Some damages are obvious, such as medical bills or financial losses. However, there are other damages that are more nuanced and difficult to estimate.
Car accidents are not only terrifying but also extremely stressful. After the initial trauma, you may have to deal with medical visits, negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and all the other legal aspects. So, when the insurance company is ready to settle, and you have all the bills in your hand, it may feel tempting to take the money and be over with this experience once and for all.
Ask any experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer and they will advise you not to rush into a settlement. Some damages are obvious, such as medical bills or financial losses. However, there are other damages that are more nuanced and difficult to estimate. Accepting a deal only to realize that the settlement was too low will hurt you as you will have to pay the costs out of pocket.
Here are three types of damages that car accident victims often fail to consider.
Ongoing Medical Treatment
Make sure to discuss with your doctor about your future medical needs. In some cases, a few visits are all it takes to keep your injuries under control. However, some car accident victims require multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation treatment to help them manage chronic pain.
You have to think years ahead and try to foresee every possible scenario. For example, you may think that an ankle replacement fixed your problem, but the reality is that you may need another surgery in 10 or 15 years. If you didn’t take this cost into consideration during your settlement negotiation, then you will have to pay for it out of your pocket.
Home Care and Nursing Expenses
If you’ve suffered debilitating injuries, then you will have to consider the cost of care too. Most probably, you will need someone to help you deal with the regular aspects of your life, such as cleaning, doing groceries, paying your bills or running errands. You may also require specialized at home medical care.
Don’t try to guess your potential long term home care costs. Your attorney will be able to help calculate it based on your medical records.
Most car accident victims aren’t aware of the fact that in some cases they may be entitled to receive punitive damages. It’s a way the law tries to discourage and limit reckless behavior such as drunk driving or speeding.
There are some limitations to the amount you can receive. For example, punitive damages cannot be more than double your economic damages (meaning loss of income, medical bills, and so on) or $750,000. Keep in mind that if the jury doesn’t award economic damages, then you can’t get more than $200,000 in punitive damages.
Why Speak With an Attorney?
Personal injury claims following a car accident can be confusing. As you’ve seen, you need to consider potential issues that may arise tens of years in the future. It’s difficult to think about all the details when you are still dealing with the initial stress and pain that the collision caused.
An experienced car accident attorney can guide you through this process and make it easier for you to get the compensation you deserve. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultation.