Following an automobile accident in which the other driver was at fault, you undoubtedly have a myriad of questions. These certainly include your desire for information about possible compensation after a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Compensation awarded in a personal injury case, including one stemming from a car accident, are technically referred to as compensatory damages, according to Cornell University School of Law.
When you pursue an insurance claim for compensation after a car accident, or a lawsuit, there are certain types of injuries, damages, and losses that are quantifiable. Financial recovery awarded for these quantifiable losses oftentimes is called special damages. Examples of losses for which special damages are awarded in a car accident case include medial bills and expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
In addition to compensation for quantifiable losses, general damages can also be awarded in a car accident case. General damages represent financial recovery for losses that are not readily quantifiable. The two primary types of losses for which general damages can be awarded following an automobile accident include pain and suffering and mental anguish or emotional distress.
A skilled, experienced personal injury lawyer will strive for full, fair, and comprehensive compensation in your case. Comprehensive compensation typically includes not only financial recovery for existing injuries, damages, and losses, but also for losses you reasonably can anticipate facing in the future.
As a result of an automobile accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may need ongoing medical care and treatment into the future. This can include physical or occupational therapy.
In the aftermath of a car accident, you may endure pain for an indefinite period of time. You may not be able to return to work any time soon.
All of these represent compensable losses in a car accident case. A claim settlement or judgment in a lawsuit needs o take reasonably foreseeable losses such as these into consideration.
Another type of compensation, which is available in a limited number of car accident cases, is what is known as punitive or exemplary damages. Punitive damages represent compensation awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, including one involving an automobile collision.
Punitive damages are awarded in a car accident lawsuit when a demonstration is made that the conduct of the person that caused an accident was particularly reckless or egregious. In addition to providing an injured person with additional compensation, they also serve to punish the individual at fault for an accident for particularly reckless of egregious conduct.
Attorney Fees in a Car Accident Case
Compensation awarded in a car accident case typically governs the attorney fees that are paid to legal counsel. As a matter of practice, an car accident lawyer utilizes what is known as a contingency fee agreement with a client. Pursuant to a contingency fee agreement, you pay an attorney fee only if your legal counsel obtains a favorable settlement or judgment for you.
The fee in a car accident case is a reasonable, agreed percentage of a settlement or judgment won by legal counsel. The agreement is committed to writing at the commence of representation and signed by both you and your attorney.
Typically, an personal injury lawyer “fronts” expenses associated with a car accident case. When a settlement or judgment is obtained, those expenses are deducted from the award. While the case is pending, an attorney will consult with you and get your approval before making expenditures associated with your insurance claim or lawsuit.
Retain an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer is advisable when it comes to the matter of best ensuring fair compensation in a car accident case. The first step in engaging a qualified attorney is to schedule an initial consultation with an personal injury lawyer.
During an initial consultation, legal counsel provides for you a case evaluation. This includes an analysis of potential compensation that might be available to you via an insurance settlement or judgment in a lawsuit.
You also have the opportunity to raise questions during the course of an initial consultation. As a general rule, an lawyer charges no fee for an initial consultation about a car accident claim.