Once the initial shock of being in an auto accident wears off, there are serious practical matters to consider – from car repairs to medical bills that can pile up fast. Many motorists wonder early on whether they should go to court and if so, how much compensation they should expect. You may wonder when a settlement will come, and if it be enough to cover expenses. If you or a loved one find yourself facing these questions in the aftermath of an auto wreck, this article can help.
Different Compensation Types
While most people know they may be entitled to compensation after an accident, far fewer people know that there are various types of damages they may be owed. If you were injured due to the negligence of another driver, the main damages you can benefit from are:
- Property damages – compensation for damage to your car and personal property
- Lost wages – compensation for any money lost if you can’t work due to accident injuries
- Medical expenses – money to cover mounting bills for medical care related to accident injuries
Most drivers involved in an accident will tell you that damage is done to more than just your vehicle. There’s the emotional stress as well as other damage that is not immediately tangible but still impacts quality of life. These are sometimes called non-economic damages – damages that lack a set dollar amount. Things that fit into this category include:
- Pain and suffering – the physical and mental impacts of your accident
- Loss of “consortium” – a legal term that refers to loss of physical companionship
- Loss of enjoyment – the loss of ability to participate in and enjoy previous activities
Compensation for these non-economic damages can be tricky to calculate. A good car accident attorney will work with the other driver’s lawyers to estimate the impact and value of each factor and get you a settlement that feels fair.
How Much Will I Get?
The above is all good and well, but most motorists want to know a fixed dollar amount. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for an attorney to predict exactly how much you can get for your accident. Compensation after an accident can be influenced by the state you are in, whether you were the driver or a passenger and even the vehicle type. Perhaps most of all, it can depend on your attorney’s ability to negotiate with the other side so it’s key to get a car accident lawyer with lots of experience.