Car accidents lead to substantial financial burdens for victims. However, if you file an accident claim with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer, you may recover monetary compensation for your medical bills, injuries, lost wages, property damage, and more.
Without the right knowledge, you may receive a relatively lower amount of damages than you would have recovered with a lawyer and the right information. Learn more about the types of damages you can collect in a car accident claim so that you can get the full compensation you deserve.
What Are Car Accident Damages?
The term “damages” refers to monetary compensation that victims can receive in a settlement or if they win a lawsuit. In other words, you can be awarded money to make up for the injuries and damage you and your car sustain in a car accident.
In general, there are two large categories of damages: economic and non-economic. Those two categories break down further into many types of damages that you may collect in a car accident claim.
Types of Damages You Can Collect After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Typically, damages are compensated on actual losses suffered. Here are the different types of car accident damages:
If the accident leads to damages to your personal property, you can claim for replacement or repairs. Usually, the most obvious of the different properties is the car itself. But other claims may include shoes, clothing, jewelry, and other items.
Bodily Injuries or Medical Expenses
Bodily injuries and medical expenses are a vital component of economic car accident damages. These include any cost that resulted from the accident and the estimated future medical care and treatment costs.
The compensation may cover the following:
- Ambulance costs
- Health facility stays
- Necessary in-home care
- Prosthetic devices
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Medical appointments
- Cognitive therapy
Loss of Consortium
If the accident left someone with a disabling condition that hinders them from enjoying normal relationship affection with their spouse, the partner would be eligible for a consortium loss claim.
However, they can only earn compensation if the victim succeeds on their personal injury claim since the consortium loss is derivative.
Loss of Wages
In many cases, car accident victims have to miss work due to their injuries and recovery process. Damages may be able to cover these lost wages that you missed out on due to your injuries.
If your loved one died in a car accident, you may be able to recoup the cost of the funeral, burial, and pain and suffering caused by losing your loved one. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue these specific car accident damages.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering that a car accident victim experiences form part of the intangible, non-economic damages. The law provides for recovery of the pain and suffering resulting from the accident, alongside the resultant injuries. One of the most challenging elements during personal injury settlement negotiations is figuring out the value of pain and suffering.
Typically, there’s no industry standard or procedure for computing these damages. Fortunately, working with a reliable car accident lawyer in Las Vegas could help you determine whether the insurance provider has proposed a fair award or you should appeal for something higher. You’re entitled to claim a higher amount if you feel that the provided compensation doesn’t match the suffering and pain you’ve endured to date.
What Do You Have to Prove to Collect Damages After a Car Accident?
Unfortunately, you are not automatically awarded damages after an accident. You must first prove that you are owed compensation for the damages sustained in the car accident. Although motor vehicle accident laws vary by state, in order to collect damages in most instances, you will have to prove that:
- The other party caused the car accident
- The accident caused your injuries
- You have expenses and losses as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident
To prove those three things, you will need to show evidence that supports your insurance claim. Evidence may include police reports, medical bills, and eyewitness testimonies.
How Much to Expect for Your Car Accident Settlement
Every car accident case is different, so every car accident settlement also varies drastically. Industry data may help give you an estimate, but you have to remember that each case is different. The Insurance Information Institute (III) says that the average car accident settlement for bodily harm was about $15,000, while the average for the car’s property damage was around $4,000 in 2018.
How to Estimate Your Car Crash Compensation
Estimating damages is not easy, especially for the pain and suffering damages. There is no standardized way to estimate damages, but there are popular ways to estimate how much the insurance company will offer you.
One method is called the multiplier method. To make your estimate, add up your medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages, and then multiply them by three to account for pain and suffering. Keep in mind that three is not always used as the multiplier in actual settlements.
To get a better estimate, talk to a car accident lawyer about your specific claim.
Laws Vary By State for Collecting Damages
How much you can expect in a car accident settlement also depends on what state you live in. Each state has its own laws for determining fault in an accident. Some states allow involved parties to share fault and require fault to be determined, while other states require insurance companies to compensate you for damages, regardless of if you were at fault or not.
For example, Nevada is an at-fault state with a modified comparative negligence clause, which means fault must be determined, and you are only entitled to compensation if you are deemed less than 50% responsible for the car accident.
To learn more about how much damages you may be able to collect in your car accident case, consider calling a skilled personal injury lawyer that will give you a free case review.
How to File a Claim After a Car Accident
There is a process you need to follow so that you can collect damages in a car accident claim. First, your attorney will thoroughly investigate your case while taking vital steps to make your claim credible and strong. The investigation may involve the following:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing the police report or medical records
- Accounting for the resultant economic damages
- Consulting with healthcare professionals
- Creating a practical legal strategy based on the facts in your case
Filing Your Claim
Unless you’ve had a solo vehicle accident and can take care of the resultant damages, it’s always necessary to file a claim after the incident. If you don’t do it and the other driver makes a claim, it could affect your capacity to get coverage.
You or your car accident attorney should make the call immediately after the accident and avoid mentioning anything that places you at fault. Filing your claim begins with contacting your insurer. Their contact details are on the insurance card information, most likely in your car’s glove compartment or online.
If possible, keep a detailed record of events. Essential details and documents include a police report copy, medical receipts and forms, and the other driver or witnesses’ names and contact details. Take pictures of the property damaged and physical injuries.
Negotiating a Settlement
You’ll likely receive a settlement offer before trial, either from the at-fault party or their insurance provider. Once the settlement offer gets to you, your car accident attorney will ensure your rights are protected by negotiating the terms that favor your interests. If the settlement is too low, the case may progress to trial.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with Your Accident Settlement
Working with a reputable car accident attorney can benefit in the following ways:
- Protecting you from early, unsubstantial settlements
- Preventing you from issuing statements that might damage your case
- Gathering necessary, sufficient evidence to prove your case
- Ascertaining fault in the incidence
- Compensation calculation
Let a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney in Nevada Maximize Your Compensation
If you were in a car accident, you need a personal injury attorney who’s compassionate, honest, and dedicated to your cause. We can help you fight for compensation for car accident injuries, lost wages, medical bills, loss of consortium, and more. Contact us to get the help you need.