An unexpected accident can happen at any time, in any place. When these events occur, the victim can be left with serious physical injuries, emotional trauma, and extensive financial hardship. Fortunately, victims of negligence have the right to hold the person responsible for their injuries accountable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal injury claims allow you to recover compensation for pay for any damages that you suffered as a result of the accident. These damages can range from tangible economic losses like medical expenses, as well as intangible pain and suffering.
Past and Future Medical Expenses
One of the most significant aspects of personal injury claims includes compensation for medical expenses. This encompasses costs for past medical bills that arose immediately after the incident and future expenses, like rehabilitative care or long-term treatments. If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, your medical care will likely comprise a large portion of your settlement.
Lost Wages and Future Earnings
Injuries often lead to missed work, whether to recover or to seek medical care. If your injury has resulted in you being unable to work either temporarily or permanently, you may recover damages for lost wages. Furthermore, if your ability to earn future income has been impacted—known as loss of earning capacity—you could recover compensation for the wages that you would have been able to earn.
If your personal property was damaged in the incident that led to your injury, you could recover compensation to help repair or replace it. This usually applies in cases like car accidents, where your vehicle might be damaged or totaled. You could also recover compensation for damage to electronics, clothing, or equipment.
Pain and Suffering
Personal injury claims can also include damages for physical pain and emotional distress, commonly referred to as pain and suffering. These damages compensate victims for the physical discomfort and mental anguish experienced due to the injury. Pain and suffering could include anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, or even the impact of scars and disfigurement.
Punitive damages are awarded not to compensate victims but rather to punish defendants for grossly negligent or intentional misconduct. The goal is to deter them and others from similar behavior in the future.
In California, punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant engaged in acts of oppression, fraud, or malice. You must prove these acts with clear and convincing evidence. A personal injury attorney can assess your case, determine whether you are eligible for punitive damages, and craft a compelling case in your favor.
Calculate Your Settlement with a California Personal Injury Lawyer
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to have a clear picture of the damages that you can claim. However, calculating a settlement can be complex, requiring significant resources and legal expertise. In these situations, a California personal injury attorney can help.
A lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your case, considering factors such as the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, and the negligence of the other party. Using this information, he or she can accurately estimate your potential award and develop a strong case to seek the full range of damages.
After your accident, schedule a free consultation with a California personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.