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Damages Available in a Car Accident Case
Generally speaking, a car accident will result in what is often referred to as a “personal injury” case. That means that the damages available in this type of accident are similar to other personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents or dog bites.
Car accidents are unique, however, because they often involve more serious injuries, property damage, and specific insurance policies and laws. Kansas, for example, uses no fault insurance for car accidents, which alters how those who are injured are compensated from an insurance perspective.
There are several broad categories of damages available after a car crash. Medical expenses are often the largest and most significant cost. For many, medical costs are the reason that they are considering filing a personal injury case. Other types of damages are also available, and their value or amount will vary depending on your unique situation.
Minor car accidents may result in minor injuries, but more serious accidents may require extensive treatment and long-term care. Injuries often vary wildly from cuts and bruises to permanent disability. The severity of your injuries will dictate how much your medical expenses may be.
Keep in mind that some injuries will not manifest for days or even weeks after the accident. It is important to seek a medical professional after an accident for a thorough exam. If symptoms arise later, check back with your doctor as soon as you can.
Pain and Suffering
Although your physical and mental pain and suffering are often associated with your medical expenses, these two categories of damages are not the same. Pain and suffering damages will award you a monetary amount for the actual discomfort and suffering that you went through because of the accident. Although money does not really help you get over the pain or deal with future problems, it is the only way that the law has to compensate you for this type of loss.
Pain and suffering damages are difficult to measure, but an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine what your suffering may be “worth” in terms of dollars by comparing your situation to other similar cases.
Lost Wages (Past and Future)
When you are in an accident, you often need some time to recover. This recovery period may mean that your doctor forbids you from working. Your doctor may even completely bar you from returning to your former line of work because of new physical or mental limitations. These losses can be substantial. You can recover an amount for any wages you lost while you were recovering as well as any future loss of earnings that is a direct result of the accident.
Loss of Affection, Companionship, Consortium
A car crash can affect more than just your physical and financial well-being. It can also affect your family members as well. Your family may suffer losses because of your injuries, especially if your injuries have resulted in a permanent condition. In those situations, your family members may be able to assert a claim for damages related to loss of your affection, guidance, and companionship. Loss of consortium is a specific term used by uninjured spouses to account for the loss of affection, including sexual activity, that they experience after the car crash.
This category of damages can be challenging, so it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss this potential claim. Call the Noland Law Firm, LLC at 816-656-2596 to set up a free consultation.