Legal Services

Understanding Damages in a Car Accident

Auto collisions can have a wide variety of impacts on victims, and even witnesses. If you were impacted by the crash, you might have incurred damages to your vehicle or other property, physical or psychological injuries, and more. As the victim, you have the legal right to request monetary “damages for these consequences, so you do not have to foot the bill resolving an issue that you did not cause. To learn more about what damages you might be eligible to claim after your accident, see the information below.

What Are Car Accident Damages?

After a car accident, victims have the right to file a claim against the negligent driver who harmed them. This can take the form of an insurance claim or a legal claim (which can progress to a lawsuit). During the insurance and litigation process, the defendant (the negligent driver) is responsible for reimbursing the plaintiff (the victim) for any expenses they incurred as a result of the defendant’s actions. These expenses are referred to as “damages,”and can take the form of any of the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Mechanic’s bills or the estimate of the totaled vehicle from your insurer
  • Lost wages (for this, you must document your absent work hours)
  • Pain and suffering (collecting evaluations and other such documents from a psychiatrist is best for supporting your eligibility for this specific type of damage)

These represent only a handful of the damages you might receive in a vehicle accident. Other, more extreme types may include wrongful death if you lost a loved one in the incident, and in some cases, loss of consortium. For example, if you lost a limb, suffered paralysis, or endured other such permanent injuries, your personal life may be irreparably altered. You have the right to demand compensation for all these impacts on your life and wellbeing.

What to Do If You Have Incurred Damages in a Car Accident

Many victims are hesitant to file a legal claim in the aftermath of a car accident, due to the widespread assumption that the process will be debilitatingly expensive or far too much of a hassle. In reality, the more stressful alternative is to forgo the litigation process, as you may be unable to cover the costs on your own as they arise. It is difficult to estimate just how much the incident will cost you immediately after the crash, and it is quite common for bills to mount several months after the collision date.

For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that auto collisions resulted in an average total of $897 for each resident in the United States. More specifically, these totals are:

  • $34.9 billion for ongoing medical costs
  • $70.2 billion for lost wages
  • $76.2 billion for property damage
  • $594 billion for reduced quality of life

Don’t let yourself become another victim of the nation’s devastating car accident losses. Instead, work with a car accident lawyer to hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions and alleviate the financial burden for yourself. Your lawyer will walk you through the litigation process, ensuring that you receive the best possible settlement to restore your health and peace in the aftermath of the crash. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer today to start your case.