A car accident can be a life-changing experience – there’s no two ways about it. One moment, you’re going about your day while commuting in town or on the highway. But the next moment, you find yourself injured, without a means of transportation, and without a clear path towards recovery. All in all, a car accident and its aftermath are a burden you didn’t ask for.
The burden of a car accident almost always leads to numerous kinds of loss. You may have lost a great deal of money on resulting medical bills and vehicle repairs, for example. You may not be without a means of earning money, either, if your injuries have kept you out of your job for an extended period. You may have even experienced a decrease in your overall quality of life due to the ongoing suffering the accident caused you.
This undesirable status quo need not remain any longer, though. While you can’t go back in time and change what happened, you can work towards a better, more stable future by filing a claim against the other driver who caused the accident in question. There are numerous types of claims you can file against them, too, so you can always be certain that all of your losses and suffering are properly compensated.
This guide will help you understand the several kinds of claims you can make against another driver in the wake of a car accident. Using that information, you’ll be better able to plan out your litigation strategy for an upcoming compensation lawsuit.
What Can I Claim After a Car Accident?
You may not have much experience with this kind of strategizing, though, which is okay. That’s why you should also make plans to call the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky soon. Their team of skilled auto accident lawyers can answer your questions and help you understand the claims process going forward.
The first and most common type of claim you can file after a car accident is a claim for medical expense compensation. Due to their very nature, a car accident is likely to cause either driver or their passengers to be seriously injured after impact. Even in less severe accidents, chronic injuries can spring up due to the harsh impact.
Whether the associated injuries were severe or mild, they’ll still likely require some degree of medical care following the accident. As everyone knows, medical care in the United States is egregiously expensive. As such, even a short term of care could be more than your family can reasonably afford. In order to avoid financial ruin under the weight of unpaid medical bills, you may instead find seeking out medical expense compensation to be more amicable.
When considering how much to claim for medical expenses, remember that you can claim compensation for nearly aspect of your medical care post-accident. So, if you needed to be transported by ambulance, you can request compensation for the cost of that ambulance ride. If you ended up needed crutches or another form of medical device post-crash, you can request compensation for their cost, as well.
Depending on your circumstances, you may even be able to request compensation for a pre-existing condition that was worsened by this accident. For example, if you had joint problems that were severely inflamed by the accident’s impact, then you may be able to justifiably claim compensation for any new care they require. The same goes for pre-existing cognitive injuries, which are even more likely to be exacerbated by a crash’s hard impact.
Pain and Suffering
On the surface, many car accident victims assume that “pain and suffering” fit beneath the broader category of medical expense compensation. However, this kind of compensation claim stands on its own because of its pointed focus. Rather than covering the wrought financial burden of medical care, this kind of claim attempts to summarize the financial value of the pain associated with your injuries and any suffering they may cause in the long-term.
In most cases, a car accident victim like you can effectively summarize the pain of their experience, including both the time at which their injuries occurred and during the time they were being treated. However, a trained car accident lawyer will be able to help translated those experiences into a dollar amount. This amount can then further be supplemented by an estimation of future pain associated with on-going injury treatment or therapy.
Speaking of on-going experiences, this kind of compensation claim also attempts to evaluate how much you have “suffered” as a result of this accident. At a basic level, suffering that is worthy of compensation can include bodily suffering, such as chronic pain or a loss of mobility. But in a larger sense, it may also include the onset of new mental or emotional suffering, such as that caused by anxiety or depression.
Be aware, though, that not all states treat suffering-related compensation with an equal degree of scrutiny. That’s why it’s best to hire a local personal injury lawyer to help you determine what kinds of compensation claims are right for you.
In the wake of an accident, it’s not unlikely that you’ll need some time to physically and mentally recover. As a result, you may not be physically or mentally able to return to work immediately. If you have a kind and considerate employer, they may allow you extra time off to recuperate. Even if they do, it is likely that you won’t be paid for that extra medical leave.
However, in many cases, your employer will not be nearly so willing. In time, they may fire you because of how much time your recovery will require. In either case, you’re likely to lose out on your stable source of income while recuperating from your car accident. As such, you may make a claim for lost wages when taking an at-fault driver to court. In value, these claims can amount to the amount of money you would have made through regular service if the accident had not occurred in the first place.
Making a claim of this kind can be a bit trickier than others. That’s because several factors can play into the precise amount of compensation that may eventually be awarded to you. This includes your age, occupation, years of experience, and life expectancy. The court may also take into account your status within your family and allow “breadwinners” more deference when receiving this kind of compensation.
Whether a major or minor car accident, your personal vehicle is likely to walk away from the entire event worse for wear. At best, this might include some body damage that requires reshaping and a fresh coat of paint. At worst, though, your personal means of transportation may be totaled. In both situations, claiming compensation for these vehicle damages is entirely reasonable.
Claiming compensation of this kind isn’t always straightforward, however. That’s because your own personal car insurance may at first attempt to pay out to cover these costs. While this may be a more stream-lined process, it will very likely prevent you from obtaining any other compensation for your vehicle. It may also cause your future insurance premiums to rise. As such, seeking compensation from the other driver may be a more productive option in the end.
Personal Property Loses
While losing your vehicle may be a major personal expense for you, it likely isn’t the only cost you have tied to your car in the wake of an accident. If you were commuting to work, you likely had your personal or work laptop in tow. You may have also had your personal cell phone, as well as any number of personal items in the back seat or trunk. All of these items may have been broken or damaged in the crash, making them worthy of being compensated.
That being said, it may not be worth your time to attempt to itemize every personal item lost in your recent car accident. Instead, it may be more productive to focus on major item for which you can prove the original price you paid. Be aware, though, that some personal items may have depreciated in value since you purchased them. Your final compensation payout in this category will likely take that into account.
Hiring a Lawyer to Pursue Your Claim
You may have a lot on your mind in the wake of a car accident. Rightly so, as you should be focused on physically recuperating and getting back to your day-to-day life. But that may be hard to do while shouldering the burdens brought on by an accident of this kind. You deserve compensation for having to shoulder those burdens, including in all of the categories described above.
Of course, obtaining all of these types of compensation may be easier said than done. To get your best chance of succeeding in a compensation lawsuit, you’ll need to hire an experienced car accident attorney. For accident victims in the Philadelphia, PA, area, that means contacting the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky without delay. They can help you obtain the legal representation you need to fulfill your compensation goals.