A car crash victim may need to deal with their physical injury/suffering as well as many other financial burdens. Victims may be able to recover many types of damages. These are usually divided into two main categories: economic damages (loss of your usual income, medical bills, etc.) and non-economic damages. Economic damages account for objective monetary loss while non-economic damages relate to more subjective harms such as pain and suffering. The categories are usually considered to determine your car crash injury value.
Calculating Car Crash Injury Value.
You are probably curious to know if there is a way to calculate the value of your injury so that you can decide what your next steps should be. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to calculate damages, and damages in each case depend on many different factors. Some insurers, negotiating with unrepresented individuals, will attempt to evaluate your claim based solely on your economic damages. Your case could be worth more than the simple out-of-pocket expenses.
Medical expenses are the hard costs that you (or your health insurance) have to pay in order to treat your injuries. In some cases, though, disputes can arise over the necessity of certain medical treatments. An insurer only needs to compensate a victim for treatments that are reasonable and necessary. If the victim suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing condition, this also may give rise to a dispute because it can be hard to separate treatment required by the accident from treatment that would have been required anyway because of the pre-existing condition. An insurer may respond skeptically to a claim in which the victim did not seek medical treatment soon after the accident but only reported the symptoms later. It is true that some injuries are not identified immediately, but the victim may need to work harder to establish the causation element of the claim. These are just a few ways in which an insurance company will try to diminish your car crash injury value.
Medical expenses can extend beyond the costs of treatment to prescriptions, mileage traveling to doctor’s appointments, medical devices, therapy appointments, and any similar costs associated with the accident. This category of damages also can cover the future costs of medical treatment, as long as they are reasonably ascertainable.
Sometimes a victim’s health insurance provider will initially cover the expenses related to injuries caused by a car accident. If the auto insurer’s liability is established, the health insurance provider may seek reimbursement from the auto insurer, which has the primary responsibility for covering these costs.
Lost Income and Ability to Earn Future Income.
You may be compensated for income lost due to automobile crashes. You will need clear documentation of your lost wages and evidence of any benefits that you may have missed out on due to the crash. It is better to keep up with these documents on the front end, rather than trying to get your evidence together all at once. People who are self-employed may need to provide tax documentation.
You may also be compensated for income that you would have the ability to earn into the future if not for this crash. This covers any permanent damage to you that hinders your ability to work and earn income. Even if you are able to work to some extent, you may be able to recover damages for lost earning capacity if you are forced to work in a lesser-paying position because of your injuries. You may need to retain an expert to explain the differences in your financial situation before and after the crash.
Pain and Suffering.
No two people will experience pain in the same way. The degree to which one person might experience the suffering of pain can be attributed to inoculation of past pain, injuries to other body parts that can produce pain, severity of past pain, etc. As such, the pain a victim endures can be very difficult to predict, as can the mental anguish they experience. Nonetheless, this type of injury can make up a significant portion of your car crash injury value.
Insurance companies generally assume that a serious injury that requires extensive medical treatment probably results in significant pain and suffering. Other injuries, such as broken bones, burns, torn muscles/cartilage, are widely known to be very painful. Permanent injuries are also widely accepted as producing more pain and suffering. On the other hand, soft tissue injuries and other less visible types of injuries may be much more painful to one victim than another. If a victim did not receive substantial medical treatment for them, an insurer may not place a high value on their pain and suffering.
These issues can be simple or quite complicated. However, even simple legal matters should have your full attention. If you have been involved in a car crash and are experiencing economic and non-economic damages like those described above, there may be legal causes of action for you to consider. At Mockingbird Law Group, we seek to provide modern and affordable legal solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Should you wish to speak with one of our attorneys about your auto-related injury or other legal needs, please do not hesitate to contact us to set up a free consultation.