Basic Rights of Many Victims of Injury
Pain And Suffering: Ordinarily, the most "valuable" and "critical" element of your bodily
injury claim is the right to compensation for physical pain and mental anguish you have suffered and will endure in
the future because of your accident injury or abuse. These general damages are in addition to and may be far more
than the amount of your lost earnings and medical expenses.
Loss of your Earnings: You are also entitled to recover the loss of earnings suffered from your
injuries. Thus, wages, commissions, bonuses and all other earnings and fringe benefits are recoverable.
Medical and Hospital Expenses: The cost and expense of all reasonable and necessary medical
expenses incurred and that are reasonably certain to be incurred in the future because of your injury, are
recoverable. These expenses include past (already-incurred) medical expenses and costs and also future medical
expenses, which may be the product of the original injury or that result from an increased susceptibility to future
injury. All forms of medical care and treatment, whether hospital, medical, therapy, nursing, diagnostic testing,
surgery, physical rehabilitation or pain management are included. You can recover the full value of your medical
expenses from the responsible party even if your health insurer has paid all or part of your bills. However, be
aware that most health insurance contracts have a "subrogation" clause, that gives them the right to be reimbursed
for any amounts they have paid you.
Loss of Future Earnings: If your injuries permanently limit your ability to earn, you can
recover the value of the reduction in earning capacity with reasonable probability which will occur in the future.
These damages compensate you for your lost earning power over the remainder of your working years, and can be even
greater than the pain and suffering or general damage awards mentioned above.
Damage To Your Vehicle Or Other Personal Property: You are entitled to be made whole for any
damage to your personal property. Where they can repair your vehicle, you are entitled to recover the reasonable
cost of restoring the vehicle to its condition before the collision. In addition, you may recover the cost of
substitute transportation necessarily incurred while they are repairing your vehicle. If the cost of repair is more
than the value of your vehicle (a "total loss"), you are entitled to recover the full value of your vehicle before
it was damaged.
Wrongful Death: Damages for "wrongful death" are available for the wife, husband, parent and
child of the deceased person. Sometimes, persons related by blood or marriage, who were dependent upon the
deceased, may recover. Damages are not limited to economic loss and may include damages for mental anguish,
emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care,
filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance or education. Damages are available for the deceased's
estate as well.
Disfigurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, you are entitled to
recover for the disfigurement and humiliation or embarrassment associated with the disfigurement.
Damage To The Marital Relationship: Serious injuries to one spouse may cause damage to the
marital relationship. If this occurs, you are entitled to recover for the loss of society, affection, assistance,
conjugal fellowship and loss or impairment of sexual relations that occurs.