Imagine. You’re out on the roads, driving to work or to meet a loved one, and with almost no warning, you find yourself in a car accident. A vehicle crash can be a frightening experience. On top of any injuries you may be dealing with, you also likely have many questions, such as who will pay for your medical bills, how will you be compensated for what you’ve lost? Frustration and anger over the situation and at-fault parties may percolate. Many victims wonder how much someone can sue for a car accident?
At a bare minimum, a lawsuit or claim after a car accident should cover your medical expenses and any property damage you incurred because of the accident. However, damages you suffered from the car accident could go beyond medical bills and car repair. You may have to miss work after the crash to recover from your injuries. In serious cases, you may not be able to go back to the same job or perform the same work duties. Additionally, you may have experienced mental anguish, PTSD and pain and suffering that contributed to a lower quality of life since the incident. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, you have a right to sue for fair and complete compensation.
How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?
The amount of money you can sue someone for after a car accident depends on the severity of your injuries, the total amount you’ve lost in medical expenses and lost wages, insurance limits, and the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Suing for Medical Bills and Lost Wages after a Car Accident
Car accident lawsuits demand compensation for the full cost of your medical expenses -- both in the immediate aftermath of the accident and ongoing treatment. If your medical treatment will extend far into the future, or you have lasting injuries that will require ongoing treatment, your claim could include a demand for compensation for these future medical expenses. Examples of medical expenses that can be claimed in a car accident lawsuit include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital and surgery bills
- Rehabilitation services and therapy
- Medical devices
- Costs of retrofitting your home or car
One of the reasons it’s so important to not settle your claim early is so that you have a full understanding of your medical prognosis and expected treatment plan. Once you agree to settle your claim, you cannot go back and reopen it later to seek compensation for further medical care.
If you missed work because of your injuries, your settlement demand should include the lost wages you would have earned should you not have been injured. In cases of serious injury where the victim may not be able to return to the same job or work, you may seek lost future earnings.
Generally speaking, the higher the amount of your medical bills and other damages that you are seeking, the higher the amount you can sue for a car accident. In these circumstances, the negotiation process with insurance companies and at-fault parties may be quite complex, making it extremely important to enlist the help of a car accident lawyer who can represent your best interests. Most insurance adjusters will take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim with the help of an injury lawyer, making it much easier to obtain maximum compensation.
Car Accident Claims for Mental and Emotional Distress
Many car accident lawsuits seek compensation for non-economic or intangible losses. These types of damages can’t be calculated through bills or records as they are subjective damages for emotional injuries and mental anguish suffered because of the injuries.
Every case and settlement is unique, so insurance companies look at the severity and permanency of your bodily injuries. In other words, you will be entitled to more money for pain and suffering if you suffered a traumatic brain injury that required extensive hospitalizations and rehabilitation than if you broke your leg. The more severe and permanent your injury is, the more mental anguish and loss you will experience, and the more you deserve in compensation for your injuries.
Insurance Limits in Car Accident Lawsuits
After a car accident in a no-fault state like New Jersey or New York, your own insurance company will act as the primary insurer for the accident. If your injuries are considered serious and you’ve opted for insurance that allows you to sue, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to cover the damages once your own PIP coverage is exhausted. The limits of these insurance policies could limit the amount you’re able to receive in a lawsuit.
Get Help with a Car Accident Lawsuit
Working with an attorney with extensive experience in car accidents can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. In some scenarios, there could be more than one at-fault party. But determining liability and how much your claim is worth is complex. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it?
When you hire a personal injury lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you are assured a passionate team fighting for your best interest and putting your needs first. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success with car accident lawsuits and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.