After a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver for:
- Past and future medical care
- Past and future income loss
- Property repair or replacement
- Pain and suffering
You may be entitled to compensation for additional expenses and losses as well. A car accident lawyer can help you identify and calculate the value of your potentially recoverable damages. Consulting a law firm may help you understand what additional damages you may be able to collect for a car accident.
Proving You Are Entitled to Collect Damages
To collect any damages for a car accident, you may be required to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence caused it. Your crash report may be a key piece of evidence that tells the story of the collision. In addition to your crash report, the following types of evidence may prove the responsible party’s liability and entitle you to compensation:
- Injury photos
- Video footage of the accident
- Witness statements
- Your medical records and bills
Note that you may only be entitled to collect damages for a limited time. In Louisiana, Civil Code (CC) §3492 places a general one-year deadline on personal injury lawsuits. If you wait longer than this to submit your lawsuit, it may be dismissed.
A lawyer can ensure compliance with the legal deadlines in your case.
Defining Your Full Range of Medical Expenses
Your medical expenses may start adding up right at the scene of the accident, and they may continue to add up long after your case is resolved. In general, these expenses may include:
- Ambulance services
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospital admissions
- Follow-up care
- Specialist referrals
- Assistive medical devices
A lawyer may be able to prove the current and future costs of your medical care. Proving the costs of your medical care until you are fully recovered may prevent you from incurring out-of-pocket expenses for health care treatments later on.
Keeping Track of Your Total Income Loss
In addition to your medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation for any income you lost as the result of your injuries. Income loss may include full and part-time wages, freelance income, and business losses.
To prove your income loss, you may be asked to provide your legal team with paycheck stubs, tax records, business records, invoices, and other income statements and financial records. Your lawyer can help you compile the necessary records for all forms of income loss.
Finding Out if Your Car Is Repairable or a Total Loss
You might be able to collect the cost of repairing your car from the at-fault driver. You might be asked for receipts from the garage that repairs your vehicle. The at-fault driver’s insurance provider may recommend a mechanic they prefer; however, you may be entitled to have your car repaired by the mechanic of your choosing.
If your car is severely damaged and the costs of repairing it would exceed its pre-collision value, it might be declared a total loss, as affirmed by the Insurance Information Institute (III). If that happens, you may collect its value according to authoritative sources, such as Kelley Blue Book. Your lawyer may work with you to ensure the restoration or replacement of your vehicle is handled fairly.
Get Help Valuing Your Intangible Damages
Two types of damages that are generally available in car accident cases include:
- Economic damages: these are tangible damages that are easy to calculate because they generate bills and receipts, e.g., medical bills and property damage.
- Non-economic damages: these are intangible damages that are more difficult to calculate because they do not come with an economic value, e.g., pain and suffering or mental anguish.
Because non-economic damages do not come with receipts and estimates, their value may be challenging to determine on your own. A personal injury lawyer in your area may be able to help you accurately calculate the value of your non-economic damages.
Let Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Fight for You
While your physical recovery might be your primary focus after a car accident, helping you fight for financial compensation can be our focus. To discuss what car accident damages you may be entitled to collect in a free case review with a member of our team, call us today at (337) 777-7777.