What can I claim in a lawsuit for car accident damages?

What can I claim in a lawsuit for car accident damages?

lawsuit car accident damagesEvery year, thousands of people are injured in car accidents across the United States. The fortunate individuals will walk away unscathed or with minor injuries. Whether you’re in the car when the accident happens, an unfortunate pedestrian, or a cyclist who was run off the road, The Johnson Firm knows not every victim is so lucky.

Healing from injuries is not quick work, nor is it easy or cheap. Medical costs from hospital stays, rehabilitation, procedures, medications and more can add up quickly, not to mention the cost of missing work and any mental health issues that will need to be addressed. And this is assuming the injuries from the car accident you’ve suffered didn’t prevent you from going back to work in the end. If you aren’t able to resume your prior occupations, then that can permanently affect you for the rest of your life. 

If you have been injured in a car accident, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages. With the help of a skilled Lake Charles car accident attorney from The Johnson Firm, you won’t have to worry about anything but healing. 

Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (337) 433-1414 to find out what your case is worth. In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about the damages you can sue for in a car accident.


What are car accident damages?

When you hear the word “damage” after a car accident, property damage to vehicles is probably the first thing you think of. However, the legal definition of “damages” refers to all of the compensation you can collect in a settlement or verdict after being injured by a negligent party. 

Damages come in the form of monetary compensation to reimburse the victim for their financial and emotional losses and suffering. There is a wide net that a skilled Lake Charles car accident lawyer will be able to cast to make sure that all of your physical pain, suffering, and monetary damages are covered in the claimed lawsuit for car accident damages. 

To recover car accident damages, you will need to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Although it is their job to pay out damages in these cases, insurance companies have a reputation for withholding compensation because they are more concerned with keeping money in their own pockets than rightfully compensating you on behalf of their negligent driver. 

That is why lawsuits for car accident damages exist.

Work with a Lake Charles car accident attorney to prepare a strong claim for damages against the insurance company so you can be sure you are getting what you are owed.


Types of Lawsuit Car Accident Damages

Your car accident attorney will know what damages you can sue for in a car accident. However, it’s important that you are aware of what you are entitled to as well.


Special Damages

Special damages refer to the compensation you can collect for financial losses that you suffered as a result of the other party’s negligence. These are more easily calculated, as they have receipts, invoices, and bills associated with them that can be presented as evidence in court. Because there is a bill, these are often called economic damages.

In fact, insurance companies often recognize – at least in part – special damages in their settlement offers, as they have a concrete number to work with.

The Johnson Firm has helped out clients recover damages for myriad financial losses that they have suffered due to car accidents. Whether you have expensive medical bills, prescription costs, procedures, or auto repair bills, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We help clients prove lost wages, loss of future income, and consider the cost of potential future surgery to ensure that they are fairly compensated.

In the wake of a terrifying car accident, we want our clients to be able to focus on healing and moving forward. Our excellent Lake Charles car accident lawyers will take on the heavy lifting of making sure the negligent driver’s insurance company pays for your costs accrued due to the accident. And if we cannot reach a reasonable settlement out of court, we’re prepared to take the insurance company to trial on your behalf. 


General Damages

Unlike special damages, many physical, emotional, mental, and social losses do not come with a receipt.

General damages refer to the compensation you can collect for non-economic losses as a result of a car accident.

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to recover compensation for a number of general damages, including:

  • Physical pain;
  • Mental suffering or emotional distress;
  • Loss of companionship;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life;
  • Disfigurement, permanent scarring, or physical impairment;
  • Suffering from shock, anger, or terror;
  • Social disparities; and
  • Depression or anxiety caused by the car accident.


If you are struggling after a car accident, you may be able to recover general damages. Additionally, individuals who have lost their previous quality of life or have suffered permanent scarring can receive compensation for these emotional hardships as their entire life will likely suffer a change as a result.

Speak with your Lake Charles car accident attorney today about what general damages you can include in your lawsuit.


Punitive Damages

Where special and general damages are determined based on the plaintiff’s injuries and physical losses, punitive damages are set based on the defendant’s (at-fault driver’s) actions. This form of damages is meant to punish the defendant’s reckless behavior. 

Punitive damages can only be awarded by a civil court. In Louisiana, we have very limited instances when punitive damages are allowed. For example, if a car accident is caused by an intoxicated driver, whether by drugs or alcohol, the injured person may be able to claim punitive damages. The jury will have wide discretion on whether to award punitive damages and how much. 


Wrongful Death Damages

In the most tragic cases, car accidents result in fatalities. Usually, the loved ones of the victim are able to file a lawsuit for car accident damages. The individuals who can file the claim for damages vary state by state.

Wrongful death damages include losses that the deceased’s relatives have suffered as a result of their death. The damages are divided based on who was affected and how greatly they were affected by their passing. Wrongful death damages can be claimed for the deceased’s hospital care and funeral expenses on behalf of the deceased’s family. 

Any pain or suffering that occurred before they succumbed to their injuries can be claimed as well and is classified as a survival action in Louisiana. If there is a survival action, the damages valued for the survival action are the damages the deceased suffered before they passed away. These are divided equally among the people who have the right to bring the claim, regardless of the specific facts of the relationship between the deceased and the survivor.

At the same time, the loved ones of the deceased can file a claim for the lost household income and labor that the deceased provided, loss of consortium, and the loved ones’ anguish. If your car accident has resulted in the passing of a loved one, contact a Lake Charles wrongful death lawyer for a no obligation consultation and learn your options for pursuing compensation for your loved one’s death. 


Contact a Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a car accident, contact The Johnson Firm today to speak with a Lake Charles car accident lawyer. Our experienced lawyers will help you determine what damages you can sue for in a car accident. We do the hard work so you can focus on healing.


Call us today at (337) 433-1414.

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