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What damages can I get after a car crash?

Car accident victims thinking about pursuing a claim may not always have complete clarity about the type and extent of compensation they may need. This can make them vulnerable to insurers who pressure them to agree to a quick settlement and give up their chance to seek legal redress.

Knowing the general ways in which car crash damages work can give you a clearer picture of your case. You should also seek legal help from a qualified attorney, who can give you specific advice for your situation.

Financial damages

Financial damages form the bulk of most awards. These damages typically include out-of-pocket expenses, such as the costs of medical treatment or replacing or repairing damaged property. You may incur added expenses because your injuries necessitate adjustments to daily living. For example, you may need to take taxis instead of public transportation or walking, purchase adaptive devices or hire professionals to perform tasks such as cooking and cleaning.

In addition to money that comes out of your pocket, your damages may include money that should have gone into your pocket but did not because of the accident. A top example is losing money by missing days from work, having to work reduced hours or losing a job due to inability to perform the duties. Experts may use information about your job, age, health and statistical data to calculate your likely future earnings had the crash not occurred and contrast this amount with your prospects after the accident.

Non-financial damages

Non-financial damages, also called pain and suffering, concern non-monetary effects of your accident. In addition to experiencing pain from injuries, you may also experience pain and discomfort from future treatments and medications. You may also experience psychological conditions that may range from serious diagnosed conditions such as PTSD to feelings of humiliation or fear.

California does not cap these types of damages, with one notable exception. If you do not have insurance as California law requires, you may not recover damages for pain and suffering, irrespective of a determination of fault.

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