How much does a car accident cost? Even if it is just a minor fender-bender, a car accident can put a serious dent in your finances. You have probably heard the statistic that fewer than half of Americans have enough money in the bank to cover a $400 emergency expense. Even a car accident that seems like it is not a big deal can be that minor emergency that puts you in a financial tailspin. Even if no one gets injured, you will still need to get your car repaired at the body shop. In addition to paying for repairs, you will end up paying for an alternative method of transportation, like Uber rides or a rental car.
If your job pays by the hour, then missing a few hours of work on the day of the accident can mess up your carefully planned budget. If an accident where you don’t get hurt can cause that much financial damage, imagine what happens in an accident with injuries. In some cases, car accident lawsuits can help you recover financially from a car accident.
Persuading the Court that You Deserve Compensation
Most people have financial struggles in their lives, especially people living with chronic injuries, but not all of them have a clear way to recover damages in a lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can only win if you can persuade the court that your injuries resulted from the defendant’s negligence. As a plaintiff, you must address the following questions:
- Did the defendant have a duty to prevent the accident, such as by driving safely?
- Did the defendant breach that duty, such as by making a driving mistake that led to a collision?
- Are your injuries the result of the defendant-caused accident, and not the result of any other cause?
- Did you suffer financial losses because of your injuries related to the accident?
Calculating the Number of Damages
Only after you have persuaded the court that the defendant should be responsible for compensating you for your financial losses is it time to talk about numbers. Many plaintiffs can recover both economic and non-economic damages. These include past and future medical expenses (including but not limited to doctor visits, surgeries, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and physical therapy) and past and future lost income (including, but not limited to, wages or salary, employer-matched retirement savings, and pay raises the plaintiff missed out on because of being unable to work after the accident). Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are more difficult to quantify. Courts often use the general damages multiplier, determining non-economic damages by multiplying the economic damages by a number between 1.5 and five, depending on how much the accident negatively affected the plaintiff’s life.
Contact the Injury Attorneys at Stevenson Klotz About Car Accident Cases.
Compensation from a car accident lawsuit can help you regain your footing financially after a serious injury. Contact the Mobile, Alabama Car Accident attorneys at Stevenson Klotz to discuss your case and to see whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.