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How Are Car Accident Damages Measured?

car-wreck-blog.jpgCar collisions are expensive, victims face bills for everything from medical treatment to car repairs. If you have been involved in a car accident you may be considering seeking compensation for the damages you incurred.

Below, you can find out what type of compensation you may be entitled to and how to work on trying to obtain it. The dedicated Baton Rouge car accident attorneys at Simien & Simien can help accurately estimate the potential value of your claim and will work closely with you as you pursue what you deserve.

Types of Damages

In order to determine the potential value of your claim, you must be aware of all of the ways that the accident affected you. Your economic and non-economic losses stemming from the accident are referred to as "damages." You may have suffered from various types of damages, including:

Property Damage

In a car accident, it is common that the vehicles involved sustain damages. These damages are measured by the reasonable cost to repair the vehicle or to replace it. You may also be compensated for the loss of the use of your vehicle, such as having to use a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired. Be sure that you keep track of all documentation and receipts relating to these damages.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses make up the major source of damages for many accident victims. These bills are often the result of diagnosis, hospitalization or the costs to treat your injuries after an accident. Keep track of documentation showing the full extent of your injuries and your medical bills, including:

  • Doctor's notes
  • Diagnosis records
  • X-rays or other imaging test results
  • Bottles of prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medications and medical supply receipts
  • Receipts for physical therapy or counseling services
  • All medical bills related to your accident

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

If the accident has caused you to miss days from work while in recovery, you may be entitled to lost wages. Additionally, if you had to use your employment benefits like sick leave or personal time off, you have the right to recover compensation for these losses. Be sure to provide your lawyer with documentation from your employer showing the wages and benefits you lost because of the accident.

If you were not able to return to your job because of the accident, you may have a greater degree of damages related to your employment. If the accident caused you to become disabled or you had to go into a lower-paying line of work, you can pursue compensation for the full extent of your lost earning capacity. This is based on the difference between your current wages and the wages you expected to earn before the accident occurred.

Pain and Suffering

Some types of damages are difficult to quantify, such as your pain and suffering. However, you still have a right to be compensated for the physical as well as emotional damages you have suffered.

How to Obtain Compensation

For most people, the first step is to file an insurance claim to try to seek compensation for their damages. An insurance adjuster will calculate the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle, medical expenses and other forms of damages. The insurance adjuster may add up all of the damages and then make a settlement offer based on this information. The settlement offer is often less than the damages the accident victim is able to calculate. In some situations, the adjuster may use a specific formula to determine the extent of damages. For example, the insurance adjuster may multiply the medical expenses by a small number to determine non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

If the insurance adjuster does not make a fair settlement offer or if the policy limits are not adequate to cover your damages, you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. To receive compensation, you will have to show that the accident was caused by negligent or careless actions of the other driver.

Contact a Skilled Lawyer for Help Calculating Your Damages

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, you could greatly benefit from having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side. At Simien & Simien, we can work closely with you to determine the full extent of your damages and will fight vigorously to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront legal costs unless we help you win.

Call (800) 374-8422 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.

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