There is not just one type of injury that can be covered as a result of a car accident. Traumatic brain injuries to minor scrapes and cuts, can result from car accidents and justify compensation from the defendant’s insurance company. Many people speak to their attorneys about the nature of the injuries and present them with official medical records as well so that the attorneys may make a decision about the types of damages to seek on your behalf. Make sure to discuss your medical treatment and supporting evidence.
Sources of Compensation in Car Accident Cases
An insurance company is one source of compensation in an auto accident. However, insurance policies have coverage limits. The priority of an insurance company is to manage your claim and to minimize their costs. As a result, they will not usually pursue other sources of compensation for damages. That could include denying your claim if conditions of the accident give them a cause to do so. You cannot depend on the insurance company to protect your interests. In California, one in every three drivers is uninsured. In an accident with an uninsured motorist, be certain that your insurance includes that coverage.
Most individuals involved in a car crash do not understand that they may have other sources of compensation beyond insurance. Here are some examples of other parties that might be responsible for compensation in your accident.
- Uninsured motorists. You may have additional sources of compensation buried within other terms of your insurance policy or insurance policies of you passengers.
- The owner of the vehicle. Owners might include parents of someone under the age of 18 or a business.
- Employer or business owner. A company or business could have liability if a person is driving a company car or conducting company business. This responsibility can extend to parent companies of the business owner.
- Government agencies. Different local, state and Federal agencies maintain and improve roads and highways. When these agencies have failed to design and maintain safe roads or have proper traffic controls, they may have liability for accidents that occur because of these conditions.
- Auto manufacturers. Everyone is familiar with the spectacular examples of unsafe design and accidents caused by errors or flaws in car design or manufacturing. However, even relatively minor car problems can cause accidents in the right circumstances.
It is often necessary to identify some of these alternative sources of compensation after an accident so you can be fully compensated for injuries and property damage. Claims involving these other parties require knowledge and research. They can quickly become complicated and time-consuming. Insurance companies will seldom pursue them. Reliable personal injury lawyers like Jacoby and Meyers know these sources and have experience with similar claims. They also have investigators who know how to research the specific aspects of the accident and the claim.
Damages and Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a Car Accident
The types of monetary compensation an injured victim plaintiff can receive from a personal injury car accident lawsuit include long term medical care, immediate costs, loss of income and lost wages as well as punitive damages which are awarded in cases of extreme misconduct and wrongdoing. These are the types of treatment and medical care that can potentially be recovered from your lawsuit settlement with the liable party:
- hospital bills, x-rays, MRIs, emergency room visit, ambulance transportation
- physical therapy and rehabilitation
- surgery and pain management specialist
- outpatient surgical facility
- loss of income from your inability to go back to work because of your injuries
- loss of future income if permanent injury resulted
- loss of consortium- support and ability to be a companion for your spouse as a result of your injuries
These calculations can become quite complicated, and if you were injured in an automobile or other type of injury causing accident, you should hire a lawyer to represent your claims and interests against the defendant and his or her insurance company.
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Reduced earning capacity because of long-term injury or disability. Car collisions can cause permanent or long-term injuries or disabilities. These, in turn, can reduce a person’s earning capacity. When a person’s ability to earn an income is affected for an indefinite or permanent period, the lost wages and costs of retraining or education can be part of compensation. Again, a reliable auto accident attorney like Jacoby & Meyers has access to economic experts who can put a cost on those long-term injuries or disabilities. With this information, the attorney can ask for and win compensation for these costs.
- Lifestyle Changes. Sometimes a vehicle accident causes permanent changes in a person’s ability to follow the lifestyle he or she had before the accident. In those cases, a person may be eligible for compensation because of these changed circumstances.
- Life Care. In catastrophic accidents, a person’s health and physical situation are so changed that he or she requires medical care or assistance for life. When this permanent situation can be demonstrated, the settlement of a claim for an accident can provide the resources to care for the person for the rest of his or her life.
- Punitive damages. Such damages are rarely awarded in car accident cases. However, depending on the particular circumstances and facts of your case, your claim may warrant and qualify for the issuance of such damages making your settlement much higher.
An experienced car accident attorney firm like Jacoby & Meyers can determine when punitive damages are appropriate and build the legal case on your behalf for awarding them.