The main reasons behind car accidents are a violation of traffic laws, driving under the influence, or distracted driving. Even if you are cautious, road safety cannot be guaranteed. Car accidents can happen anytime. If you are injured in an accident that was not caused by you, then you are entitled to compensation from the insurer of the person who was at fault. However, you cannot trust the insurer to pay you fair compensation. Insurers look out for their own interest and it is likely that they would offer you much less than you deserve.
That is why you need to have a clear and concise idea regarding how much you deserve as damages when you have been injured in a car accident.
Determining the compensation
There is no thumb rule to determine exactly how much is owed to you as compensation. Every case is individualistic as the circumstances of the accident and the injuries sustained differ from one person to the next.
While there is no exact formula to calculate damages, you can still tentatively arrive at a ballpark figure by factoring in the extent of your injures, loss of income, emotional trauma, disruption of lifestyle, cost of treatment, etc.
What is your injury worth?
If you were involved in a car accident, you are sure to have been injured. Whether your injury is minor or significant, there will be losses. These losses are called damages in the legal parlance. Your losses will have a say in how much compensation you deserve.
There are 2 categories of losses or damages-
- Special damages
Also known as economic damages, they refer to how much money you lost as a result of the car accident. This is quantifiable damage and includes medical bills, cost of therapy, loss of income, etc.
- General damages
These are non-tangible losses and are non-economic in nature. But these losses can have a wide-ranging effect on your life. They include PTSD. Emotional distress, changes in your lifestyle, etc.
How to calculate special damages
Make a list of all the special damages that you have sustained. Then add the figures to arrive at an approximation of how much should be paid to you as compensation for special damages.
Damages will include an actual amount in dollars-
- Loss of wages in the aftermath of the accident
- Possibility of wage loss in the future (if your injury makes it impossible to go back to work)
- Medical bills (fees of all medical professionals- paramedics, nurses, doctors, cost of surgery, medication, medical procedure, diagnostic tests, imaging tests such as MRI, CT scan, physiotherapy, etc)
- Psychological therapy for PTSD or stress
- Out-of-pocket expenses for transportation and assistive devices like crutches.
- Damaged or lost personal belongings
- Replacement costs, for childcare, gardening, housekeeping, etc because you were too unwell to carry out these tasks
Medical bills form the bulk of the amount owed to you for special damages. Make sure you have valid copies of all your medical documents. Include the full amounts even if some of it was covered by your health insurance policy.
Special damages will also include the cost of repairing your car.
Calculating general damages
General damages are not quantifiable, which is what makes putting a figure on them quite challenging. What you have suffered cannot be measured. Besides, the emotional impact a car accident has on the psyche differs from one victim to the other.
Some people develop PTSD, while others don’t. Some people experience depression while others may go through anxiety attacks. In some cases, emotional trauma slows down physical recovery.
If the accident causes catastrophic injuries like paralysis, brain damage, or loss of limbs, then the psychological trauma would be unimaginable.
General damages include-
- Emotional turmoil
- Anxiety and PTSD
- Disruption of regular routine
High-value compensation is procured in cases when there are-
- Long-term or permanent injuries
- Extreme psychological stress
Only you and your loved ones understand the full extent of your anguish and the best way to procure compensation for general damages is by conveying your suffering to a personal injury lawyer who will build a case for you.
It is difficult for an individual to calculate damages accurately as it is quite possible that he/she would miss some vital grounds for seeking redress. That is why consulting personal injury lawyers are recommended. Other factors such as the part of your body that was injured or the nature of the injury too might affect how much compensation you deserve. Experienced lawyers can come up with a course of action, gather evidence, and calculate damages using the multiplier method.
At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers.. we connect you with have over 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and have helped clients recover the maximum compensation in claim settlements. Our initial consultation is absolutely free and you don’t pay your lawyer until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org