Being injured in a car accident can be a life-changing event. In some cases, the driver of the vehicle or a family member is injured so severely that there is a need for permanent or long-term care. Most people would not have money for this type of care, especially if you or the family member were the sole providers for the family.
How is My Cleveland Settlement Amount Determined?
When you are dealing with an insurance company, the process can be very straight forward. The typical expenses related to an accident, such as lost time at work and other out of pocket expenses, are paid without too much trouble. However, the more serious losses such as emotional stress and trauma is a bit trickier to determine. There is a formula that is used to establish these sorts of loss:
- Total medical expenses (also called special damages) is multiplied by a number that reflects the seriousness of the injuries. This number is in bonds of 2.
- Total medical expenses x (seriousness of injuries) = general damages
- Total medical expenses + general damages + loss of income = settlement offer from the insurance company.
Remember to keep a proper record of all your expenses relating to the crash or injuries sustained during the accident, such as transport to and from the hospital, which can also be added to the claim.
What Type of Damages Can I Claim After a Cleveland Car Accident?
There are various damages for which you can claim. Some will be easy to prove while others are a bit trickier. If you have a good lawyer on your team, then it will make the process a lot smoother.
All medical expenses that are related to the injuries sustained during the accident can be claimed as damages. These include doctor visits, hospital treatments, treatment from a physical therapist or any other service by a medical professional. If you need a wheelchair, churches and other aids, they will also be covered.
If the injuries are severe and you will require future medical care, this must also form part of your claim. The best decision for your interests is to get the correct information from your doctor. Your attending doctor will be able to tell you the extent of your future medical care as well as possible costs relating to it.
Keep in mind that all medical expenses relating to the injuries sustained during the crash will be covered. That means that current or chronic medical conditions are not covered as well as any medical advice that is needed for litigation purposes. Medical expenses will be used to determine general damages, as explained earlier. It is thus vital to ensure that all costs are considered.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress, can be claimed. Long after the wounds have healed and the scars have faded, you might realize that you are suffering from emotional trauma due to the accident. Keep in mind that emotional distress can be present even if you were not physically injured. A lot of car accident victims lead to post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, anxiety and even depression.
If you suffered injuries that lead to permanent disfigurement or disability, it may lead to emotional distress as well. In cases of disfigurement you can experience shock or embarrassment. Be sure to mention all the emotional trauma you are suffering to your attorney.
Loss of Income
Loss of income has two components that need to be considered. First of all, there is the actual loss of income when you are unable to go to work due to injury or when you need to handle the administration in the aftermath of the crash. The second component is the loss of earning ability.
Loss of earning ability is basically when your injuries are of such a nature that you cannot return to your previous work or you cannot return to the position that you held before the crash. This can have dire effects on your salary and your income, otherwise known as lost wages. This is important information to mention to your attorney.
In Ohio, you must have property damage insurance. If the amount that the other driver is insured for is less than the costs of repairs, you will be able to claim compensation from your own insurance. Remember that property damage does not only relate to your car. If there were other properties that were damaged such as a smart device, then that can be included. Give your attorney a full inventory of what property was damaged, as this will form part of your claim.
Can I File a Claim for Family Members in Cleveland, Ohio?
When your partner is injured in an accident, you are actually able to claim for loss of companionship. An injured partner is also called a loss of consortium, which includes loss of companionship, aid and comfort and sexual relations among other things. Keep in mind that the state of your marriage before the accident will be taken into consideration when this type of claim is considered.
If an underage child has been injured in an accident, their legal guardian or parent can file a claim on their behalf for all the above-mentioned damages and reasons.
When a family member or spouse has passed away in the accident or due to injuries relating to the collision, then the surviving spouse or family will be able to claim funeral benefits from the insurance company. If the deceased was the sole provider for the family, financial losses would also form part of the claim. Ensure that your attorney knows all this when you start the claim filing process.
Consult with an Attorney Today to Discuss Your Car Accident
Having a good attorney like the ones at Ohio Car Accident Lawyers will be instrumental in the success of your claim as well as in the settlement amount. It is an attorney’s job to confirm that all the relevant and important information is included in your claim; especially when you are not able to think straight because of the trauma affecting you.