What damages can I sue for in a car accident?

car accident damages

Car accidents are traumatic experiences and unfortunately, dealing with insurance companies can add more stress. It’s a good idea to know your rights ahead of time and understand what you are entitled to. 

There are certain car accident damages that you might be entitled to receive. Keep reading to learn more, then call the Chicago car accident lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today. Call (800) 985-1819 now.

Common Types of Car Accident Damages

Most people know that car insurance companies will pay to repair or replace your vehicle, but there are other types of damages for which they might be obligated to reimburse you as well.

Car accident damages are generally grouped into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are those that are easily calculable, thanks to things like medical bills and receipts; non-economic damages are not as easily calculable and include things like pain and suffering.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded because they function as a sort of punishment against particularly harmful, or egregious, actions. The damages that we discuss below fall under economic or non-economic damages, although we briefly explain punitive damages as well.

As you try to figure out which of the following damages you can get covered, speak to a Chicago car accident lawyer. They will look at your case and help you receive the damages you are entitled to.

Economic: Medical Expenses 

Immediately after your car accident, it’s imperative that you get a check-up from your primary care physician. Keep records of all the injuries you sustained and any medical bills you received in treatment as a result of the accident.

The insurance company should pay the following medical expenses if they are a direct result of the accident: 

  • Physical therapy
  • Ambulance fees
  • Permanent disability 
  • Surgery costs 
  • Hospital bills
  • Doctor visits 
  • Medical devices 
  • Prescriptions.

Economic: Funeral and Burial Costs 

If someone died in a car accident, you might be able to recover damages by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. There are a lot of expenses associated with death, and you might be able to recover all of the following costs: 

  • Burial costs
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of income.

Economic: Property Damage 

Damages to your vehicles are one of the most well-known things people can recover from the car insurance company. There are two ways that the insurance company might respond. They will either offer to pay you a set amount to cover repair bills to make your vehicle safe to drive again. 

Or, they might deem your car a total loss. This is commonly called “totaling” a car. When this happens, they will give you a flat fee that they think is fair in order for you to replace your car with another vehicle of similar cost and value. 

Economic: Lost Wages

If you had to miss work because of the injuries you sustained, you might be able to recover some of those wages from the insurance company. Consider the fact that you might also be able to recover compensation if you missed out on a promotion because of your injuries. 

Recovering lost wages may be possible if you cannot work in the same way as before. For example, if you suffered injuries to your eyes and were unable to work at a computer, you could seek compensation to cover those lost wages. 

It also includes the scenarios of someone being forced to take a lower-paying job because they can’t perform in their current role after the accident. 

Non-Economic: Pain and Suffering 

Pain and suffering is the only non-economic damage on this list. Some examples of pain and suffering include: 

  • Mental anguish 
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Physical pain 
  • Disability or disfigurement 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • PTSD.

Ultimately, if the car accident changed your quality of life, you may be able to ask for additional funds to help make it a little easier to endure. 

Punitive Damages 

Finally, if the other driver was grossly negligent, then the judge might award you punitive damages. Remember, these are only awarded if the at-fault driver acted in particular heinousness or harm.

Punitive damages are set as a way to punish the person or company that is found to be at fault. They are in addition to the other damages you are seeking. The point is to hopefully deter the driver or company from making the same mistake again, and injuring more people.

Speak with an Attorney 

There are many different car accident damages to which you might be entitled. However, it’s important to remember that car insurance companies are acting in their own best interests, not yours. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a Chicago car accident attorney.

Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can explain the law to you and help you receive the money that can help you pay for all the bills that occur because of the car accident. You might be able to recover more damages and funds than you’d expect. Call (800) 985-1819 to find out.