If you’re the unfortunate victim of another driver’s negligence, then you’re likely eligible to claim damages.
Before you file anything, you need to understand what factors can influence your ability to receive compensation.
According to Boohoff Law, “You must be able to prove that the other person acted negligently and that their negligence was a proximate cause for your injuries.” This means that not every car accident victim will be awarded money for damages.
On the other hand, your situation may apply and this means that you should receive the compensation you’re due! With a skilled attorney, you can get money for your pain and suffering to help ease your burdens.
Let’s take a look at the criteria of filing for damages below so you can understand if your accident applies.
The Other Driver Must Be At-Fault
By far, the most important thing to understand is that you’ll only be eligible for compensation if the other driver is at-fault.
This means that the other driver caused the crash. Whether it was through negligence or just an accident doesn’t matter.
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine who is at-fault for an accident. Having a dashcam with video coverage can help prove your innocence. Otherwise, it will be up to an insurance company’s discretion.
Another thing to consider is that there’s a chance the accident will be ruled as shared-fault. This means that both drivers had some responsibility in causing the accident.
If this is the case, then you must be either; less than 50% responsible or less responsible than the other driver to receive any form of financial award.
One last situation is if you live in a no-fault state. This means that your insurance company is responsible for covering your damages without regard to who caused the crash.
If you live in a no-fault state, then you won’t be able to get any compensation from another driver’s insurance.
Assuming that you live in a tort state, which means that fault is determined and taken into account for damages, you can get covered for the expenses outlined below.
The first thing you might want reparations for is any damaged property.
Your car is the most obvious piece of property here and is typically the most valuable. It’s almost inevitable that your car will become damaged because of an accident and will likely need repair.
If someone else causes an accident, there’s no good reason why you should need to cover it out of pocket. This is something that the other driver’s insurance company will be on the hook for.
The other property involved here includes any possessions that were inside your vehicle and damaged at the time of an accident. Picture things like a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any other item of value that isn’t directly attached to the car.
If any of these items are broken, then you’re entitled to compensation for them should the other driver be at-fault.
Another major cost that you shouldn’t need to cover is injuries resulting from the accident.
There are two components to this.
The first and most obvious one is any medical expenses incurred to treat an injury. This includes any bills for a hospital visit, medication, and physical therapy if needed.
The other part of this a little trickier but just as relevant. You may also be eligible to receive compensation for any pain and suffering you endure.
If you’re looking to receive money for pain and suffering, then the injury should be significant. Something like a sprained ankle or bruised elbow is fairly minor, but a back injury or serious burns are another story.
The injury should be something that causes you a good amount of pain immediately following an accident paired with suffering for a long period afterward.
If this is the case, then you should hire an attorney to get you the financial award that you deserve. It’s someone else’s actions that caused your plight and they need to be held responsible for improving your situation.
The last component of an accident you might look to sue for is any income you lose as a result of the crash.
This is particularly important when you sustain an injury that makes you unable to work. Imagine a scenario where you work a physical job and the accident breaks your leg.
If this happens, then you won’t be able to work and can’t earn money. Because the accident caused this, it’s on the other driver to make up for your lost wages!
Receiving a settlement from a car accident isn’t necessarily meant to set you up for the rest of your life, but it should fairly compensate you for any income you can’t earn and then some.
Should you get into a car accident that is caused by another driver, then you have a good chance of receiving money for your losses.
To be eligible for this, the other driver must be found at-fault for the accident. This means that you must live in a state that does not use no-fault insurance and the other driver is more to blame than you are.
If you’re able to get reparations, there are a few significant expenses that you should get covered. This includes property damage, injuries (including pain and suffering), and any lost wages.
It’s hard to say that anything good comes from a car accident, but getting a large settlement can help make your life a little easier going forward.