A car accident can upset your life in the blink of an eye. One moment, you have regular employment and your finances in order; the next, you are not sure how you will cover your medical bills and when, if ever, you will be able to return to work.
A lawsuit can help you obtain compensation to cover the losses you suffer as a result of injuries from a car crash. Understanding what to expect is key as your case goes on and you decide whether to accept a settlement offer or proceed further. While this article provides a basic overview of how damages work, you need an experienced attorney to evaluate the specific facts of your case and advise you based on them.
Most California damages awards come as compensatory damages: money you get in order to restore you, as far as possible, to the condition you would have been in had the accident never happened.
The first category of compensatory damages covers financial harm. Accidents can cause you to lose a lot of money. You may have to spend substantial funds on medical treatments, prescription medications, physical therapy and assistive devices. Some people need extended rehabilitative care. Others may need to hire someone to help with necessary domestic tasks they can no longer perform.
Sustaining injuries in car accident can also affect your ability to earn a living. You may miss unpaid time from work as you recover. You may also find you can no longer perform your job duties properly. In such a scenario, you may have to take reduced hours, a different position or even lose your job and have difficulty finding another one. Some injuries result in permanent disability.
Pain and suffering
Sometimes, California law also allows you to recover for the type of harm known as pain and suffering. Injuries can cause physical pain and psychological trauma. While translating this kind of damage into a dollar amount can seem hard, an experienced attorney will know how to assess it and come up with an appropriate figure.