What Damages Can I Claim After a Car Accident?
By Chris Dixon
In 2013, the average auto liability claim for property damage was $3,231; the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $15,443. Primary types of damages that can be claimed after an accident are economic and non-economic. Damages vary from case to case and it can be confusing to know which damages apply to your car accident and to what degree. Speaking with a car accident lawyer about your case can make this decision easier.
How are Economic Damages Decided After a Car Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, economic damage is damage that is done to vehicles or any personal property located inside of the vehicles at the time of the accident. It’s important to document property damage at the scene of the accident to preserve even the most minute details. The next step that should be taken is to see a physician. If you were injured at all in the car accident, you can claim medical damages but you will need to see a physician. A physician will treat your injuries and file an official medical report that includes your injuries, the severity of your injuries and recommended treatment. After obtaining a copy of your medical report, medical expenses that can be claimed after your car accident include:
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital bills
- Doctor appointments
- Physical or psychiatric therapy
- Medical accessories required for treatment
- Cost of medicine
If you have had to miss work at all because of the car accident, you can include these lost wages in your damages claim. Even if you’ve only missed a week of work because of your injuries from the accident, it is important to include lost wages in your claim. The amount that you can recover can be deduced by looking at your recent wages at your job and calculating lost income.
Non-Economic Damages from a Car Accident
Car accidents can be traumatic and leave lasting mental side effects. If you have had to seek out help due to severe physical or mental distress, or your partner has sensed a loss of affection in your relationship since the accident, these are both non-economic damages that can be claimed. To claim mental or physical distress after a car accident you need proof of pain and suffering. Loss of affection is something that can only be claimed by the spouse of someone who is injured. Also known as ‘loss of consortium’, this includes changes in intimacy or affection that have occurred in your relationship with your spouse since the accident. Keep in mind, loss of affection can only be claimed if there are physical injuries that accompany it.
I Can’t Afford to Hire a Lawyer for My Accident, What are My Options?
Legal counsel is available to even those who think that they might not be able to afford it. While some lawyers operate on an hourly rate, other car accident attorneys utilize a contingency plan. Contingency plans make it easier for victims to afford legal representation when they cannot pay upfront legal fees. Clients will only have to pay for legal services if the attorney successfully wins damages for their case. If damages are won, the lawyer will get a certain percentage of the money awarded. If a contingency plan is not used by a lawyer you’re interested in speaking with about your case, a payment arrangement is often possible. Bottom line, always call a lawyer if you’ve been in a car accident even if you think that you cannot afford it.
Ready to Speak with a Lawyer About Your Car Accident Claim?
Navigating how to fight for your car accident claim after an accident can be exhausting. Car accidents can already be draining, both mentally and physically, so hiring a lawyer to handle your case can make the process hassle-free. Your lawyer will handle talking to the insurance company for you, keep you updated about your case and have your best interests at heart when fighting for your case. Your local car accident lawyer wants to see your case win and make sure that you receive the most in damages for your suffering. To connect with a car accident lawyer today, contact the Dixon Injury Firm and see how they can win damages for your car accident case.