If you have been injured in an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence in Jacksonville, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Recovering damages after an accident can cover both economic losses like medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic losses like pain and suffering. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney is key to getting full and fair compensation for your injuries.
This article will provide an overview of the different types of damages you can potentially recover after an auto accident in Jacksonville. We’ll also discuss how an attorney can help maximize your settlement or court award by thoroughly investigating your accident, negotiating with insurance companies, and advocating for you throughout the claims process.
Types of Damages You Can Recover After a Jacksonville Auto Accident
There are two main categories of damages you can seek compensation for after an auto accident – economic damages and non-economic damages. Here’s an overview of what types of losses fall under each category:
Economic damages cover any tangible, documented expenses and losses you’ve incurred as a direct result of the accident. Some common examples include:
This covers the cost of any medical treatment you’ve received due to accident-related injuries. It can include expenses like the ambulance ride, emergency room visit, hospital stay, surgeries, doctor appointments, physical therapy, prescription medications, medical equipment and more. Make sure you keep all receipts and request copies of medical records.
If your injuries prevented you from being able to work for a period of time, you can seek compensation for lost wages. Your attorney can calculate this by reviewing pay stubs and tax returns. If you missed a promotion or lost a job due to the accident, this can also be factored in.
Loss of future earnings
For serious or permanent injuries that impact your future ability to work and earn an income, you can recover damages for the future wages you’ll lose out on. This is determined by factors like your age, occupation, income level at the time of the accident and the extent of your disabilities.
If your vehicle or other personal property was damaged in the crash, you can recover repair or replacement costs. Keep all repair estimates, invoices and receipts. Photograph property damage if possible.
Any costs you paid out of your own pocket that relate to the accident can be part of your economic damages claim. This could cover things like hiring in-home health aides, transportation for medical appointments, modifying your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability, and more.
By thoroughly documenting all accident-related costs and working with an attorney, you can seek fair compensation for all of your economic losses.
Non-economic damages cover losses that aren’t financial in nature, but still have significant impact on your life. They can be a bit more difficult to quantify, but an experienced attorney knows how to properly value these kinds of damages. Common non-economic losses include:
Pain and suffering
You can receive compensation for any pain, discomfort or mental distress caused by your injuries. Things like chronic pain, migraines, PTSD, anxiety and depression all fall into this category. The specific dollar amounts will vary based on the unique details of your case.
Loss of enjoyment of life
If your injuries prevent you from being able to participate in activities and hobbies that previously brought you joy, you can seek damages. For example, if you can no longer play sports, pursue artistic endeavors or be as involved with family activities due to limitations from your injuries.
Disfigurement or disability
Injuries that leave permanent scarring or disfigurement, or cause disabilities that affect your mobility and quality of life, warrant compensation for these lifelong impacts. The amount will depend on the severity.
Being involved in an auto accident and dealing with injuries can take a psychological and emotional toll. Damages for emotional distress help compensate for challenges like anxiety, sleep disturbances, relationship strain and more.
Your attorney will hire expert witnesses, if needed, to attest to the extent of your non-economic damages and what reasonable compensation would cover. While putting a dollar amount on these kinds of losses can be tough, a good lawyer will fight to maximize your recovery.
In rare cases where the defendant’s behavior was especially reckless or egregious, you may be able to pursue punitive damages on top of economic and non-economic losses. These are designed to punish the at-fault party as a deterrent. Punitive damages may be awarded if the other driver was driving drunk, excessively speeding or engaging in street racing when they caused the accident. Discuss with your attorney whether your case may warrant pursuing this extra form of compensation.
Having an Experienced Attorney Help Maximize Your Settlement
Trying to handle an auto accident claim on your own can be extremely challenging. Insurance companies are focused on minimizing payouts, so it’s common for unrepresented victims to be pressured into accepting unfairly low settlements. An experienced Jacksonville car accident lawyer levels the playing field and handles the entire claims process for you. Here are some of the key ways hiring an attorney maximizes your compensation:
- Thorough investigation – Your attorney will conduct a diligent investigation to build a strong liability case by interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, collecting accident scene evidence, recreating the accident scenario and more. Establishing clear liability is crucial.
- Dealing with insurance companies – Car accident lawyers are experienced negotiators who know how to handle even the most difficult insurance adjusters. They won’t let you be pressured into a quick, lowball settlement.
- Full assessment of damages – A good lawyer will make sure that all of your past and future economic and non-economic losses are identified and properly documented. This provides support for a maximum settlement demand.
- Knowledge of claim value – Drawing on experience handling many auto injury cases, your attorney can estimate the value of your claim and formulate a fair settlement demand based on your full losses.
- Willingness to go to court – If the at-fault driver’s insurance company won’t offer a just settlement out of court, a seasoned attorney will be ready to take your case to litigation. This shows the insurer you’re serious.
- Level the playing field – Car accident attorneys have the legal knowledge and resources to build a strong claim against well-funded insurance companies. They ensure victims’ rights are protected.
By having an accomplished Jacksonville auto accident attorney represent you throughout the claims process, you can feel confident knowing someone is fighting for you to obtain maximum compensation.
Being injured in a car crash can derail your life, causing devastating financial strain and emotional turmoil. While you can’t undo the accident, you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer for your economic and non-economic damages. These damages encompass everything from medical bills and lost income to pain and suffering. To ensure you receive a full and fair recovery amount, it’s wise to work with an experienced Jacksonville car accident lawyer. Keeping detailed records and having a skilled attorney on your side levels the playing field against insurance companies and gets victims justice. Don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel from the best attorney for car accident lawsuit in Jacksonville for assistance in recovering maximum damages after an auto accident.