Nowadays, car accidents have become common on busy roads and highways. If you have been involved in a car accident, you can seek compensation for your damages. But, calculating damages can be a difficult task when you do it by yourself.
As a victim, you may not be aware of all the factors that impact your claim, such as the extent of your injuries, the loss of quality of your life, the liability of the negligent party, and the applicable laws and regulations. So, it is important to discuss your case with an expert car accident lawyer. Because having a car accident attorney by your side can make a huge difference in your personal injury case.
An Overview of Damages
After a car accident, the victim may have to deal with severe injuries and a financial burden. Damages refer to all the losses and expenses incurred by the victim as a result of the car accident. These can be economic damages, such as car repairs or medical bills, or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
A lawyer has the experience and knowledge to deal with car accident cases. They can also calculate all the possible damages appropriately for the victim.
Economic damages can be easily calculated because they are directly linked to the actual costs incurred. It covers:
- Medical Expenses: Medical expenses cover the cost of all medical care related to the car accident, including surgeries, emergency room visits, medications, therapies, surgeries, and even future medical expenses if the victim may need long-term care.
- Lost Income: Applicable when the victim uses up their leaves for recovery or is unable to continue working as usual due to severe injuries that occurred as a result of a car accident.
- Property Damage: Property damage includes replacement or repair costs for the victim's vehicle or any other personal property damaged in the car crash.
Non-economic damages are difficult to calculate. They include assigning a monetary value to non-physical losses such as:
- Pain and suffering: Refers to the emotional distress and physical discomfort caused by the car crash.
- Emotional distress: Serious car accidents can contribute to emotional trauma like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: When the victim's injuries prevent the victim from enjoying activities, the victim can claim compensation for these damages.
How can an attorney help you calculate your damages after a car accident?
Measure Your Injuries and Medical Expenses
A lawyer will analyze your injuries and medical expenses to calculate how much you have spent. Also, it is necessary to get expert opinions from therapists, healthcare professionals, and other specialists on your health condition. It is the most crucial step in your claim process.
Moreover, an attorney can help you evaluate the future expenses of your medical care, such as medications, surgeries, assistive devices, and rehabilitation.
Evaluating Your Non-Economic Damages
You can also claim damages for
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Disability, and other intangible harms
These are called non-economic damages. They are hard to calculate as they are based on subjective factors such as your occupation, age, personal circumstances, and lifestyle.
A car accident lawyer can assist you in assessing your non-economic damages by using two methods.
Multiplier method: This is a common method that is used to calculate non-economic damages. This includes taking the total number of economic losses and multiplying it by a number, generally between 1.5 and 5, to get the total amount of non-economic damages. The number is chosen based on the severity of your injuries.
For instance, when the total economic damages are $50,000 and the multiplier of 2 is used. The non-economic damages the victim receives will be $100,000.
Per Diem Method: This method includes awarding a specific dollar amount per day throughout the victim's recovery period. This dollar amount is usually the victim's daily wages.
For instance, if the victim decides to recover the damages for a 6-month period and the per diem rate is $100 per day, the non-economic damages would be $18,200.
Also, a car accident attorney will consider comparative and contributory negligence when calculating compensation. These defenses arise when the victim is partly responsible for the accident. In contributory negligence, the plaintiff loses the right to recover compensation if they had a role in the accident. In comparative negligence, a percentage will be assigned to identify the plaintiff's level of employment. This percentage will be deducted from the total compensation the plaintiff receives.
To summarize, calculating your damages after a car crash can be a challenging task that requires legal knowledge and experience. We hope our article has helped you learn about how a car accident attorney can help estimate your damages following the crash. They can also assist you in getting fair compensation for your car crash injuries.