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What damages are legally recoverable after car accident injuries?

Drivers in Orange County and the rest of California are always at risk of suffering injuries in collisions in intersections, T-bone crashes, rear-end accidents and crashes that involve red light or stop sign violations. If you have suffered injuries in an accident that resulted from the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to seek recovery of damages.

When you pursue financial relief through the civil justice system, you can claim recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. Furthermore, you may be eligible to recover future medical costs, and your loved ones might even be able to seek recovery.

Economic damages

The court and state laws will determine which losses you might recover after consideration of the types and severity of your injuries. The jury will also look at the documented proof that accompanies your claims. You might be entitled to some or all of the following financial losses:

  • Medical expenses: You could recover immediate medical expenses, but if you can prove that you will need ongoing medical care for injuries that resulted from this accident, you might be entitled to recover future medical expenses. The jury will base the amount on the opinion of the treating physician.
  • Lost income: If you can prove that your injuries prevented you from returning to work, you could recover lost wages for that period.
  • Diminished or lost earning capacity: You may be entitled to compensation for lost or diminished ability to make an income. Matters that the court will consider to determine whether you deserve such an award will include your age, life expectancy, health, occupation, skills, talents, training and experience. Although the court will base its decision on the amount of money you would have earned, it will also consider your previous level of earnings.
  • Permanent disability: Only the testimony of a medical professional can prove the need for compensation for permanent disabilities. However, this is not only for physical disabilities but also for a disability that you might perceive subjectively.
  • Household services: If you need to hire help to manage household tasks, walk the dog and more for a period after the accident, you might be able to secure recovery of those expenses.

Non-economic damages

Sometimes, a personal injury causes more than economic losses, and the goal of a civil lawsuit is to make you whole again. It might be challenging to quantify the damages in this category, which include the following:

  • Pain and suffering: Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, the jury may award an amount for past and future suffering.
  • Disfigurement: If an accident left you permanently scarred or deformed, the court might add compensation for disfigurement to another kind of damages, such as mental anguish.
  • Mental anguish: This category refers to accident-related stress that can include terror, nervousness, apprehension, anxiety, humiliation, grief, shock and more.
  • Loss of life enjoyment: This typically refers to how your injuries compromised the way in which you enjoyed your typical daily activities before the accident.

Which of these damages are valid for your situation?

This is where the need for an experienced personal injury attorney comes in. The most logical step might be to secure legal counsel who can assess the circumstances of your accident, help with the establishment of negligence and assist with gathering documented proof of losses. An Orange County attorney can determine which of the available legal claims are viable, based on your injuries. A lawyer can work to obtain a monetary judgment that will provide comprehensive coverage for your losses.

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