Most individuals who enter a vehicle as a passenger do not expect to get involved in a car accident. They likely trust the drivers who they choose to get into a car with. However, they may not consider how other drivers may be negligent and cause accidents. Sometimes passengers are injured by a loved one's irresponsible driving actions. These accidents may occur due to behaviors such as speeding or the driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Passengers who have sustained injuries from negligent drivers may be entitled to compensation. Some individuals may not have an issue with filing a claim against a negligent stranger. However, they may be hesitant about seeking compensation from the insurance company of a family member or friend. The following points identify potential compensable damages injured passengers can seek.
Compensation for Existing and Future Medical Costs
Some car accidents result in victims needing ongoing care. Victims who rush to accept insurance settlement offers need to be aware that the amount may not be enough to cover future medical costs such as physical rehabilitation and therapy. A personal injury lawyer can review existing medical documentation and confer with healthcare professionals to determine if victims will have future medical expenses. In most cases, insurance companies cover the cost of existing medical bills.
Compensation for Disability
A car accident can leave a victim permanently disabled. They may lose their ability to walk. Some victims lose body parts such as their limbs or eyes. Others may have brain injuries that negatively impact their lives for the foreseeable future. A disability may cause individuals to not be able to temporarily work, or it may result in them never being able to go back to work. Both are compensable.
Compensation for Mental Effects
Sometimes the mental anguish of a car accident can cause victims to experience issues such as anxiety. They might also get depressed if the accident affects their independence or appearance. Some victims have permanent scars, burn marks, broken bones, paralysis, or other disfigurements that may cause depression or low self-esteem. This usually falls under compensation for pain and suffering. If there are not any signs of physical disability, then pain and suffering might be a challenge to prove. This is why personal injury attorneys encourage victims to seek professional help for mental health issues stemming from their car accident experience. This is the best option to document their damages.
A personal injury attorney is a good resource for car accident victims to use to learn more about potential damages they may be entitled to. They can use their valuation skills to determine if settlement offers from the at-fault party are fair. Attorneys can also use their negotiation skills to reach an agreeable and fair payout.
To learn more, contact an attorney in your area such as Willis Spangler Starling.