It’s common to hear, “We will make sure your injuries are taken care of!” when pursuing compensation after a car accident. This is because physical injuries are often the main focus of a car accident. While your recovery must take care of your injuries, many other things may be lost in a car accident.
A dedicated Memphis car accident lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC Can go over your damages in great detail to ensure every loss is taken into account when calculating the value of your claim. Contact our office for a free consultation today to determine how much your car accident claim could be worth and what damages you could recover.
Recoverable Damages in Car Accident Claims
“Damages” refers to the dollar value a victim receives to pay for expenses directly resulting from the accident. After your accident, if you’ve sustained injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation for:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
Economic damages relate to any financial losses that the victim has taken on due to the accident, including:
- Hospital bills
- Medical treatment (therapy, rehab, etc.)
- Diagnostic imaging costs
- Ambulance fees
- Medical equipment, including prosthetics, wheelchairs, and hospital beds
- Accommodations to your home
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages, including 401(k) contributions and salary increases
- Costs of increased insurance premiums
- Unexpected childcare expenses
- Prices of household maintenance and upkeep
- Costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle
Serious accident injuries often leave the victims unable to work for an extended period. Time away from work and costly medical treatment may cause medical bills to pile up quickly. This is why it is essential to seek the compensation you deserve by working with an experienced Memphis auto accident attorney.
Non-economic damages refer to the damages that arise after the accident. These damages impact the victim’s quality of life (QOL) and are often more profound than physical pain. Some of the most common non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of love and support
- Loss of companionship and advice
- Loss of society and protection
- Loss of guidance
- Diminished quality of life
- Skin scarring and disfigurement
- Reputational damages
Think of these damages as a way to compensate the victim for their diminished quality of life after the accident. Although no amount of compensation will change what you have been through, the financial award could help ease your burden as you recuperate from your injuries.
In certain situations, there is a third form of compensation known as punitive damages. These damages are sparsely given and act as a form of punishment towards the at-fault party when excessive recklessness or gross negligence is shown.
One example would be if you were in an accident with a driver who was going 40 MPH over the speed limit. The driver was acting recklessly, and you may be able to pursue punitive damages.
It is important to note that punitive damages will only be awarded at the court’s discretion. They may be issued when the court system finds it necessary to punish the defendant beyond the compensatory damages you are entitled to recover.
Contact Our Firm Today
Start With a Free, No-Obligation ConsultationFree Case Review
How Are Damages Paid Out in a Car Accident Claim
After you have been involved in a car accident, you may wonder how you will recover the compensation you will need to get through these challenging times.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways in which you could recover the compensation you deserve. Two of the most common methods include filing a claim with the insurance company and bringing your case to court. Here is more:
Filing a claim with the insurance company is one of the top ways to recover compensation for your damages. Tennessee is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes. This means when you are involved in an accident, instead of filing a claim with your auto insurance provider, you will file a claim with that of the liable parties.
If the responsible party does not have auto insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company if you purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Otherwise, you may have yet to have the opportunity to file an insurance claim.
If you do have the opportunity to file an insurance claim, do not count on it to cover your damages in their entirety. Insurance settlements often compensate victims for certain types and amounts of economic damages. This might include coverage of your medical expenses or the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
However, the amount the insurance company will be required to cover can vary widely based on the coverage purchased by the policyholder. Suppose your medical expenses exceed the state minimum limit, and the liable party only purchased the minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage as required by law. In that case, the insurance company is unnecessary to cover the access. Any damages you cannot recoup through an insurance claim, whether economic or non-economic, can be sought after in your civil lawsuit against the liable party.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
It is also worth noting that dealing with the insurance company will take work. Even though insurance companies are designed to compensate claimants after an accident, since it will cost them money, many will do everything possible to reduce their financial obligation wherever possible.
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to take advantage of injury victims by delaying the processing of their claims, placing unwarranted fault on them, tricking them into accepting a lowball settlement offer, or denying their claims in lousy faith entirely.
Shared Fault Impacts Your Right to Compensation
Under Tennessee law, sharing liability for your injuries will not necessarily prohibit you from covering compensation for your damages. The state operates under a modified comparative negligence system with a 50% threshold. This means you could be as much as 50% responsible for causing the accident and still recover compensation for your damages.
However, if you share fault for your injuries, your injury settlement will be reduced to reflect your portion of the liability. If the insurance company can get away with placing unwarranted blame on you, they can reduce their financial obligation and subsequent profit losses. This is something you should be fine with when dealing with your claim.
Your attorney can handle the negotiation process while you recuperate from your injuries. Hope to protect yourself from profit-driven insurance companies. Your best option may be to get an experienced legal advocate who will never pressure you into settling for less than you deserve.
When the liable party is not covered by an insurance policy or the insurance company is not required to compensate you beyond the existing policy limits, you may still be stuck with various economic and non-economic damages. However, when you bring your case to court, you have the right to be made whole.
This means you should be repaid for every way your life has been affected by your car accident in Memphis. Any medical expenses the insurance company did not cover, including property damages, can also be recouped in your claim.
Although insurance companies do not compensate car accident victims for non-economic damages, you can recover your non-economic damages through a personal injury claim against the liable party. Your attorney will carefully evaluate the details of your case to determine how much your car accident lawsuit is worth.
Get a free case review today. There`s no fee unless we win!
How to Choose the Right Memphis Car Accident Lawyer
In order to begin your car accident claim, you should consult an experienced lawyer in Memphis. This is not the time to represent yourself due to a lack of knowledge of the law, unfamiliarity with judges and defense attorneys, and more. Even though you have been injured, finding the right lawyer is not always the easiest task.
If you follow the below tips, you will secure the right lawyer for your car accident claim.
Look for Experience with Car Accidents
Not all personal injury attorneys handle cases involving car accidents. Some simply work on cases involving premises liability, while others focus on workers’ compensation. You will want to work with an attorney who has experience handling car accident claims.
Review Client Testimonials
The most trusted Memphis car accident lawyers will have client testimonials published on their firm website. Read through as many testimonials as possible to get a feel for how the lawyer handles tough accident cases.
Ask for Referrals from Family and Friends
Do not be afraid to ask friends and family members for referrals if they have used a car accident attorney in the past because of a crash. A word-of-mouth referral is an excellent way to find the right attorney for your case.
Over $500 Million
Recovered on Behalf
of Our Clients
Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Don’t get stuck living a lesser version of your life because of another person’s negligence. At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, our team of experienced Memphis car accident attorneys has been helping injured victims pursue the maximum possible compensation for countless years.
Call our office today to learn more about how we can help ensure the pursuit of a proper recovery. Call our office or complete our online contact form for a no-cost, risk-free consultation and get started on your claim as soon as today.