Available Damages After a Car Collision
Car accidents cause more than inconveniences. These incidents may alter lives for the long-term. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle collision, you face physical and mental harm and possibly a severe hit to your finances. Getting compensation for these injuries takes the experience and skill of a car accident personal injury lawyer.
Read below the types of injuries and damages car accident victims may encounter and how you can prove and recover for these items.
The Types of Personal Injuries
With a car accident comes the prospect that you may experience one or multiple injuries. These include:
* Traumatic brain injury
* Cuts and lacerations
* Soft-tissue injuries such as bruises, sprains and bursitis
* Severe emotional distress
A car accident personal injury lawyer seeks can pursue for you compensation for the financial and other losses from an accident.
* Medical Expenses. These consist of bills for the ambulance or airlift trip, treatments in the emergency room and follow-up doctor visits, surgeries, prescriptions, rehabilitation, physical therapy and mental counseling. Your medical expenses include those you have already incurred and those that might arise in the future.
* Lost Wages. Time in the hospital and under the influence of pain and injuries translate to lost time from work. To arrive at lost wages, you multiply the days or hours missed by your daily or hourly wage or salary.
* Lost Earning Capacity. California law permits you to recover the earnings you could have received had the crash not occurred. Lost earning capacity turns on factors such as the nature of the injuries, evidence of your career pursuits, prior employment and education. You need not have a work history to qualify for lost earning capacity wages.
* Pain and Suffering. West Coast Trial Lawyers pursue pain and suffering as part of your non-economic damages from a car crash. Your pain and suffering include discomfort and mental anguish. A jury might base pain and suffering upon some dollar amount times the number of days you spent in pain. Another approach calls for multiplying your economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity) by some factor.
* Loss of Consortium. This type of claim recognizes the effects of a motor vehicle crash on your spouse. Loss of consortium allows your spouse to recover for the lost companionship, affection and services that you had provided prior to the crash.
What Causes These Personal Injuries?
You must show that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused your injuries and that the driver should have foreseen the injuries.
To that end, an auto injury attorney will examine the circumstances of the crash and the type of impacts you suffered. For example, hitting your head on a steering wheel or dashboard may cause a concussion. Whiplash may arise from a rear-end crash.
A Los Angeles accident attorney helps you rebuff the insurance company’s attempts to limit your damages because of pre-existing conditions. The fact that you have some prior or even current illness does not alone prevent recovery for your injuries. In fact, California law permits recovery for injuries even if your pre-existing condition make you more susceptible to the injuries than if you did not have the condition.
How to Prove Your Injuries
When you see an attorney like a Stone Rose Law personal injury lawyer, bring a list of the hospitals, physicians, therapists and other healthcare providers who have attended to you. The medical records of these providers help establish the nature, extent and cause of your injuries. Bills afford you a total of your past medical expenses.
For lost wages, you will rely on your tax returns, W-2 statements and pay stubs from your employer at the time of the crash. The opinions of vocational rehabilitation experts and physicians rating your disability become part of the proof of lost earning capacity. Your Tampa car accident lawyer (or elsewhere more relevant to you) will also want your educational transcript and prior work history to show the jobs you reasonably cannot hold because of the crash. They will take this evidence and put it against the reports of your injuries from a medical expert as well as the crash report to show that you have been unreasonably injured and are deserving of compensation.
With regard to non-economic damages, photographs and videos may illustrate recreational activities, vacations and daily household chores you can no longer undertake because of the crash. Family members and acquaintances likely have observed the chances in mood, behavior and activities.
What Actions to Take After a Car Accident
Seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, an examination might reveal conditions that require prompt medical treatment. You need medical services for your own health’s sake and to avoid arguments by the insurance defense lawyer that you failed to mitigate damages. The law requires that you take reasonable measures to reduce the level of injuries and damages. Your duty of mitigation includes following the reasonable advice and treatment prescribed by your physician.
As you are able after the crash:
* Contact a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or California Highway Patrol officer
* Obtain the other driver’s identity, license number and insurance information
* Take photographs or video of the vehicles involved
* Get statements from passengers, witnesses and bystanders
* Pull the crash report from the highway patrol or officer
Unless an ambulance takes you to the hospital for urgent emergency care, do not leave the scene of the crash. Doing so may deprive you of valuable evidence. It’s also against the law in California to leave the scene of a motor vehicle crash.
Showing the Cause of the Car Accident
The report, photographs, videos and statements of drivers and witnesses can help prove your injuries and that the defendant was at fault. To prove fault requires that you establish negligence by the driver. Instances of driver carelessness include:
* Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
* Running a stop sign or stop light
* Unsafe movements
* Failure to use turn signals
* Texting or using smartphone while driving
* Following too closely
* Not yielding the right of way
Contact a Los Angeles Accident Attorney
Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers today for more information and a consultation on how you can get compensation for your injuries from a car accident.