Being injured in an auto accident can be traumatic. You may suffer pain, incur medical bills and lose income, all because of someone else’s negligence. On top of that, the responsible party’s insurance company may try talking you into accepting a settlement for a meager dollar amount, which you shouldn’t do because it bars you from future recovery. You need to know there are laws in place to protect you, and you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer will act on your behalf to protect your rights and seek compensation for your losses.

Filing a claim
You have the right to file a claim against the negligent party’s insurance company. If the responsible party does not have insurance or not enough to cover your losses, you can file a claim against your own insurance company. The insurance company will either admit or deny liability. If they admit liability, you can try to negotiate a settlement. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit may be filed and the case set for trial. A lawsuit may also be filed if the insurance company denies liability. However, the case may still be settled at any time before trial.

Medical expenses
You may have considerable medical bills resulting from the accident. These will be taken into account when your attorney is determining the amount of damages sought on your behalf. Even if your medical insurance covered your expenses, you are still entitled to recover the full amount of your medical costs. If your injury is long-term or permanent, the cost of future medical expenses will also be considered.

You may be entitled to medical expense benefits, which will be laid out in your insurance policy. This allows you to recover some or all of your medical expenses while the case is still pending, even if your insurance company paid for your treatment. You can then still claim these costs as damages in your personal injury case.

Loss of income
Another factor considered when calculating damages is lost wages. You may have missed work due to your injury and while attending appointments for follow-up care. If your injury is permanent, you may not be able to return to work at all, and your future job opportunities may be negatively affected. In this case, an economic expert may be called in to determine your future loss of income due to limitations caused by your injury.

While suffering a vehicle accident can be devastating, it’s good to know there are laws in place to not just punish the negligent party but protect your rights, as well.