YOu’ve heard that you can sue for damages if you are hurt, and it was someone else’s fault. There are a few questions coming from that. The first is the topic of another Personal Injury FAQ, which will be “what does at fault” mean. Today though, we’re talking about what qualifies as damages.
Damages that are able to be included in a Personal Injury Lawsuit include the following:
- Medical Costs
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Diminished Earning Capacity
- Pain and Suffering
- Child Care Costs
- Loss of Consortium
- Transportation Costs
Some damages are easy to calculate, and reason enough to engage in a lawsuit. For instance Medical Costs. Add up all the medical expenses related to the accident, and the doctors get paid, right? Well, not quite so easy, and sometimes (more often than not?) not so fair.
Insurance companies generally pay damages. Most individuals and businesses carry Personal Injury protection so that if an accident happens, they are insured. Insurance companies are motivated to see you reach “Maximum Medical Benefit” in other words, announce you “all better” or at least “as better as you are going to get” as soon as possible.
It is far from unusual to have an insurance company require you to go see a doctor, perhaps a chiropractor to establish if you “still need” medical attention. We’ve seen countless occasions where an insurance company has hired a doctor, the doctor has said: “go along now you’re all fine” and the patient was NOT fine and ended up with major surgery. Your health is the absolute first priority in a Personal Injury lawsuit. A Personal Injury attorney’s first job is to make sure you get all the medical help you need to recover, not just what an insurance company is comfortable paying.
In future series, we will take a deeper dive into damages, and fault. The bottom line, however, is that if you were hurt, and it is someone else’s fault, or even partially someone else’s fault, you cannot rely on the other person’s insurance company to treat you fairly. It is in their interest to wrap up their payments as quickly as possible. When you have a Personal Injury attorney at your side, the dynamic changes.