While many car accident victims assume they can only ask to be compensated for medical expenses and damage to their vehicle, there is actually a wide range of losses that can be recovered. One of the most critical factors for receiving maximum compensation is understanding the types of damages that are available.
According to Statista.com, the average private auto collision claim for physical damage in the U.S. was just $3,750 in 2019, but if you've suffered from any injuries, there may be many other types of compensation you can receive depending on the state in which you live. That often not only includes financial losses, but also emotional losses. It's crucial to contact a car accident attorney in St. Louis, MO, or the city you live in so you can find out which damages specifically apply to your case, with these being some of the most common.
Compensation for medical expenses doesn't just include emergency room bills. They can include any medical bill you receive due to the accident. For example, if physical therapy is required, all of those bills should be covered along with any follow-up appointments needed for a long-term care plan, medications, devices like crutches or a wheelchair, and care from all professional healthcare providers involved, including doctors, nurses, technicians, and therapists.
Pain and Suffering
Physical injuries often mean living with pain and discomfort. A monetary reward for this aims to provide fair compensation for having to live with it. The amount that can be claimed depends on the extent of those injuries. For example, if they are minor and you can recover from them relatively quickly, the amount may be about half of your medical damages. But for a severe injury that may affect you for a lifetime, it can be much more.
In addition to physical pain, a car accident can also cause significant emotional stress. It might include anxiety, fear, or post-traumatic stress disorder. There are many different ways one can suffer emotionally, from insomnia to depression. There's no mathematical formula for determining the exact amount, but a car accident lawyer can help you determine how to value any emotional distress suffered.
Loss of Income and Earning Capacity
Compensation for loss of income when you're unable to work due to injury caused by a car accident can be provided. This can include wages, bonuses, commissions, tips, and other earnings for all jobs you normally have as well as retirement contributions and benefits like PTO.
Lost earning capacity can also be recovered for and refers to what you're unable to earn in the future. If you're unable to work long-term or are forced to change careers due to the accident, it falls under this category.
Loss of Use
If the car accident has resulted in an involuntary change to your usual lifestyle, for example, you used to run or bike and can no longer do your favorite activity, it requires adjusting to a life with limitations. It may be due to the loss of a leg, an arm, or even vision. The category is meant to compensate for the things you can no longer take part in due to your injuries, something completely unique to the individual.