Every day, there are thousands of accidents in the United States. Some involve trucks, some may involve motor vehicles, and others may involve pedestrians or bicyclists. In many of these accidents, no one is injured and the parties can part ways. However, in other incidents, there are serious injuries or even deaths and a lawsuit must be filed.
In any personal injury lawsuit, there are three elements:
- The at-fault party owed a duty to the victim;
- This duty was breached when the at-fault party was negligent; and
- The victim suffered damages.
All three of these elements must be present in a personal injury claim. If one of the elements cannot be proven with objective evidence, the claim will fail. If the claim fails, the victim is solely responsible for all of the expenses associated with the claim. It is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure a victim’s legal rights are thoroughly protected throughout the claim.
The Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
Depending on the nature of the claim, there are a variety of damages that may be sought.
Medical bills and expenses may be claimed for injuries the victim suffered as a result of the accident. These may include ambulance bills, emergency department bills, surgery bills, physical therapy bills, chiropractor bills, and any other number of medical costs. So long as the medical expenses are related to the accident, they may be listed in a victim’s damages demand to the at-fault party. If the victim requires medical care in the future, an estimate of these expenses may also be added.
If the victim is forced to miss a significant amount of time from work, the victim may seek reimbursement for lost wages. Lost wages may include salaried pay, as well as any bonuses to which the victim would have been entitled. If the victim’s capacity for work is diminished as a result of the accident, any difference in income may also be sought in the claim.
Pain and suffering compensates an accident victim for the physical discomfort he or she has endured as a result of the accident. Pain and suffering often includes damages for emotional distress, which reimburse a victim for depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms that have manifested as a result of the accident.
If a death has occurred, the surviving family members may be able to file a claim seeking the value of the financial contributions that would have been made by the victim, had he or she survived the accident. They may also be able to seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
This is a general overview of some of the most common types of damages in a personal injury claim. Additional damages may be available, depending on the case.
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At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our attorneys work hard to maximize client compensation. To schedule your consultation, call 312-422-0500.