If you are the victim of a vehicle accident, you may sustain only minor cuts and bruises or an injury as serious as brain damage, spinal cord damage or even paralysis.
If the other driver is at fault for your injuries, you can file an insurance claim for financial compensation. What can you expect to receive? Will the settlement cover your medical expenses? What else?
Coverage for medical expenses
A single visit to a doctor may represent the sum total of your medical expenses. On the other hand, you may require long-lasting medical care for a significant, life-changing injury. The compensation you receive must be sufficient to cover your current and future medical expenses, including but not limited to hospitalization, surgeries, therapy, medical equipment and at-home care.
Loss of earning capacity
If you have minor injuries, you might only miss a day or two of work. However, major injuries may cause you to lose a significant amount of earning capacity. You might have to spend considerable time in the hospital or engage in a physical therapy program that will require time away from your job. More serious problems may keep you from working again altogether.
To receive compensation for loss of earning capacity, you must prove that your injuries have either diminished or entirely eliminated your ability to return to work.
Pain and suffering
You can also seek compensation for pain and suffering, which refers to the mental or physical distress that results from your injuries as well as the stress you experienced from the accident itself.
An insurance company is always more interested in its own bottom line than it is in yours. Keep in mind that you deserve the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law. Coverage should extend to both current and future medical costs, lost wages and more. If the insurer tries to undervalue or deny your claim, you have the option of taking your case to court.