Being a victim of an accident can be painful and financially devastating. In addition to recovering your health, you also have to worry about how to pay your bills. If another party caused your accident and is found negligent, you may be eligible for financial damages.
Money an Accident Victim Can Recover
Personal injury laws define “damages” as the money that an accident victim may be awarded to pay them for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, emotional distress, car repairing related to their injuries.
People who suffer injuries in car and other accidents could be entitled to recover these damages. There are two types of damages Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages:
This refers to the money you lose or will lose in the future because of a car accident. It has a definite monetary value attached to it.
This refers to the money that you receive for your physical and emotional pain and suffering. It does not have a defined monetary value, even though money is used to compensate for the loss(es).
Some accident victims may also receive punitive damages intended to punish the at-fault party for extraordinarily reckless and dangerous actions.
Economic Damages Overview
Economic damages are the expenses you endure after an accident. These expenses are in documents and can be proven in your claim. They include the following:
- Medical equipment
- Medical bills and ongoing treatment
- Lost earnings and earnings in the future you will lose
- Vehicle repair
- Household services costs
- Transportation to doctors’ appointments
- Cost of future medical care
A severe injury can prevent you from working, making paying for medical bills impossible in some cases. Medical costs are one of the major reasons people file for bankruptcy. You may be able to avoid this financial hardship by having a personal injury attorney helping you with the insurance company.
Medical Expenses Details
One of the most important parts of recovering financial damages after an injury is a compensation for your medical expenses. Getting payment for medical bills is vital because medical care for serious injuries can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most people cannot afford these expenses and rely on a legal settlement to pay them.
You may be eligible for compensation for your initial treatments and also for expenses related to your rehabilitation and ongoing treatment for your injury. Some of the medical costs for which you could be eligible for compensation include:
- Medication needed to treat your accident injury symptoms, whether they are mental or physical
- Surgery, such as for the initial operation and revision surgeries, required
- Rehabilitation, including physical therapy and occupational therapy
- Medical devices including beds, crutches, wheelchair, or prosthetic limb
- Copays and related fees for your hospital stays and doctor visits
Medical bills can be incredibly daunting after an accident, but your priority should be on your medical recovery. One of the advantages of hiring a personal injury attorney is they can work out agreements with medical providers to delay billing for your treatments until a settlement is reached. Once that occurs, your attorney may negotiate with the medical providers to reduce the costs of their services.
Non-Economic Damages Overview
Non-economic damages happen after the accident. These damages affect the quality of your life. You can file a lawsuit to receive compensation for pain and suffering and mental anguish. Some of the non-economic damages you can receive may be for the following:
- Loss of bodily function, permanent loss of function
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent injury
These damages may be awarded to compensate you for your inability to perform vital life functions, such as care for your children, work, enjoy hobbies, dress, feed yourself, bathe, etc.
Some of the considerations for non-economic damages include your physical pain and discomfort, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and disability. The purpose of this compensation is to try to reimburse you for the loss of quality of life.