After being in a car accident, you are naturally wondering how much your case is worth. The honest answer is that without knowing the details of your case, it is impossible to know because there are many variables and unknowns that can impact the value of your case.
IN MOST CASES, PEOPLE CAN RECOVER THREE CATEGORIES OF DAMAGES:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages or future impairment of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses
What does future impairment of wages mean? It just means that you are allowed to recover money for money that you would have received in the future had you been able to work. Having the right expert, such as an economist, can help you in determining what this number would be by reviewing your tax returns, wage statements and paystubs, and social security earnings.
What are out of pocket expenses?
This is expenses that you might have incurred if you paid for a wheelchair or a knee brace or some kind of medication that was not repaid to you by the insurance company. These tend to be nominal, meaning they are not in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
What does future medical bills mean?
Future medical bills are just what they sound like. They represent money for medical bills you might incur in the future to treat your injuries. For instance, since you only have three years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit, if you are going to need medical care far into the future, let’s say for the next ten years, then there would need to be money set aside to pay for this treatment.
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PAIN AND SUFFERING DAMAGES EXPLAINED
Pain and suffering are also known as general damages. With regards to pain and suffering, there is normally a loose connection between the amount of your medical bills and the amount you receive in pain and suffering. In other words, if you have a $10,000 medical bill, it is unlikely that you will receive $10.00 in pain and suffering or $10,000,0000. The first number is too low and the second number is too high in relation to the medical bill.
There are other considerations to take into account as well. The first is how much money the insurance company for the driver has who hit you. It may seem unfair, but legally the insurance company for the at-fault driver who hit you only has to pay, at most, the policy limit of what their customer purchased.
UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
If you do not have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, and if the person who hit you does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, then the only option you have is to try to get a recovery from the driver who hit you. This may be easy or hard. The driver may attempt to hide his or her money, transfer title to the home, or any number of things. It is almost always easiest to simply attempt to get the insurance company to pay for whatever policy they have, if your bills are and damages are significant enough.