Car Accident Aftermath
Accidents happen. But, most of them come from somebody’s negligence. That might be a “he said, she said” argument, but when someone gets hurt, it becomes a costly and possible nasty situation. A car accident can ruin your day. Even a fender-bender or rear-end bump raises your blood temperature and temper.
When the accident produces significant body damage to the vehicles, you have a battle with the insurance company ahead. And when it means bodily damage to you, to your passengers, or people in the other car, the problems multiply.
The vehicle repair bills roll in. But, more important, you need compensation for medical bills, therapy, lost time at work, and more. All this happens in a climate where everyone has their own interests at heart.
What’s at stake?
Writing for Nolo, David Goguen, J.D. points out that any injured party has rights to compensatory damages, financial compensation for the damages to mind, body, and emotions.
The law seeks to make the injured parties “whole” again, that is, restored as best as possible to the original financial state. For example, damages to vehicles are fairly easily taken care of by insurance where it is in force. Damages to people are less easily determined, valued, and recompensed.
Consider the possible issues. The value of lost property in terms of vehicle damage, clothing, and possessions are reimbursed. But, there is the medical treatment of injuries sustained in the accident and the estimated costs for future medical care.
Injured parties may be eligible for compensation for lost wages. This means wages lost due to recovery and wages lost into the future Earning Capacity.
When things get complicated
Determining the value of other losses becomes difficult. As the lawyers at Spencer Callahan say, “While the cause determines who is liable for your damages, your injuries will be the most influential factor in determining the monetary value of those damages. Your Baton Rouge car accident lawyer will work with you to evaluate the full impact of your injury.”
For instance, putting a price on Pain and Suffering takes one of the several approaches according to the DMV.org. The Multiplier Calculator multiplies the medical bills total by a number (1-5) depending on the degree of pain. A Per Diem Method multiplies the cost of a given day of pain and suffering times the number of days at issue. Or, the court agrees on an estimation of general costs.
Some injured parties claim Emotional Distress for the psychological aftermath. This might include anxiety, fear, and loss of sleep. It might also include Loss of Enjoyment, the cost of missing hobbies and recreational pleasures. And, there is always the possibility of Loss of Consortium, an estimated cost of disability, loss of spousal, sexual, and/or familial relationships.
There is always the risk of Punitive Damages, sizable financial awards meant to punish parties who are found liable for particularly outrageously careless conduct.
Why you need the car accident attorney
There are three strong signs you need to call your car accident attorney. First, in most cases limited to property damage between involved vehicles, you can resolve your problems through the insurance companies, even if one of the drivers is uninsured or underinsured. But, you should call your lawyer when you are uncomfortable or unhappy with the insurance company’s process or results.
Second, where there are minor personal injury expenses under $1,000, again, you can probably negotiate fair and fast compensation through the insurance company. It’s not in their interest to prolong such settlements. But, if complications follow or you are not satisfied with the insurance company decision, you should contact your car accident attorney.
Third, if the accident causes major personal injuries for you, your passengers, or people in the other vehicles, you need the attorney soon. The lawyer needs early notice to get ahead of the plaintiff’s argument.
Your case will not get better with age.