If you have been in an accident with injuries, you may be wondering how you are going to pay your bills. If you live in California and you have been in an accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible to receive several different types of compensation.
There are a few important things to remember when seeking damages in an insurance case. Be sure to call your insurance company and obtain a copy of the accident report. Make sure to save every receipt related to your medical expenses including medical visits, medications and time off work. If you have had to seek counseling for emotional trauma related to the accident, you should save those bills as well. If you are in the LA area, you should find a good personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles who can help you recover your money.
There are two main categories of damages that an at-fault driver may have to pay. The first and most common type of damages is called compensatory. Compensatory damages are intended to repay an injured party for expenses related to their injury and to damage to their property. The second category of damages is punitive. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party. These kinds of damages are rare outside of class action lawsuits.
Compensatory damages can be awarded for financial losses as well as pain and emotional suffering. It is important to bring documentation to your initial consultation with your attorney. It will also help to categorize your costs, so you and your attorney can prepare an itemized list of expenses.
If you require medical treatment for your accident, remember to save receipts for all medical bills including, ambulance bills, insurance copays, and hospital stays. You may also include such alternative medical expenses as massage therapy and chiropractic treatments. Talk to your HR representative at work to get documentation of all the hours that you have missed due to your injury.
The physical repercussions from a car accident may not be immediately apparent. Pain in your neck back and shoulders can take weeks or even months to surface. Any collision can leave you with long term or even permanent injuries.
Permanent impairment can cost an insurance company tens of thousands of dollars, and they have entire legal departments devoted to making sure that doesn’t happen. In the case of long-term care, you will almost certainly have to sue the Insurance company to get everything you deserve. Be sure to ask your doctor if they will testify on your behalf. Even if you win, the lawsuit an insurance company may hire a private investigator to follow you around and wait for you to make a single movement that would suggest you are not as hurt as you claim to be.
There are some types of damages that are intangible such as pain and suffering, defamation of character and emotional distress.
Pain and Suffering
Proving emotional pain and suffering can be very difficult. It can be even harder to put a price on psychological distress. You may want to visit a mental health professional who can help you get through the trying time. A psychiatrist or licensed psychotherapist can also testify on your behalf.
If you have suffered fear, anxiety, or humiliation due to an accident, you may be able to sue for emotional distress. In order for your claim to be successful, you must attend all hearings and clearly establish that the distress has a significant impact on your life. For example, you may develop a fear of driving and that causes you to have to take public transportation or car services everywhere. This fear may cost you a lot of extra time, in that it takes longer to get from place to place. You may be humiliated by a disability that is the direct result of your accident. In addition to seeking professional help, you may want to keep a journal and ask friends and family to serve as witnesses.
Accidents are hard enough without having to wonder how you will pay for them. Bauman Law can help put your life back on the right path.
- Compensatory Damages in California Personal Injury Cases
- Personal Injury Law & Statutory Rules in California
- How Is Fault Determined in California Personal Injury Cases?
- Steps to Preserve Your Legal Claim When You Are Injured by Another’s Actions
- Limits on Injury Damages in California