If you are involved in an automobile accident you are likely worried about any injuries to you and your passengers, missing time off from work, and getting your car repaired. The last thing on your mind is how you are going to identify and prove your personal injury damages but that is exactly what needs to be done in order for you to receive the financial reimbursement that you are owed. It is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to make sure that all of your damages are included before filing a claim.
Types of Auto Accident Damages
The following types of damages are common in most auto accident lawsuits, but an experienced car accident lawyer can review your case and decide what damages apply to your unique situation:
1. Medical Expenses: Even a seemingly minor car accident can result in serious injury including a concussion or broken bones. The most important thing to do after a car collision is to receive medical treatment to diagnose and treat your injuries and those of your passengers. The driver responsible for your auto accident is responsible for the payment of your medical treatment, hospital bills, medication, and even surgery.
2. Rehabilitation therapy: Many injuries require additional therapy or treatment including occupational therapy or physical therapy. A car accident lawyer can review all of your records to determine which expense must be reimbursed including the cost of any ongoing rehabilitation treatment that is appropriate for your injuries.
3. Lost income: It is necessary for many people to take time off from work after an auto accident ranging from a few days to a few weeks depending on the extent of the injuries. You can recover any lost income that resulted from the collision.
4. Punitive damages: Punitive damages are only allowed in some cases and you will need a car accident lawyer to review your case to decide if your case qualifies. If you are entitled to punitive damage after a car accident, you can only receive 3 times the amount of your economic damages.
5. Lawsuit Expenses: If you are unable to reach an agreement with the insurance company, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and to incur costs for a filing fee, expert witness fees, and other expenses. You are entitled to reimbursement for all such costs and expenses.
Proving Damages After a Car Accident
In order for you to receive compensation for any damages after a car crash, your car accident lawyer will need to provide proof, known as evidence, that you are entitled to the dollar amount that you are claiming. You will need to keep documents regarding all aspects of your injuries, recovery, lost income and other expenses. Information that will assist in proving your damages include:
- Medical: It is important to provide your attorney will copies of all of your bills from the hospital, doctors, specialists, labs and others on your medical treatment team. Your car accident lawyer will also need copies of any correspondence or other documents regarding your injuries and treatment as well as your overall prognosis.
- Rehabilitation: In addition to any medical bills, you will need to keep copies of any billing statements or documents concerning your rehabilitation including receipts from occupational therapy or physical therapy.
- Employment Records: If it was necessary for you to miss work, it is critical to obtain copies of your work attendance records or any other documents from your employer. Many people are not able to initially return to work on a full-time basis and documents concerning any accommodations or work schedule adjustments are also important.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
A skilled Chicago car accident lawyer can review your situation, determine what damages you are entitled to receive, and protect your rights under the law to help make sure you receive all of the compensation that you deserve.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, George S. Bellas of Bellas & Wachowski, for his insight into recoverable damages after an auto accident