When you have experienced a car accident, there are several issues that you have to consider. Among these is having your car repaired and arranging for alternate transportation during that process. Most importantly, however, you will need to obtain appropriate medical care and treatment for any physical injuries and you will need to receive appropriate compensation for those injuries. By working with an attorney who is experienced in handling car accident cases, you can have the best opportunity to receive compensation that is fair and just for your particular case.
Liability and Damages
An important consideration in a car accident case is the degree of fault that the other driver(s) had in causing the accident. This is known as “liability”. In many cases, it is clear that one driver is entirely at fault in causing an accident and liability is not a disputed issue. However, in some accidents, the actions of more than one driver, including your own, may have contributed to causing the accident. Florida law applies the concept of “comparative negligence”, which allows a driver who contributed to the accident to recover damages for their own injuries, but reduces the amount of recovery by the percentage of fault apportioned to that driver. Therefore, even if the accident was partially your fault, you can still recover damages for your injuries. Determining apportionment of liability is a critical issue in a car accident case, and it is important for your attorney to perform appropriate investigation in order to obtain the evidence necessary to prove the liability of other drivers.
If you’re injured in a car accident, you may lose earnings from your employment or business if you are unable to work. This could result in severe financial hardship for you and your family. A person who is injured due to the fault of another is entitled to recover the amount of money that is lost from being unable to work. Even if you lost only some of your income for time away from work due to attending medical appointments related to your injuries, you are entitled to compensation for that amount.
Future Lost Earning Capacity
Not only are you entitled to recover the income that you have already lost, you are also entitled to recover money for income that you may lose in the future due to your injuries. For example, for someone who worked a manual labor job, future earnings may be in question if that person is now not able to perform that job anymore or if the only work available is a job that pays less money. In short, that person is entitled to recover money damages today if their capacity to earn money in the future has been reduced. Even for someone who is not employed at the time of injury, if their ability to earn money in the future over the course of their lifetime has been affected, they are entitled to compensation for that reduction of their ability to earn money.
One of the most prevalent types of damage that result from a car accident is the cost of medical treatment that a person incurs due to their injuries. Even if a person has health insurance, the out of pocket costs can still be financially devastating. Not only can an injured person recover a number of medical expenses that have already been incurred, but also the cost of medical expenses that will be incurred in the future. Depending on the severity of the injury, medical treatment may continue to be necessary for many years afterward. This is one of the primary reasons that many people make a claim — to ensure that they receive a sufficient amount of money so that they can afford to have medical treatment that they will need in the future.
The injuries caused by a car accident are not limited to physical injuries only. An injured person experiences pain and can often experience emotional difficulties and stress or anxiety due to their injury. Money damages can be recovered to compensate for these damages even though they have not resulted in any financial expense. These damages are known as “non-economic damages”. Depending on the facts of the case, money for non-economic damages experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future can be a very substantial component of a person’s overall recovery. While money for these damages won’t take the suffering away, it may allow an injured person to get help for that suffering and have fewer financial worries about doing so.
Loss of Affection/Consortium
Unfortunately, when a person is injured in an accident it is often not only the injured person who suffers. The physical injuries of the injured person and the resulting emotional consequences can affect their relationship with their spouse or children, or in the case of injuries to a child, their parents. Often times, the injured person may not be able to make the same contributions to the tasks involved in running the daily activities of the household, such as chores or shopping, and those tasks have to be performed by other members of the household. However, the effects of the family relationship can be much more severe where the family members feel that they have lost the love, support, and affection of the injured person that they experience before the injury. A spouse can also experience a loss of intimacy in the marital relationship due to the injuries to their husband or wife. Family members can recover money damages for their losses that they experience when their loved one is injured.
With car accidents, injuries can be severe and the effects of those injuries can sometimes last a lifetime. It’s unfortunate that this happens to people. While not everyone realizes the extent of the damage that can be caused, there is far more to the equation than just payments for any physical injuries that occurred. With the right attorney on your side, you can get the compensation you deserve and are entitled to, under the law due to the injuries you or a loved one has sustained.