One of the most important aspects of a car accident lawsuit is the value of your case. How much are you supposed to get as compensation? How do you determine the amount? What will the court consider before awarding a settlement amount? When you file an accident suit, these are the damages you will be seeking to recover, which by extension determine the value of your case.
• Medical bills
• Lost income
• Loss of normal life
• Pain and suffering
When a reckless motorist hits you, he or she should settle your medical expenses. While this is straightforward, there are incidents when disagreements can arise. For instance, an elderly man is making his way across the street. A motorist is reading an email and by the time he or she sees the man, it’s already too late. In a bid to reduce the impact, the driver steps on the breaks, and the man sustains minor bruises from the collision. However, the man suffers a heart attack due to panic.
The question then becomes, is the driver supposed to pay for the medical expenses incurred because of the heart attack? While most pedestrians would have left the scene unharmed and without a heart attack, most courts would rule the driver pays for the old man’s medical expense, despite that fact that most people wouldn’t have required treatment.
Just like medical bills, these are general damages in a car accident injury claim. The at-fault driver has to pay any lost income as a result of the accident to the pedestrian. Lost wages may vary from one pedestrian to the other depending on pedestrian’s type of work and level of income. For instance, it may take longer for a construction worker to resume his normal working schedule compared to a secretary who works at a desk. Note that the driver will pay the lost income even when it’s higher than the average wage.
Loss of Normal Life
Picture this; a father of three is hit by a speeding car, sustains serious injuries and as a result, he becomes physically challenged. The father was a biking enthusiast and played basketball during his free time. In fact, he engaged in these activities with his family but due to the accident, he can no longer do so. In other words, the father can no longer enjoy “normal life” as he used to before the collision. What does the law say about such an occurrence?
The father can sue for loss of enjoyment or loss of normal life damages. But, the value of the lawsuit will depend on the extent to which the injuries have interfered with the father’s ability to carry on with a “normal life.” Ultimately, the jury will decide on the settlement amount.
Pain and Suffering
Determining the monetary value of pain and suffering caused by injuries as a result of a car accident is not only contentious but also complicated. What is the value, for instance, of 2 years of chronic back pain? Could it be one hundred thousand dollars? Or is it one million dollars?
While there is no definite answer to these questions, the jury will come up with a value nonetheless. The court will factor in other aspects of the case such as medical expenses and lost income to determine the value of pain and suffering.
Contact a Lawyer
Determining the value of damages in a car accident injury accident is a complicated process. To make sure that you get a compensation amount that is equivalent to your damages be sure to contact an experienced personal lawyer in your area before filing a lawsuit. Consultation with a personal injury attorney is typically free.