have the right to pursue compensation for your lost wages.
When an accident victim’s injury is especially severe, they may also be able to pursue damages for wages they’ll lose in the future. These are covered in the next section.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Trying to determine future lost wages, or loss of earning capacity, is typically more difficult to prove. The reason is that an injury victim will usually recover at some point. As time goes by, they will typically get well enough to at least be able to work part-time, or possibly full-time in another position.
However, if someone’s disability is permanent, things can get even more complex. An attorney will have to take into account several different factors in order to get as accurate a picture as possible of how much money the victim will lose because they can’t work at all. This will often also entail the introduction of an expert witness.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate, because they’re not tangible. Most of the time, a jury will have to award these kinds of damages. The following are a few examples.
Pain and Suffering
Whether your car accident took place because the other vehicle’s brakes failed, the driver was distracted, or any other reason, you’re going to be in a great deal of pain – quite possibly for a long time to come. But you may also have to endure mental and emotional anguish as well. These are all components of pain and suffering.
But both of them are subjective. You can’t see pain with your eyes. A medical professional may be able to estimate the amount of pain that you’re in by observing your symptoms, but there’s no way to quantify what you’re experiencing. One person may be in so much pain they have to go to the ER. Someone else with the same injury might just need some over-the-counter pain medication.
A skilled attorney will clearly spell out the reasons why you deserve money for not only your physical pain, but your emotional pain as well. Accidents can often result in a victim losing their ability to enjoy the activities they once loved. That can result in a great deal of psychological damage, requiring the help of a professional. Your attorney will make sure your pain and suffering damages are accounted for when taking legal action on your behalf.
Permanent Disfigurement and Scarring
Not only can an accident resulting in disfigurement and scarring be incredibly painful from a physical perspective, it can also be horrible from a mental perspective. Someone who suffers disfigurement may not be able to enjoy the quality of life they once did. Your attorney will take this into consideration as well when demanding you receive full and fair compensation.
While rare, there are some cases where a jury will award punitive damages, which are meant to – as the name implies – punish the defendant for their negligence. The point is to punish them so severely that no one else will want to make the same mistake. As you might expect, punitive damages are often much, much higher than economic or non-economic damages.
McEwen & Kestner Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
The attorneys with McEwen & Kestner have a long track record of delivering positive results for our car accident clients. We’ll fight for your rights at every turn, shield you from the harassment of insurance company professionals, and do much, much more.
Our team can launch a detailed investigation into your wreck, uncovering the solid evidence needed to make your case as strong as possible. We’ll work to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf, but we’ll also be ready to go to court if that settlement offer is not forthcoming.