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What Damages Can I Collect for a Car Accident?

While you may drive safely and follow the rules of the road, you cannot account for other drivers’ actions. If you get into a car accident, you could suffer various damages and injuries. Worse, these problems could send shockwaves through your life, affecting your mental, physical and financial health. You deserve to seek compensation from the at-fault party, but what damages should you expect? Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is here to answer all your questions and protect your rights.

Compensatory Damages

Most damages in personal injury cases, like car accidents, are compensatory because they compensate you for suffering losses. When Massachusetts accident victims pursue negligent parties for damages, victims aim to make themselves financially whole as much as possible. So, you want to gather evidence that proves how much the accident and resulting injuries cost you. You may be able to pursue compensatory damages in a personal injury case.

Lost Wages

Depending on injury severity, you could take time off work to recover. Even if you have sick days or paid time off, you shouldn’t have to use them because of another’s negligence. For every day of work you miss, you lose more wages. You must also factor in the income you won’t have in the future, not just right now.

Suffering catastrophic injuries could cause a loss of earning capacity. Some accident victims cannot return to their regular job duties, which may affect their financial future negatively. For these damages, judges consider the victim’s occupation, age, experience, skill and life expectancy.

Medical Expenses

You could walk away from a motor vehicle accident with only minor cuts and bruises. If you suffer more serious harm, you could need medical help. Even if you have insurance, you shouldn’t have to pay your deductible or argue with your insurance company about covering certain treatments.

Examples of car accident medical expenses include the following:

  • Disfigurement
  • Mobility aids, such as walkers, canes and wheelchairs
  • Ambulance fees
  • Medical professional consultations
  • Cognitive/physical therapy
  • In-home health services

These expenses can spiral out of control quickly.

Because some injury symptoms do not appear until days or weeks after an incident, have a doctor look you over even if you feel fine. If you wait to receive treatment, you could affect your right to medical expenses damages.

Property Loss

You can receive compensation if you suffer a loss of property. Car accidents may damage vehicles, irreplaceable items and clothing. Property loss damages compensate you for your lost or damaged items’ reasonable value.

Pain and Suffering

You must consider the psychological harm suffered at the hands of another. Legally, pain and suffering are the emotional and mental anguish endured because of a personal injury. After the accident, you may experience post-traumatic stress disorder when you think about riding in another vehicle or getting behind the wheel again. Your injuries, loss of income, lifestyle change and prognosis could make you anxious or stressed.

Depending on the state, some personal injury victims include pain and suffering damages if they experience a general loss of enjoyment of life. Some states let the jury assume all bodily injury involves pain and suffering. Other states require a period of consciousness during the injury before allowing pain and suffering damages. Factors that determine these damages include pain severity, injury type and future pain prognosis.

Loss of Companionship or Affection

If you have a spouse, she or he could suffer at your side after a car accident. Your relationship may change beyond your control if you cannot show your spouse affection. Loss of consortium or affection damages compensate you as much as possible for the sudden shift in your shared lives.

Something unique about these damages is that, in some states, the unharmed spouse claims them. Even then, neither spouse benefits from the damages if the injured spouse does not win injury damages. Depending on the state, the court may consider the bond between parent and child when determining loss of consortium damages.

If the victim dies in a car accident, surviving relatives could claim loss of companionship and society damages. Several factors determine these unique damages:

  • The family’s living arrangement
  • The relationship the victim had with her or his family
  • The effect the victim’s death had on surviving relatives

Relatives and spouses do not deserve to become caught up in a motor vehicle accident’s aftermath.

Loss of Enjoyment

Some injuries keep victims from engaging in their favorite pastimes, passions, ambitions and activities. They could seek loss of enjoyment damages if they cannot partake in Massachusetts’ recreational activities, exercise or similar pursuits.

Punitive Damages

If the negligent party’s behavior shows extreme carelessness or harm, you could receive punitive damages along with your compensatory damages. The biggest difference between the two is punitive damages punish the responsible party and serve as a deterrent and warning. Compensatory damages make you whole. These damages may total in the tens of millions, so many states have punitive damages limits for personal injury cases.

Factors That Determine Damages Amount

No two personal injury cases are the same. Just as various factors affect the accident’s outcome, several factors determine damages amount. For instance, if you apologize at the scene of the accident, the other driver’s insurance carrier could allege that you bear fault. You could say the wrong thing while talking to the at-fault party’s insurance agent, which may harm your case.

Evidence could show that you bear partial blame for the accident. For example, maybe you did not have the right of way when you rolled through the intersection before the other driver plowed into you while looking down at a phone.

If your medical team diagnoses you with a permanent impairment or disability, you could qualify for future damages. You and your doctor, physical therapist and other medical professionals can work together to estimate these damages.

Contact Us Today

You cannot afford to take risks with personal injury damages, your rights or your financial or physical health. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers offers a Stone Cold Guarantee. That means we only get paid after you get paid. To schedule your consultation, call 800-577-5188 or submit an online form.

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