Figuring out how much money to ask for is a critical skill of any lawyer. Generally, we will look at a few factors, including your financial and emotional losses and the liable party's ability to pay. Insurance can only pay up to the limits of the policy, and an individual may not have any assets worth pursuing. Let's take a look at how to calculate losses:
Medical expenses - As everyone knows, medical costs can be astronomical, even with medical insurance. Luckily, you'll have the opportunity to seek compensation for these expenses through an insurance claim against the at-fault parties.
It's critical to seek medical care after a car accident for two reasons. Most important is your well-being. A few types of injuries may not be apparent directly after an accident. Still, they can have devastating consequences if not treated promptly. The second reason is that the bulk of your claim will likely be based on medical costs, which may include the ambulance service, the emergency room visit, hospitalization, surgery, scans, X-rays, medication, after-care visits, rehabilitation, and more.
Getting the appropriate medical treatment can be extensive and expensive. However, during your treatment, it's essential to keep track of all the costs so you can reclaim it through the other party's insurance or through a lawsuit.
Lost wages - Passengers in a car accident may not be able to return to work for some time, or if injuries are severe enough, they may be permanently disabled and can never go back to work. Lost time from work means lost wages, and you should be able to recover compensation for it regardless of the extent of your injuries.
Another factor is lost income capacity. Even if you recover from your injuries, you may not be able to perform the same kind of work you did previously, which may present a difference in your income level. For example, suppose you're the head chef at a fine dining restaurant. During the accident, you suffered a spinal injury and can no longer stand for long periods of time, which is essential in restaurant work. You might be forced to change careers and take a position that doesn't pay as well as the chef job. In that case, you should be eligible to recover compensation for the difference.
Your job type will also impact how quickly you can return to work. A physically demanding job will require more time off to recover to the level where you'll be able to put in a hard day's work. Even if you work a desk job, it may be a while before you can tolerate sitting for long periods, especially if you sustained injuries to your neck, back, or lower body.
You can also recover compensation for lost wages if you take time off work to attend medical appointments.
Pain and suffering - Most "costs" associated with an accident come with a receipt that can easily be turned over to the other party to pay. However, pain and suffering is a legitimate cost that is exacted from your ability to enjoy your life. Injuries are usually painful at the time they are sustained, and so is recovery. You may be unable to return to your normal routines and participate in activities that once brought pleasure. Not all injuries are physical in nature. Serious accidents can also cause emotional trauma, which may require counseling or psychiatric treatment. Your injuries may even impact personal relationships. All of these "costs" are relevant and should be compensated accordingly.