After a person suffers injuries, property damage, and other losses in a car accident, there are multiple claims that they may be able to file for compensation and recovery of their damages. However, the types of claims a person can file, as well as the potential damages that may be included in a claim vary.
Therefore, if you were injured in a crash, a knowledgeable lawyer might be able to help. By assessing the unique circumstances of your case, calculating your losses, and helping you file a claim, a dedicated attorney could help you pursue recoverable damages in a Michigan car accident claim.
Damages That May be Included in a Michigan Car Crash Claim
After an accident, a victim may suffer physical trauma, emotional stress, and financial losses. Therefore, there are numerous kinds of recoverable damages—both economic and non-economic—that may be included in a Michigan car accident claim. A compassionate accident attorney could help a claimant to calculate these losses, including:
- Medical expenses—including hospital bills, rehabilitation, and physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages—including past and future income
- Mental anguish
- Fright and shock
- Attendant care and household services
- Decreased earning capacity—as a result of an injury or disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Embarrassment, humiliation, or mortification
- Lifestyle modifications—such as altercations to a person’s home or vehicle
- Scars and disfigurements
While some of these damages have a definitive price tag, others are more subjective and, as a result, more difficult to accurately calculate. For example, the amount of pain and suffering damages that may be included in a claim is determined by a number of factors including the seriousness of an injury, the type and length of medical treatment, and how the injuries have affected the victim’s ability to lead a normal life. Other factors include the specific insurance policy limits, whether there was an excess loss of income, and the permanency of a claimant’s injuries.
How is Pain and Suffering Defined?
Pain and suffering are damages that are considered to be non-economic in nature, including emotional and physical losses such as mental anguish, humiliation, scars, disfigurement, and other losses caused by an auto accident. There are no laws that set forth a maximum amount of pain and suffering damages that an injury victim can be awarded by a jury at trial, or receive through a settlement. However, many settlements depend on the insurance policy limits of the at-fault party as the way to calculate the maximum amount that might be collected—unless the defendant is a large corporation or trucking company.
Unlike economic damages, pain and suffering losses do not often have a definitive price tag and are, therefore, more difficult to calculate. However, there are certain methods available for presenting these “invisible” injuries. Essentially, the goal is to help a jury or judge understand both the pain of a claimant’s injuries, as well as how these injuries have subsequently impacted their livelihood and family.
The most obvious way of demonstrating this is to have the injured person describe their injuries, how they have impacted their life, and the type of pain and disability they have experienced after a car accident. Furthermore, family members and colleagues could also testify about their observations of the injured person and how it has affected their quality of life. Medical opinions from treating doctors are also often used to prove pain and suffering damages. Along with any relevant medical records being admissible into evidence for the jury to see and read, the sworn testimony of a treating doctor might also be taken before a trial. Here, the doctor could explain, in medical terms, the nature of an injury, the types of treatment required, and the estimated impact of these damages and procedures on a person’s life.
Call a Lawyer to Discuss Recoverable Damages in a Michigan Car Accident Claim
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash due to the negligence of another driver, you may face severe injuries, financial strain, and other losses. However, you have legal options to file claims for multiple forms of compensation, including financial losses, physical and mental anguish, and needed modifications to your home or vehicle.
Instead of navigating the claims process alone, a tenacious and well-versed attorney could help to explain the potentially recoverable damages in a Michigan car accident claim. Then, a legal professional could guide you through each step needed to request compensation. To learn your legal rights and options following a crash, call today.
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