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What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?

April 21, 2020

The last thing anybody wants is to be involved in a serious car accident. Unfortunately, car accidents are not uncommon. According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there were 158,171 total traffic collisions reported during the latest year of data available. Out of these incidents, there were more than 34,000 total injuries and 730 total fatalities reported.

Anybody injured in a traffic accident that was caused by the negligent or careless actions of another driver should be entitled to recover compensation for their losses. Victims of these incidents need to understand what kind of damages they can recover.

There Are Various Types of Compensation Available After a Kentucky Car Accident

When a person is injured in a car accident that is caused by another driver, compensation for the incident will generally be handled one of two ways: through an insurance settlement or through a personal injury lawsuit filed against the at-fault driver.

Most car accident claims are handled out of court long before they get to trial. However, these incidents often require extensive investigation in order to maximize the compensation for victims. For a car accident claim, there are various economic and non-economic damages that may be available to victims.

Medical Expenses

Car accidents can lead to tremendous medical expenses, all of which should be covered in an insurance settlement or lawsuit. Medical expenses arising from a car accident can include:

  • Ambulance costs
  • Emergency room costs
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
  • Medical devices such as wheelchairs or walkers
  • Prescription medication costs
  • All follow up doctor visits
  • In-home medical care if needed
  • Long-term disability coverage

Lost Wages

It is often the case that a car accident victim is unable to work due to their injuries. This can cause them to lose income for the period while they were recovering. It could also be the case that a car accident injury victim is unable to return to work or has a lowered earning potential due to a disability caused by their injuries. In these situations, the car accident victim may be entitled to lost income and a loss of future earnings.

Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering damages are defined as the mental or physical distress a victim may experience in the aftermath of sustaining an injury. These are considered non-economic damages that can be a bit harder to calculate because they do not have any direct bills or receipts. These damages will be based on the type and seriousness of the injury sustained and can include mental and emotional damages such as anxiety, fear, distress, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages could be awarded if it is determined that the at-fault party was grossly negligent or acted maliciously when they caused the crash. These damages are meant to punish a defendant and deter them from acting in a similar way in the future. Punitive damages are not as common in car accident cases as the economic and non-economic damages discussed above.

Is an Attorney Necessary for These Cases?

Anytime a person is injured in a car accident that was caused by somebody else, they should speak to a qualified car accident attorney in Lexington about their case. In most instances, an injured victim does not have the resources or legal experience necessary to conduct a full investigation and maximize compensation for their claim. Skilled and experienced attorneys will offer a free personal injury consultation for car accident victims and will likely work the case on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will collect no legal fees until they secure a favorable settlement or verdict for their client.