You are likely to feel overwhelmed, frightened, and even wonder how you can cover your expenses after being involved in an accident. You may also feel upset about your property damage and injuries due to another driver’s failure to observe road safety rules. When you are recovering after an accident, these feelings are valid. Fortunately, you can recover monetary losses by filing an auto accident claim or lawsuit. You only need to work with a competent car accident attorney to determine your legal options after the accident. You should contact an attorney once you are injured in an accident.

Benefits for Accident Victims

Every accident claim is unique, and you can recover the benefits depending on some factors. The determining factors could be whether you are partially at fault for the accident and the extent of property damage that occurred. You might not be entitled to recover every type of benefit because the circumstances present in your accident can determine which benefit you can recover. During your first meeting with your attorney, you should discuss this issue. Typically, the benefits you can recover after your involvement in an accident include:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are non-tangible feelings you experience after an accident. You may require psychological counseling to help you pull through any mental issue related to your accident, like anxiety about driving again or depression. Determining if you are entitled to pain and suffering benefits can be complicated. The court may consider the extent of your injuries and the nature of the accident to determine a just benefit you should receive in pain and suffering. With the help of your attorney, you qualify for pain and suffering benefits if there is proof that you have insomnia, grief, loss of enjoyment of life, and worry.

Emotional Distress

You must seek the help of an attorney for you to receive emotional distress benefits. Without sufficient evidence, you cannot receive emotional distress benefits. Your attorney will give you the expertise to prove that you are an emotionally distressed person. Emotional distress could include replaying the events, loss of concentration, insomnia, crying, worrying, and stress. You may also narrate your testimony of flashbacks, inability to sleep, anxiety, and other accident-related emotional injuries. To strengthen your testimony, supplement with other evidence showing the fatality of the underlying accident. If the accident is fatal, you may experience emotional distress.

You must also consider keeping your journal for emotional distress because it proves the emotional injuries you suffered. You could help the court see a clear picture of your emotional distress related to the accident if you present the circumstances, the facts, and the evidence of your physical injuries. This could help you receive substantial emotional distress benefits.

Loss of Enjoyment in Life

Accident victims can claim compensation for loss of enjoyment in life if they sustain a physical or a mental injury that makes them unable to enjoy or perform an activity they used to engage in before the accident. A person may be unable to engage in activities that gave them enjoyment before the accident. These activities may include:

  • Social activities
  • Volunteer activities
  • Recreational activities
  • Hobbies

These damages are awarded to accident victims but are often included in the pain and suffering compensation. Loss of enjoyment of life occurs when an accident victim suffers severe injuries like:

  • Severe burns and disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Injuries causing deafness and blindness
  • Paralysis

When calculating or determining the appropriate compensation for loss of enjoyment in life, the judge will consider several factors. The factors that help determine the compensation amount due include:

  • The extent of the damages and the injured person’s appearance
  • The age of the accident victim
  • The work history or educational background of the injured person
  • The future implications or consequences of the injury
  • The nature of the activity that the victim can no longer engage in

The injured person’s attorney may engage experts like economists to help calculate the extent of loss of enjoyment in life.

Loss of Earning Capacity      

At times, you may lose your chances or ability to resume and earn income after being involved in an accident. If this happens, the law globally allows victims of the accident to seek compensation for loss of earning capacity. You are entitled to loss of earning capacity benefits if you suffer at least 15% of your earning capacity due to the accident. However, you need to work closely with a personal injury attorney to receive substantial benefits. You need to provide the attorney with your earning capacity records, work history records, and other employment-related records.

If your claim succeeds, you may receive lump sum benefits or be paid monthly. If the court determines your loss of earning capacity to be less than 50%, you may receive your benefits as a lump sum. If the court determines your loss of earning capacity to be 50%, you may receive your benefits monthly. If your earning capacity reduces by more than 50% due to an accident, you may receive lump sum benefits of up to 50%. However, experts may look into some factors before you receive your loss of earning capacity benefits. Some of the factors they could scrutinize include:

  • Your promotion history and improvement in skills
  • Where you work
  • Your current salary rates and market values
  • Your level of education
  • Your profession
  • The history of your work
  • Your talent, abilities, and skills

Loss of Companion or Affection

An injury from an accident could deprive you and your spouse of the ability to show affection if you are married. The affection includes sexual activity, which is called loss of consortium in legal terms. Unlike other damages, uninjured spouse files loss of consortium, affection, or companionship claim. If you don’t recover benefits for your injuries, you cannot recover benefits for these types of damages.

Surviving family members may claim loss of companionship and society benefits if their loved one dies because of injuries sustained in an accident. In such a claim, the jury may determine the following before the benefits are given:

  • The general impact of the deceased on the surviving family members
  • Their living arrangements
  • If the deceased had a harmonious and loving relationship with the surviving family members

Lost Wages

Injuries you suffer after your involvement in an accident may cause you to lose wages. You may lose wages due to mobility problems, time spent in the hospital, physical therapy sessions, and other factors that may prevent you from earning your usual wages. The good news is that you may file a claim for lost wages benefits if you suffer injuries due to the accident. However, you must document and provide sufficient evidence that the lost wages occurred due to the defendant’s wrongdoing or negligence. Lost wages may include:

  • Regular pay
  • Self-employment income
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Sick or vacation days you had to use up.
  • Lost perks or other benefits for that period

To receive all your lost wages benefits, anything you missed out on during your treatment is added up. The substantial evidence to claim lost wages benefits is the letter from your employer and past pay stubs if you are employed. Your employer must show the following in your letter:

  • Working hours per week
  • Your frequency of pay and the regular rate
  • Your overtime working hours per week and the rate
  • The number of days and hours you missed from work
  • Your job title
  • The time you were hired and confirmed up to the time of the accident
  • The amount you could have received as bonuses, commissions, and overtime during that period

In case your employer fails to provide the employment letter, you can provide income returns and previous pay stubs to prove your lost wages claim.

Wrongful Death

You can claim different benefits when an accident occurs caused by another person, resulting in the wrongful death of your loved one. The benefits include the enjoyment of life that the deceased experienced between injury and death, pain and suffering, medical costs, and funeral bills. You may also claim the pecuniary value of your loved one’s life. This means the money the deceased would have earned over his or her expected lifetime without his or her projected expenses.

The close surviving relatives like spouse, children, or parents can claim their loved ones’ wrongful death benefits. However, the law allows the court to appoint a personal representative to claim wrongful benefits if the deceased did not have surviving relatives. The personal representative oversees the deceased estate.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses can be expensive because they may involve hospitalization, diagnosis, and treatment. You could be required to continue taking medication and physical therapy sessions after you have received your initial diagnosis and treatment. These expenses too can be part of medical expenses benefits. You must provide documentation of your diagnoses, your interaction with medical staff and doctors to prove your claim for medical expenses benefits.

Your doctor can use X-ray or MRI machines to diagnose the fatality of some injuries. The doctor can also use these machines to produce a report that serves as proof to receive your medical expenses benefits. This is because determining proof of an injury is often challenging, and some victims exaggerate the severity of their injuries. The X-ray or MRI machines can prove the presence of injuries like broken or dislocated bones.

You may qualify for future medical expenses benefits if you have sufficient evidence that you will need continuous treatment due to the accident. The evidence should be substantial enough to enable the court to make an estimated amount that will sustain you. Often, this is done through a medical opinion of a competent medical expert.

Punitive Damages

Exemplary damages or punitive damages are imposed to deter, reform, or punish the defendant for outrageous conduct. Punitive damages include lost income, property damage, past and future medical bills, and non-economic damages like humiliation, pain, suffering, and anxiety. You may receive some or all punitive damage benefits, although the aim is not to repay or compensate you. You may receive punitive damage benefits if compensatory damages seem like an inadequate compensation or remedy. The judge may charge them to protect you from under-compensation. Punitive damages are available only in a few cases because they are usually paid over the plaintiff’s provable injuries. Generally, punitive damages are not available in contract disputes.

Permanent Disability

You can claim permanent disability benefits in case you become disabled after an accident. You need a competent attorney to help you get the benefits by contacting a doctor to provide medical proof on your behalf. First, the doctor may examine you to ensure they avail the medical report that can assist you to prove and win your benefits. Permanent disability damages can include those that are subjectively perceived and those that may have been objectively determined.

Determining Liability

You must prove the defendant’s liability to receive your benefits after being involved in an accident. Several individuals could be liable for the accident. For instance, to prove that the other driver was negligent, it must be apparent that he or she owed you a duty of care. Every motorist owes a duty of care to other road users. You must provide sufficient evidence that the other driver failed to honor his or her duty of care.

You must also provide sufficient that your damages or losses occurred due to the defendant’s breach of duty of care. The driver may be liable for the accident by engaging in distracted driving, poor training, fatigue, and speeding, among others.

Find a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

After sustaining injuries in an accident, you are entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. However, it is not easy to claim compensation because many defendants may deny liability. You are more likely to receive the benefits you deserve through a personal injury attorney. If you have suffered injuries in an accident, Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney will evaluate the case and help you seek compensation. Our attorneys will assist you in filing a personal injury claim. Contact us at 904-800-7557 and talk to one of our attorneys today.