Few things are more frustrating than getting into an unexpected car accident. Even if you’re being extremely cautious behind the wheel, there’s still a chance that another driver will cause a collision. When you’re in an accident and another driver is at fault, you have the right to demand compensation from that driver and/or their insurance company.
While you can pursue monetary damages on your own, it’s best to work with an experienced lawyer. When you hire an attorney, you’re much more likely to maximize your award and walk away with every penny you deserve.
At Citywide Law Group, our legal team has been handling complex personal injury matters for more than 20 years. We’ve obtained millions in settlements and awards for our injured clients. Call our Los Angeles law firm today to schedule your free case assessment and find out how our personal injury lawyers can help you, too.
Accident Victims Entitled to Economic, Non-Economic Damages
When you’re involved in a car accident and share little-to-none of the blame, you can ask to be compensated for your injuries. There are two ways you can seek the money you deserve. You can file an insurance claim for benefits or pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In either case, you have the right to receive both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are paid to compensate for the verifiable financial costs of an accident. When you receive an economic award, you should be put back in the financial position you were in before the collision. It should be as if the accident never happened, at all. Economic awards are capped at your actual and projected expenses. You can’t recover more than you’ve spent or expect to spend because of the accident.
Not all injuries – including the emotional distress you experience because of an accident – can be defined in terms of money. Just because these injuries are hard to value doesn’t make them any less important.
In California, non-economic damages can be extended to compensate for these hard-to-value injuries. Since a person’s suffering is very personal, the value of non-economic awards is determined on a case-by-case basis. As a result, amounts awarded to compensate for non-economic damages can value significantly from one case to another.
There is no cap on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded after a car accident in Los Angeles.
Compensation for Physical Injuries
It’s common to suffer physical injuries if you’ve been involved in a car accident. Many times, injuries require extensive medical care and affect your ability to live your life. You can be reimbursed and compensated for financial costs that are related to your car accident injuries.
Injuries, even relatively minor ones, must be treated after an accident. You can recover damages for costs related to treatment, including:
- EMT and Ambulance
- Medical devices
- Specialist consultations
- Follow-up visits, and more.
You’re not just entitled to money for medical bills you’ve already generated. You can also be compensated for the cost of medical expenses you’re likely to incur in the future.
Sometimes you’ll need help recovering from a debilitating injury. You may need the help of a physical therapist or occupational therapist to get back on your feet. These costs can be recovered through a personal injury claim.
Is your injury so severe that you’re no longer able to care for yourself? If so, compensation can be awarded to cover the cost of at-home or residential nursing care.
An accident can alter your ability to function. You may find that you need to use a wheelchair or can’t use stairs anymore. As a result, you may need to make some changes around the house. Adding a wheelchair ramp, stair lift, or handicap-accessible shower isn’t cheap. The person who is responsible for your injuries can be on the hook for those costs.
It can be difficult, if not impossible, to go back to work right away after an accident. If you don’t have paid time off or job flexibility, it’s possible to go days, or even weeks, without a paycheck. It can be hard enough to cover your day-to-day expenses, let alone the costs of your accident, without a steady income. Since someone else caused your injuries, they can be responsible for your past and future lost wages and income while you recover.
Reduced Earning Capacity
Has your injury affected your ability to perform your job functions? Will this affect your ability to generate an income? The person who caused your accident can be responsible for making sure that your disability doesn’t interfere with your financial stability. You can be compensated for your reduced earning capacity. Generally speaking, you can recover the difference between what you were able to earn before the accident and what you’re capable of earning now.
Awards for Emotional Distress
Physical injuries are just one possible consequence of an accident. It’s very common for car accident victims to suffer from a wide range of emotional injuries, as well. You’re also entitled to compensation for the emotional distress you experience because of your accident. This includes money for:
- Depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders
- Pain and suffering
- Chronic pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium, and more.
Simply put, you can be compensated if your accident has affected your emotional, psychological, or mental state.
Money to Cover Property Damage
Accidents don’t just take a toll on your body and mind, they can also cause extensive damage to your vehicle. When an accident isn’t your fault, you can seek damages to cover the costs of replacing or repairing your vehicle. You can also be compensated for expenses that are related to vehicle repair, including the cost of a rental car.
Was anything else you own damaged or destroyed in the crash? A computer or tablet? A cell phone? Valuable family heirlooms or a car seat? If so, you should make sure that you ask to be compensated for these damages, as well.
You shouldn’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket if you’re injured in an accident through no fault of your own. In California, you can be reimbursed for most expenses that you wouldn’t have had to deal with if you hadn’t been involved in an accident. This can include the cost of public transportation or an Uber when your car is out of commission or a copy of your police report.
The only thing you can’t recover under California law is attorney’s fees. This is true even if you win your case. At Citywide Law Group, we work on a contingency fee basis. As a result, you will not have to pay for an attorney out-of-pocket. Instead, we’ll simply take a percentage of the settlement or award we win on your behalf. If you get nothing, we get nothing.
Speak to Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Have you been injured in a car accident through little-to-no fault of your own? If so, you may be entitled to compensation from the person (or people) responsible for the crash. Call Citywide Law Group to learn about your legal rights.
When you call, an experienced accident attorney will review your case and answer any questions you have. If you decide to take legal action, we’ll help you fight for the money you need and deserve. You have a limited amount of time to act, so call our Los Angeles office for help today.