The damages you can collect for a car accident will depend on the specifics of your case and the losses you suffered. It might also depend on the other party’s level of negligence.
Types of Damages in Car Accidents
The following types of damages are common in personal injury cases following car accidents. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and you could pursue financial recovery for practically any cost you incurred that relates to the accident.
One of the damages that is the easiest to calculate is your medical bills. These can include compensation for expenses such as:
- Surgery costs
- Hospitalization costs
- Ambulance rides
- Rides to and from the hospital
- Doctor’s visits
- Medical device costs
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Therapy or rehabilitation bills
- At-home care costs
The more extensive the injuries you suffered after your car accident, the heftier your medical bills will become. You can typically recover the costs associated with your physical recovery in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If your injuries following the accident prevented you from working, you could recover the wages and bonuses you could have earned, or the promotions you could have received.
Sometimes, car accidents leave victims permanently disabled and unable to work in the same job as before, or unable to work at all. You can also receive an award to account for this change in your employment and reduced earning capacity if you had to take a lower-paying job.
Another economic loss that is relatively easy to calculate is property damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average claim for property damage in 2018 was more than $3,800.
If you had to repair your car, you might recover compensation to cover the bills. If the insurance company declared your vehicle a total loss, you might qualify for compensation to replace your vehicle.
If you could not drive your car following the accident, and you used public transportation, taxis, or ridesharing companies as a result, you might be able to recover compensation for those expenses as well.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is noneconomic damage you might be entitled to receive in a personal injury lawsuit.
Pain and suffering damages can include compensation for the following:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
This list is not exhaustive, and pain and suffering can account for basically any way that your injuries negatively impact your life.
Funeral and Burial Costs
If a loved one died in a car accident, you might be able to recover damages from a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death suit, you could recover any of the expenses listed above that apply to your case, along with any expenses related to your loved one’s passing, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Loss of financial and emotional support
- Loss of guidance
- Lost income or saving capacity
If the at-fault party in the car accident was grossly negligent, the judge might award you punitive damages. These are additional damages meant to punish the negligent party in extreme cases and prevent the negligent party and others from acting recklessly in the future.
There could be caps placed on punitive damages in your state. A car accident lawyer can explain these caps should they apply to your case.
How to Collect Damages for a Car Accident
To collect damages in a car accident, you generally have to prove the following:
- The other party owed you a duty of care.
- The other party breached their duty of care.
- The other party’s breach caused the accident.
- The accident caused your injuries and financial losses.
If you can prove these points, you can show that the other party was negligent. A personal injury attorney can help you with this process by collecting all the necessary evidence in your case, including evidence to evaluate your damages such as:
- Police reports
- Medical bills
- Pay stubs
- Repair bills
- Family testimony
- Employer testimony
- Eyewitness testimony
A lawyer can build your case for justice and compensation. They can negotiate with insurance companies to recover a fair settlement for your injuries, and if settlement talks fail to result in a fair offer, take your case to court.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Today
While you do not need a lawyer to recover an award for your car accident, it might help to have someone on your side and no one else’s.
You do not have to go through the legal process alone. A car accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can determine what damages you can recover from your claim. We also work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only take our payment if we secure a settlement or judgment for you.
Call a member of the Ben Crump Law, PLLC, team today at (800) 949-1444 for your free no-obligation case evaluation.