Car Accident Injuries and Compensation
Those who have been hurt in a car accident have the right to seek monetary compensation for those injuries and the damages to their property.
Compensation for Your Losses in a Car Accident
You may have heard that people who are hurt in car accidents can “recover damages from the party who caused the accident.” Translated from legal speak, this means if you’re in an accident the law may protect you from having to pay for all of your medical bills from accident injuries out of your own wallet.
Lawyers call this “recovering damages” because while the medical bills are in your name, a court may find that another party may be the one who actually is responsible for taking care of some or all of them.
What can You be Compensated for?
The types of injuries you can be compensated for vary. Some are clear, such as a head injury, spinal cord injury or broken bones. But pain and suffering you deal with during or after an accident can also be something you receive compensation for.
Similarly, the damages you recover after an accident can be for medical bills that came from the actual accident itself, bills for any follow-up care and, depending on how severe the injury is, sometimes even bills in the future. This can range from rehabilitation to accommodations, for instance physical therapy or accessibility accommodations needed in your home after the accident.
It’s important to point out that just because you had an injury before the accident, that doesn’t automatically disqualify you from receiving compensation. An aggravation of a pre-existing injury can be treated and legally considered separate from the original injury.
Wages can also be part of the recovered damages. If you had to take unpaid time off work to get better after a car accident, a car accident lawyer may be able to help you recover the money you would have made.
But it’s not just clearly financial losses you can be compensated for. A court can rule the mental pain and suffering you experience after an accident means you should be compensated. The same goes for things like permanent impairment, disfigurement and the loss of enjoyment.
An injury can be significantly life altering. It’s a good idea immediately after an injury to keep a diary of your progress healing. Taking time to document each day how you feel emotionally and physically can be a great way to preserve evidence of the severity of your injury.
Do I have Rights if my Spouse was in a Car Accident?
If your spouse was in a car accident, even if you were not in the car, you still may have experienced a loss. In legal terms, we call that “loss of consortium,” which is a claim a family member like a spouse can make when someone they rely on has been injured or killed because of someone else’s actions.
The law understands that the marital relationship means that someone is able to enjoy the benefits of financial assistance, affection and companionship from another person. If your spouse is unable to provide these things to you because of a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Amount of Financial Recovery
The money you’re able to recover after a car accident can depend on several factors. These can be medical, related to insurance coverage of both you and the insurance coverage of both parties. The severity of the injury plays a big part — and how quickly you’re able to recover from that injury. Your income at the time of the injury also plays a role in compensation, since many accident victims try to recover lost wages.