Many drivers recover from their injuries within a few months after their auto accident. The pain fades, and they return to their previous schedule. The compensation awarded for medical expenses due to an accident make physical healing easier, but people that only claim a loss for their injuries may not get all the compensation they deserve.
The legal system in the United States allows accident victims to include all their losses in a claim after an accident. Vehicles often carry around much more than people. Sometimes, a discussion with a lawyer can help accident victims to realize the extent of the financial losses they have suffered. Here are a few examples of what a personal injury lawsuit may include.
Cover Lost Property
Insurance adjusters assess the value of the damages to a vehicle. The insurance company for the responsible driver should cover the cost of the repairs or the value of the vehicle if a repair is impossible. However, the accident victim may have lost a lot of other valuable items. Remember to include all items lost in an accident, and not just the vehicle itself.
An accident may destroy a smartphone, a laptop, or a newly installed sound system. Broken eyeglasses or high-end sunglasses, a new outfit or designer shoes ruined during the wreck quality. Make an inventory of everything from the vehicle that became unusable after the accident. Add child safety seats, tools, and even groceries to the inventory list.
Remember Your Pets
Over 80 percent of Americans that own dogs allow their canines to ride with them at least occasionally. All pets have an enormous value to their owners, and the law acknowledges the value of the animal to a certain extent. Include the cost of the treatment for pet injuries due to an accident. If the pet dies due to the accident, the owner can ask for an additional amount.
Sadly, the compensation for the loss of the dog will never equal what they meant to the family. The law allows people to recover either the cost to replace the animal or the fair market value of the pet. A larger amount is possible if the dog was specially trained as a show dog, a service animal, or had a substantial monetary value in some other way.
Recoup for Therapy
Accidents can cause emotional damage as well as physical injuries. The trauma may cause people to have nightmares or develop a fear of driving known as vehophobia. People that suffer from these types of fears may go out less often or have the expense of public transportation. Therapy can help many people to overcome the trauma so they can resume their life.
The costs associated with managing emotional distress can become a part of an accident lawsuit because the law allows people to receive compensation for emotional distress. Claimants must show proof of the distress and the expenses the trauma caused in the form of appointments with a therapist or a letter from the specialist that treated them.
Request Punitive Damages
A severe accident that leaves victims with emotional trauma, extensive property losses, and physical injuries could include additional compensation through punitive damages. The legal system uses punitive damages to punish people for their behavior. An accident caused by negligence, like a distracted driver is not usually eligible.
Punitive damages from an accident typically occur when the driver that caused the accident behaved recklessly without any regard for other people. Drunk drivers, someone greatly exceeding the speed limit or a driver that intentionally caused an accident can lead to the plaintiff receiving punitive damages.
At Wells and McElwee, we want you to receive all the compensation you need and more when the law allows. Physical pain, emotional suffering, and property losses from an accident can change a life forever. Not all property is replaceable, and emotional trauma does not always go away on its own. Help is available. Contact us for a free consultation.