If you have been injured in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation from the party or parties whose negligence caused the accident. The compensation will depend on the injury that you have suffered and the damages and loss you had to go trough after the injury. In some cases, your family members may also be eligible for compensation for your injuries, especially, if the injury has affected the relationship.
This section is intended to provide information on the types of compensation you can claim in an accident case. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case and advice you of the compensation that you may be entitled to.
If the accident has left you disfigured or deformed, you can seek compensation for the mental suffering caused by the disfigurement or deformity. You can also claim compensation for any bodily changes caused by the accident that affects your personal appearance.
Future Medical Expenses
Some injuries may require continuous medical attention. In such cases, you can claim future medical expenses. However, to enable the court to determine a figure for the amount of compensation, you must provide a medical opinion or some other evidence as to the approximate cost of future medical expenses.
General damages are awarded in respect to damages due to wrongful conduct given that these damages are “presumed to flow” from the accident or injury, and include pecuniary losses such as loss of future earnings. Non-pecuniary losses, such as damages for pain and suffering incurred before and after the trial, may also be included.
If, as a result of the injury you are unable to perform household chores such as cleaning or washing, and therefore must hire someone to do these things for you, you can claim compensation for the expenses you have incurred on hiring someone.
Loss of Consortium
Today consortium is generally understood as a “relational interest” that a person has with respect to another family member, including material factors of support and services and such non-material elements as affection, emotional support, and companionship. If the injury causes the victim loss of enjoyment of the benefits of marital life, then he or she can claim compensation for loss of consortium. Generally, the spouse of the injured victim makes a claim for loss of compensation. However, the injured victim can also make a claim for loss of consortium.
Loss of Consortium of a Child
Just like married spouses can claim loss of consortium, parents can claim loss of consortium of a child if their child is injured in an accident and the injuries prevent the child and the parents from having a normal parent-child relationship.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If the injury prevents you from enjoying the small pleasures of life such as taking a walk in the park or having a cup of coffee with your friends you can claim loss of enjoyment of life.
Loss of Society and Companionship
The surviving relatives can claim compensation for loss of society and companionship in the case of a fatal accident.
Lost Earning Capacity
If the injury prevents you from working in the future or affects your ability to earn, you can claim compensation for lost earning capacity. The amount of compensation for lost earnings capacity will depend on your age, nature of job, skill, educational qualifications and many other factors including your past earnings.
If the injury caused you to remain away from work thereby causing you to lose your wages, you can claim lost wages. You must prove that you would have earned the amount that you are claiming as lost wages had you not been injured.
You can claim all the expenses you have incurred for medical treatment including doctor fees, hospital expenses, medicine costs, etc. You will be required to provide documentary evidence of the expenses. Some of the expenses you may incur as part of your medical expenses may not be recoverable in some cases.
If you have been exposed to a dangerous chemical or gas and you need to be under medical surveillance to detect injury or illness, you can seek compensation for the cost incurred by you for the medical surveillance.
You can claim for mental anguish if the accident or injury has caused mental distress including shock, grief, loss of dignity, embarrassment, humiliation, worry, anxiety, nervousness, fright, apprehension or terror.
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering are generally associated with an injury. The exact amount of compensation for your pain and suffering will depend on the nature of your injury and the time required for you to completely recover. State laws vary on compensation for pain and suffering. In some states, you can claim compensation for pain and suffering only if you were conscious for some period during the injury.
If you have been permanently disabled by the accident, you can claim compensation for permanent disability. Generally you will require expert testimonial by a medial professional to prove that you are entitled to compensation for permanent disability.
Present Cash Value
Present cash value is the current value of your projected future earnings. It refers to the amount that you would have earned as returns over a period of time. The returns are generally calculated as being equivalent to the amount you would have earned had you not been injured.
Special damages are actual, but not necessarily the result of the unlawful conduct. Special damages include such items as medical expenses or lost wages.