What Damages Can I Collect For a Car Accident?

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If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you are not alone. According to Statista, almost two million car crashes involving injuries happened in 2019. That’s a lot of injuries and millions of dollars in damages.

Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t want to pay you what you deserve. They are notorious for offering lowball settlements to injured accident victims. That’s why so many people turn to car accident lawyers for help. These accident victims are not greedy, they just want fair compensation.

What Is Fault?

Most states assign fault to drivers; fault refers to who caused the accident. At times, only one party is responsible for the accident, but multiple drivers can have a percentage of fault. Insurance companies use this percentage of fault to decide how much compensation for damages they owe. If their policyholder is 75% responsible for the accident, they are liable for 75% of damages in most states.

Twelve states use a no-fault rule for car accidents. In those states, drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance. No matter who causes a car accident, each person files a claim against their own insurance policy. Only cases that meet a specific legal threshold in those states may attempt to claim compensation from the responsible party.

Every state in the U.S. has laws that govern how insurance carriers deal with damages. The other 38 states may use pure comparative negligence or modified comparative negligence, for example. Some states have caps on those damages and some states don’t allow punitive damages.

What Is Negligence?

Car accident claims are a type of personal injury case, and negligence is a component in all personal injury cases. Negligence means that a person didn’t act as a responsible person should in the same circumstances. To prove negligence, you must show that:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care
  • He or she breached that duty of care due to negligence
  • You sustained injuries in an accident
  • That accident and your resulting injuries are a direct result of the other person’s negligence

Every driver who gets behind the wheel of a car is responsible for driving safely and minimizing safety risks to others on the roads. That is their duty of care.

Any unsafe action by that driver may constitute negligence. Some examples are:

All of those examples can and do lead to accidents. Among other things, your car accident attorney can obtain a copy of the other driver’s cell phone records that may show they were using their phone immediately before the accident to prove their negligence.

What Kinds of Damages Can You Collect?

Car accident victims can receive three main categories of damages.

Economic Damages

This category includes things with a certain dollar amount attached to them:

  • Property damage, or repairing or replacing your car
  • Medical treatments related to the injury you suffered in the accident
  • Lost wages because you were unable to work during your recovery
  • The cost of hiring caregivers

All of those things have a price tag, and these damages reimburse you for those specific costs.

Non-Economic Damages

Not all car accident injuries are visible, but they do exist. Not only do auto crash victims experience physical injuries and pain, but they often suffer from emotional and mental trauma caused by the collision. Because a definite expense doesn’t correlate to these injuries, the amount of damages can vary greatly.

Non-economic damages include:

  • Physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Humiliation due to permanent disfigurement resulting from the accident
  • The inability to enjoy life
  • Loss of consortium
  • A permanent disability that doesn’t allow the victim to work
  • Reduced social involvement
  • PTSD

Many times, you will not be successful in obtaining non-economic damages without a car accident attorney. Mike Morse Law Firm has decades of experience handling automobile accident cases similar to yours, and they can help you too.

Although these conditions can severely impact your daily life, insurance company investigators will try to say that they don’t exist or that they’re not severe. Your car accident lawyer uses doctors to examine your physical and mental conditions. They can testify in court about the severity of the impact these things have on your life.

Punitive Damages

Some states don’t allow for punitive damages. This category is solely to further punish the at-fault driver in cases where reckless or malicious intent led to your accident.

Can You Harm Your Case?

You might do several things that could hurt your personal injury claim. Avoid making these mistakes that could lead to reduced damages for you. Non-economic damages use the severity of your injury’s impact on your life, so don’t do things that contradict your stated condition.

Social Media Posts

Many people these days share photos and statuses via social media, and insurance company investigators can find anything you post. A photo of you walking the dog shows that you can walk, which could hurt your case if you claim that you can’t stand, for example.

Medical Treatments

You should continue to accept medical treatments if they’re needed, including physical or mental health therapy. If you stop these treatments, the opposing insurance carrier can claim that your injury isn’t serious, because you would continue treatment if it was.

Admission of Fault

In no circumstances should you admit to responsibility for your accident. Investigators may find anyone who hears you say you’re responsible and use it against you. Never put that statement in writing.

Lying or Hiding Evidence

If you lie to police, investigators or your lawyer, they will doubt your credibility. If you lied about this, what else did you lie about? Hiding or destroying evidence also indicates that you aren’t trustworthy.

When Should You Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?

The sooner, the better. Why? Crucial evidence can disappear and witnesses may forget important details as time passes. Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident lets them get to work immediately gathering evidence to support your claim.

Many insurance companies contact accident victims soon after the crash and offer ridiculously low settlements. As soon as you hire an attorney, they can be your spokesperson with insurance carriers. Your lawyer won’t put up with unfair tactics; instead, they will fight to negotiate a maximum settlement for you.

Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

Mike Morse Law Firm is the largest personal injury firm in Michigan. The experience gained from decades of handling all kinds of personal injury cases gives them the knowledge they need to fight insurance companies. They will work hard to obtain the maximum amount of damages that you deserve.

Are you concerned that you can’t afford an attorney? No need to worry. Mike Morse has a No Fee policy. You don’t have to pay any upfront fees, and you won’t owe anything until you receive your insurance settlement. No Win, No Fees Guaranteed. That means no risk to you, but the possibility of receiving larger compensation amounts for your damages.

Request your free consultation today. The attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm will answer your questions and tell you what your options are. Someone is available to speak to you 24/7. Call (855) 645-3946, use live chat, send an email or submit the online contact form.

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