What Are My Money Damages?
Article by John P. Webb
Article Date: 7/25/2008 1:10:28 PM
Can I get compensation for lost wages? Who pays for my medical expenses? I have a permanent injury from an accident, what should I do?
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else, you are entitled to the following money damages:
1. Medical Expenses: You are entitled to the actual medical expenses that were incurred as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person. This includes doctors’ bills, emergency room bills, ambulance bills, bills for diagnostic tests such as X-RAYS, MRI’s, CT scans, etc., bills for medicine, bills for equipment such as cervical collars, braces, walking devices, etc., bills for physical therapy, home health care or any other cost associated with your medical treatment, including future medical bills.
2. Lost Wages: You are entitled to compensation for time that you have lost from work as a result of the accident (including future lost wages) for medical treatment, rest, physical therapy for other causes associated with the accident that may follow the accident.
3. Pain and Suffering and Lost Enjoyment of Life: How much would you pay if you no longer had to experience the pain associated with your injury? While there may be no scientifically based mathematical formula for computing this number, there is no doubt value associated with having to endure pain. No matter how great or how small the pain is, the truth is that it is there and it usually persists for some time, often a lifetime.
You are entitled to compensation for time that you have lost from work as a result of the accident (including future lost wages)
In addition, you are entitled to compensation for those things that you can no longer do as a result of your injury that change your lifestyle such as recreational activities, gardening, golf, tennis, hiking, jogging, etc. Many people would gladly pay to play a round of golf or have someone to tend to their yard. Well, what if you can’t, certainly there is value in that loss. The bottom line is that pain and suffering is a very real injury that deserves real compensation.
4. Permanent Impairment: It may be that your injury has resulted in a permanent partial loss of your physical abilities. For instance, you may no longer be able to lift anything more than twenty pounds, perform household chores, laundry, cooking, cleaning, yard work, caring for your children or other loved ones, or run or walk the way you used to. This is a distinct and separate injury from pain and suffering and also has value for which you are entitled to recover.
5. Property Damage: Obviously you are entitled to have your car repaired or replaced if the loss was caused by the negligence of someone else. However, once a vehicle has been in an accident it loses value and you are also entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle. If your vehicle was damaged due to the negligence of another it is important to make sure your vehicle is properly repaired, that your warranty is not negatively impacted, that the repair shop uses the right replacement parts and that you get full compensation for the diminished value of your vehicle.
For negotiating your injury claim, it is important to have a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced enough to properly document and demand compensation for all of your damages.
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John P. Webb
John Webb specializes in personal injury: car accidents, tractor trailer litigation, and has appeared as a guest commentator, providing legal opinions for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. His office is in Stockbridge, Georgia.