What kinds of compensation can I get if I have been injured in an accident and my lifestyle has been affected?
Depending on the details of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and even emotional distress. The legal process is designed to provide for both current and future losses due to the accident, and to make you “whole” as much as possible. The following paragraphs will briefly outline the ways that you can recover, and will also note a few limitations.
Medical Expenses. The law allows you to recover both current and future medical expenses due to the accident. This can include counseling sessions as well.
Lost Wages. If you have missed work or been forced to work fewer hours because of the injury, you may be able to get that money back. The dollar amount would be the difference between your normal wages and your actual wages earned.
Future Earnings. You can only get compensation for an injury one time. If the injury will continue to affect your wages after the trial, then you should include future earnings as part of your claim for lost wages. This amount can vary, since it depends on the estimated length of the disability, time until retirement, and future employment prospects.
Pain and Suffering. This category is exactly what it sounds like. If the injury has caused you pain, then a jury can award you money for each day of suffering.
Emotional Distress. Many injuries go beyond purely physical damage. If you have been disabled or disfigured, you may also experience anguish or mental pain following the accident. This category attempts to compensate you for your distress.
Loss of Enjoyment. Beyond lost wages and emotional pain, an injury can also affect your ability to enjoy your life. When an injury prevents you from pursuing a hobby, such as an arm injury if you play tennis, your overall enjoyment of life may suffer. The actual amount awarded can vary significantly.
Limitations. While you can recover for a wide variety of losses, the amount awarded for these losses can also be reduced by the court. The court’s reasons may include inflation, an excessive jury award, or other circumstances of the case. Therefore, the categories above should be used only as a general guideline for determining the types of compensation you can get from your case. For a more detailed evaluation of your case, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
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