Injuries to Body and Mind
Understanding the Damages and Losses from Auto Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or truck wreck, there are several terms and ideas you should be aware of as you seek fair compensation for your losses. They include:
- Money. Nobody can turn back time and prevent an accident. Payment for your pain, suffering, and financial losses is the only way to address them.
- Case valuation. Every case has an amount that the injured party asks for to cover their losses. This amount is referred to as the “damages.” We work with you to come up with a full and fair case valuation. Insurance. While juries in auto accident cases never hear the word “insurance,” an at-fault driver’s insurer is who pays the compensation awarded.
- Insurance claims. The first step we take in pursuing compensation for you is to prepare and submit what’s called a claims demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In the case of an uninsured motorist, your insurance policy likely has provisions for covering your losses.
- Offers. When assessing a claim, insurance adjusters are constrained by their company’s payment guidelines. Consequently, they may offer to settle a claim for far less than its worth. In other words, the cost to you as the victim (including medical expenses, time away from work, etc.) might be $250,000, but the at-fault party’s insurer offers you $50,000. That’s why having an attorney generate a case valuation for you is so important.
- Trial. If an insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for your losses, a trial may be the only way to obtain the full measure of damages you deserve. Our firm doesn’t hesitate to go to trial if that’s what’s required to “make you whole” following an auto accident.
Types of Damages in Car Crashes and Truck Wrecks
Whether you’ve been the victim of a car crash or truck wreck, there are several types of damages that must be considered. They can be categorized as follows:
Economic damages• Past wage loss
• Future wage loss
• Past medical expenses
• Future medical expenses
Non-Economic damages• Past pain and suffering
• Future pain and suffering
• Past loss of enjoyment of life
• Future \loss of enjoyment of life
• Temporary physical impairment
• Permanent physical impairment
• Emotional distress
It’s vital to understand that your losses can potentially go far beyond your medical expenses. You can and should be compensated for everything you’ve gone through due to the at-fault driver’s actions.
Crucial Considerations for Physical Injuries
If you don’t suffer visible physical injuries (cuts, broken bones, etc.) in an accident, it’s common to say to first responders, “I’m fine.” However, there are several reasons it can be hard to know the full extent of your injuries initially.
For example, people understandably want to get away from an accident site or the hospital if they’ve been transported there and get back to the comfort and safety of their home. That desire can cause you to underestimate the physical toll an accident has had on you.
Also, it’s natural for adrenaline to spike in an emergency, and that rush of energy can cause you to overlook an injury that might be quite painful and obvious in a less stressful situation. And, of course, damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even your brain may not be apparent until later, when swelling and pain worsen significantly.
In addition, healthcare providers are trained to assess a patient’s current condition. If you don’t have any lacerations or broken bones and aren’t reporting any pain that might be associated with other injuries, they may give you a “clean bill of health” when that’s far from true.
What’s more, it’s natural to do what’s called “guarding” of an injury. That means without thinking about it, you change the way you move a body part (your injured shoulder, for example) to prevent it from hurting. And finally, it’s common for injuries that have started healing to flare up periodically.
Ultimately, whether you suffer whiplash, a sprain or strain, a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or any injury, you deserve compensation. And that’s true whether the symptoms are immediately apparent or don’t surface until later.
Our firm can provide guidance on how to proceed following an accident. That includes getting a thorough medical exam from a provider who understands what you’ve been through and knows that auto accident injuries can be hard to detect.
A Personal Injury Firm That Protects Your Rights
Accident victims often want to “just move on” following a crash or don’t want to look like they’re “asking for too much.” Unfortunately, people who don’t pursue and obtain fair and full compensation for their injuries can be saddled with the many costs of an accident for years to come.
At David M. Sargent, LLC, we actively collect all the relevant information about your accident, develop a sound and reasonable case valuation, and take all necessary actions to ensure you’re properly compensated. You owe it to yourself and your family to have a vocal advocate who understands “the system” and protects your rights and interests as you navigate it.