Personal Injury Lawyers
When someone sustains a personal injury in an incident such as a car accident or a slip and fall, they have a legal claim for damages. “Damages” is a broad term that means compensation for injuries or other losses.
Personal Injury Damage Categories
As the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C. explain, there are several categories of damages to which you may be entitled if you are injured in a rear-end accident or other type of motor vehicle collision as a result of another driver’s negligence. For one, you will be owed compensation for the medical bills you incur as a result of the car accident. You may, for example, need to take an ambulance ride to the emergency room, undergo imaging such as x-rays or MRIs, or complete a course of physical therapy. If your injuries include broken bones, you may require surgery and visits with specialists. The bills from this medical treatment constitute “special damages” which you are entitled to recover.
Depending on the severity of your injury, your doctor may recommend that you take some time off of work. You will then have a claim for lost wages against the negligent party. This is true even if your lost time is covered by sick time or some other medical leave.
Compensation for Permanent Injury
Thankfully, many people who sustain personal injuries eventually make a full recovery: that is, they return to their previous level of health. However, some injured folks do not. They may have permanent limitations as a result of the accident such as a limp, decrease in strength or flexibility, or even permanent scarring (unfortunately often the case with dog bite injuries). If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for permanent injuries you sustain. Permanent injury or impairment is a type of “non-economic” damage. That means you cannot quantify it based on a financial charge or invoice.
Pain and Suffering
“Pain and suffering” is another category of non-economic damages and a major part of most personal injury claims. Pain and suffering damages cover the physical and emotional distress that a person endures because of the physical injuries they have suffered. For example, if you sustain a concussion in a car accident, the physical injury to your head and brain may cause you substantial pain and suffering. You may have physical symptoms like throbbing headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision, and you may have other side effects like inability to concentrate, mood swings, and other emotional distress. The more serious your physical injury, and the longer the length of treatment, the higher a mental toll said injury can take. It can be overwhelmingly exhausting and frustrating to go through a lengthy, painful, and difficult rehabilitation process.
“Pain and suffering” damages can help compensate you for these difficult experiences. There is no formula or calculation that can exactly measure your pain and suffering. A jury would ultimately be responsible for weighing your testimony and evidence and putting a value on your pain and suffering.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help present your damages to an insurance company in the most effective way possible. Legal representation is especially important for difficult-to-quantify damages like pain and suffering. The attorney will be able to explain to an insurance adjuster why your story is compelling and why a jury would award you a significant personal injury verdict. This hopefully will lead to the best settlement possible without having to go to court.
The importance of legal trustworthy and experienced representation after sustaining an injury cannot be understated. Contact a lawyer in your area that specializes in personal injury to discuss your situation and to learn about potential paths for legal action.