What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover?
One of the first questions an injured car accident victim often has is: what is my case worth? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this case, as the value of a case depends on the amount of losses a victim incurred. The following are the types of damages1 that may often be available in a personal injury claim.
Past medical bills – This type of damage is relatively straightforward. Medical care for serious injuries can be costly2 and the bills can add up quickly if you require extensive treatment. You can use your medical bills to prove the amount of damages you deserve to compensate you for your necessary treatment. If the opposing party questions whether all of your treatment was actually necessary to try to limit their liability, your doctor or another medical professional can testify to your diagnosis and all of the treatment recommendations in your situation.
Estimated future medical expenses – In many cases involving serious injuries, your medical treatment may not be over before your personal injury case is resolved. In some cases, you may require ongoing medical care for years or even for the rest of your life. If this is the case, you have the right to recover for the estimated cost of all of your future treatment related to the injuries suffered in the accident. These calculations can be complicated and must account for future increases in medical costs and any possible complications you may face. Recovering for this type of damage often requires analysis by medical experts.
Past lost wages – If you had to miss work during your physical recovery, you are entitled to recover for missed hourly wages, overtime wages, benefits, and more, which can be proven by presenting pay statements, time sheets, and other related documents that demonstrate the time you missed and the rate of pay you would have received had you been working.
Estimated future lost wages – Similar to future medical treatments, many injured victims are still unable to return to work at the end of their case. Some victims may never be able to return to their previous positions if their injuries limit their physical and/or mental abilities. Economic and occupational experts can be used to estimate your future lost wages, lost earning capacity, and more over the course of your life expectancy.
Intangible losses – Special damages compensate you for intangible losses that cannot be quantified simply with bills, pay statements, or mathematical calculations. These intangible damages can include pain and suffering, emotional trauma or distress, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, disfigurement or scarring, permanent disability and impairments, and possibly more depending on the details of your case.
Punitive damages – If the party responsible for your injuries acted in a particularly egregious manner, punitive damage may be available. These damages do not reimburse you for any specific losses but instead are meant to punish the liable party and deter future reckless behavior. Though these damages are rare in Michigan, they can be recovered in certain types of cases.
It is always important to have a lawyer handling your case who will explore every option to ensure you receive the full and just damages in your individual case. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at 313-GET-HELP for a free consultation to discuss your situation today.