Car accidents can create a serious financial burden, especially if you’re required to take time off work to heal from your injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by another driver, you’re eligible for several types of compensation that can help provide you with the resources you need to recover.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
In general, a car accident claim involves compensation for four different types of damages:
- Medical expenses. Reimbursement for your medical expenses includes all payments you make related to the accident such as hospital stays, pain medication, and physical therapy. If your personal injuries create the need for ongoing medical care, you can request compensation to assist with your future medical bills as well as for any modifications that are necessary to your home or vehicle after the accident.
- Lost income. This type of compensation includes payment for time you were unable to work while recuperating, as well as any future loss of wages. For example, a surgeon who suffers accident-related nerve damage in his hands would likely be unable to continue operating. If he was forced to find other lower paying work, he'd be able to sue for the loss of his future income.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a general term that refers to the physical and emotional trauma an injured person experiences during the accident and the recovery process.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are relatively rare in cases involving auto accidents. These damages are awarded when the driver's conduct was particularly irresponsible. For example, someone who was driving drunk might be asked to pay punitive damages to deter further bad behavior.
Who Pays for My Claim?
When you are in an accident and the other driver is at fault, you'll likely recover damages from his liability insurance. If you are hit by a driver with no insurance or someone with insufficient insurance and no assets, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage will pay your expenses.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
In a simple accident where there are minimal injuries or property damages and fault is not disputed, the claim can likely be settled without professional legal representation. However, cases where fault is being contested or where you've sustained serious injuries can get complicated very quickly.
If you need to enlist the services of a car accident attorney, Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can help. Our firm has extensive experience assisting Louisiana residents in obtaining the compensation they deserve.