If you are injured in a collision, one of the first things you will want to do is file a case against the driver who is at fault. This allows you to recover compensation for your injuries and any damages done.
Unfortunately, getting the compensation you deserve post-collision is not always as simple as filing paperwork with the court and asking for money. You will need to prove any damages you have sustained as a result of the crash to get maximum compensation.
The question is, how do you prove your damages to the court so that you may get compensation? In this post, we discuss the types of compensation you may be eligible for as well as the types of evidence that are needed to prove those damages in court.
There are two types of damages that a victim can claim in their case and a third type of damages that may be sometimes awarded by the court.
The most basic type of damages that you may sue a person for after a car crash are financial losses associated with the collision. Also called economic damages, these damages can cover a great many things. It’s important to think long and hard and consider all possibilities when determining your financial losses.
The most common financial damages that are claimed include medical bills and expenses related to injuries. This may include medical equipment, transportation to the doctor or rehab, prescriptions, home healthcare, and other specialized treatments or services.
Other considerations include loss of property, such as vehicle damage or loss of belongings due to the collision. Lost wages and time off work may also be considered as recoverable financial damage. Legal fees and travel expenses are included in the list as well.
Emotional damages are different from financial damages in that they do not correlate to lost property or wages as a result of the crash. Instead, they focus on the pain and suffering endured as a result of the incident.
This includes the struggles that a person undergoes during recovery as well as the strain it puts on their relationships, potential loss of intimacy between family and friends, and other types of emotional distress.
Some victims require counseling and suffer from issues like fear and anxiety or even PTSD after a car crash. If the person documents these issues and seeks help for them, it is possible to claim these types of damages as well. “It can be even more difficult – though not impossible – to prove a claim that is being brought for emotional distress alone, without an accompanying physical injury,” note accident lawyers at Vanguard Attorneys.
The final type of damage is awarded by the court in cases where the collision is found to be excessively negligent or malicious on behalf of the at-fault party. In other words, the person who caused the crash either did so on purpose or was so negligent in their actions that they caused undue harm to those around them.
These damages are above and beyond the award given to the victim and are decided upon by the judge upon hearing the case. While the victim cannot request these damages, they can potentially prove the at-fault party was malicious or negligent if that was the case.
Proving damages can vary greatly, depending on whether they are financial or emotional.
Financial damages are fairly straightforward. Providing bills, receipts, check stubs, travel tickets, bank statements or other forms of evidence that document the costs incurred will be sufficient to prove to the court the costs and losses suffered. If you have a large number of expenses your lawyer may be able to assist with gathering evidence or may suggest you involve a financial professional to keep all of your records together until your case goes to court.
Emotional damages are a bit more difficult to prove because these losses are not tangible and difficult to assign a monetary value to. One thing to do is keep a diary of experiences, emotions, and things that happen following the collision, such as if you experience panic attacks or other issues. You may want to see a therapist or even have a professional witness testify on your behalf to the emotional and psychological trauma suffered from the crash.
Punitive damages are up to the court, but one way to help your case and possibly be awarded for these damages is to prove extreme negligence or disregard for the safety of others on the part of the at-fault party. Photos of the incident, video leading up to the accident, testimonies from witnesses, and a police statement can all help show the court the nature of the crash.
A lot of work goes into preparing a car crash case, and it can be difficult to go through everything that needs to be done immediately after the incident. If you work hard to gather evidence and rely on your personal injury attorney, you will have a chance to recover the money you deserve post-collision and possibly be made whole again.