Being involved in a car accident comes with financial losses, from medical expenses to the costs involved in repairing the damaged vehicle.
But the good news is that any victim of a car accident is able to file a claim and recover damages and compensation from the at-fault party.
However, determining who should bear the financial responsibility may get a bit more complicated at times if the situation happens to be a three-way car accident.
What are Car Accident Damages?
In legal terms, “damages” refers to the monetary compensation given to the victims in a lawsuit or settlement. These are paid by the at-fault party to make up for the victim’s financial losses, whether due to injury, wrongful death, lost wages, or property damage, among others.
Damages That Can Be Collected After a Car Accident
In a car accident claim, there are two categories of damages that may be awarded to the victim: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include any monetary value that can be calculated based on actual loss. In a car accident claim, the types of economic damages that can be awarded include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
Medical Expenses or Bodily Injuries
Any injured victim of a car accident claim will need to seek medical treatment, the cost of which should be paid by the liable party.
The damages awarded for bodily injuries or medical treatment covers all injuries sustained due to the accident, as well as any future medical care and treatments required, including:
- Ambulance costs
- Hospital stays
- In-home care
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Medical appointments
Victims who suffer injuries after a crash may be unable to work during their treatment and recovery period. This results in lost wages and opportunities for career advancement. As such, the liable party should also compensate the victim for these losses.
Of course, the car crash also resulted in damage to the vehicle itself. In some cases, even personal property like gadgets, jewelry, clothing, or other possessions also incurs some sort of damage that requires repairs or replacements.
The victim may be able to claim the compensation they need to conduct such repairs or replacements from the liable party.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to financial burdens that are subjective and non-monetary, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.
Pain and Suffering
The victim of a car accident may also be awarded monetary compensation for the pain and suffering that results from the crash. Though this can be difficult to value, it usually involves things like depression or anxiety, fear of driving again, or other mental issues.
Loss of Consortium
The loss of consortium refers to the victim’s inability to enjoy the benefits of a family relationship, including affection and sexual relations with their spouse, due to the injuries sustained in an accident. This damage is awarded to the victim’s spouse or partner.
If the victim dies as a result of the car accident, their loved ones may be able to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. This allows them to recoup funeral and burial expenses, as well as be compensated for pain and suffering (even if the at-fault driver is also deceased).
What to Prove to Collect Damages After a Car Accident
All these damages are not awarded to the victim automatically after a car accident. They must be able to prove that they are entitled to financial compensation, which they can do by establishing the following:
- The other party caused the accident/ was at-fault
- The injuries sustained stemmed from the accident
- The accident resulted in expenses and financial loss
These can be proven by gathering evidence of the accident and injuries, including witness testimonies, medical bills, police reports, and photos of the accident scene.
Get What You’re Entitled To With the Help of a Car Accident Attorney
It may be difficult for a car accident victim to prove their damages and receive the compensation that they are entitled to — especially while trying to recover from their injuries. As such, they need the help of a car accident attorney in navigating the process and ensuring favorable results.
If you have been involved in a car accident and want to fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve, contact our lawyers today.