Damages and Compensation: What Am I Entitled to Recover After a Car Accident?

If you are injured in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, the law gives you the right to compensation for your damages. The purpose of damages is to make you “whole.”  The law cannot go back in time and stop the car accident.  The best the law can do is to give you money to make up for the harms and losses you have suffered. Understanding what compensation you may be entitled to and what your injuries are worth is important when you are considering a Las Vegas personal injury case.

Can I Recover Out of Pocket Expenses After a Car Accident?

Yes, you are entitled to recover any damages you can prove were caused by the car accident, including out of pocket expenses.  In Las Vegas, a plaintiff injured in a car accident is entitled to recover for all medical bills caused by the car crash, as long as the billing and treatment were reasonable.

You can also recover for other out of pocket costs when you are hurt in an accident such as car repair costs, rental car, Uber, Lyft, taxi, gas mileage for traveling to the doctor or special purchases you made because of your injuries (such as knee brace, elbow brace, chair, crutches, therapy bands and prescriptions).

Additionally, you would be able to recover for any items destroyed in the car accident.  For example, if you had a computer in your car that broke, you could recover for those damages.

Do I Get Paid If I Miss Work After an Accident?

You are entitled to get paid and reimbursed for time you miss from work that is caused by a car accident.  In order to show you missed time from work you may need to show records from your employer, a note from a doctor or even tax returns.

You can also recover for any time you will miss in the future because of the accident.  For example, if you need back surgery you can recover for the time from work that you will miss recovering.

What If I Can’t Do My Job After an Accident?

Car accidents can leave people physically or mentally unable to do the job that they used to do.  For example, a construction worker with a back injury may not be able to do construction after a car accident.  An accountant that suffers a brain injury may not be able to continue working as an accountant.

In these types of cases, you can recover for the difference in income between what you were earning and what you can earn now.  An expert is usually required in cases like this to determine someone’s earning capacity after a debilitating accident.

How Much Is My Pain and Suffering Worth?

In addition to monetary costs, you are also entitled to money for pain and suffering after an accident. Pain and suffering compensates you for the physical discomfort and the emotional response to the sensation of pain caused by the injury itself.

Nevada also allows someone hurt in a car accident in Las Vegas to recover hedonic damages.  These damages compensate for the loss of enjoyment of life after a Las Vegas car accident.  A Las Vegas personal injury attorney will explain that loss of enjoyment of life is the limitations on your ability to participate in and derive pleasure from the normal activities of daily life and for the inability to pursue your talents, recreational interests, hobbies, or vocations.

The best way to think about loss of enjoyment of life damages is to think about everything you did before the car accident that you can no longer do.  Additionally, think about everything you still do after the car accident that you do in pain.

If you are seriously injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, you can also recover for feelings from humiliation, indignity and disgrace.  These types of feeling are very common when you are disabled or have permanent scarring after an accident.  These feelings are also common even where your injury is not permanent.

One of the best ways to show how much pain and suffering is worth after a car accident is to present witnesses from different areas of your life.  This includes witnesses from your home life (family), your work life (co-workers and bosses), your friends, your religious activities or anyone else who can talk about how you changed after the accident.

Every person is different and each accident affects people differently.  A top Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you determine how much your pain and suffering is worth after a car accident.

Can I Recover for Emotional Distress After an Accident?

It is common to suffer from some emotional distress after an accident, even if the accident was minor.  Emotional distress could include loss of sleep, anxiety or fear that may be interfering with your daily life.  You do not need to be diagnosed by a professional to recover for some emotional distress.  You simply need to prove how you suffered.  This is typically done by testimony from you or others who have seen your distress.

Other people may have more severe distress after an accident, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  You can also recover for emotional distress if you need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist after a car accident.

Can I Recover If a Car Accident Affects My Marriage?

If the car accident has had a negative impact on your marriage, relationships or family, you could be eligible for loss of consortium benefits. Many people choose not to pursue this type of damage because it allows the insurance company to ask very personal questions about your relationships before the accident.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, a judge may order the person who caused the accident to pay punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to do more than put you back to where you were before the accident.  Punitive damages are meant to punish the person who hit you for extremely reckless or intentional behavior, such as drunk driving.  One of the best Las Vegas personal injury lawyers can discuss whether or not you can recover damages to punish a drunk driver in a DUI car accident.

Can I Recover If I Was Partially At Fault For the Car Accident?

Your actions can also have an impact on any damages awarded. In Nevada, if are partially at fault for the Las Vegas car accident, the Court will reduce your damage recovery. For example, if you are 10 percent at fault and your damages are $100,000, you will only collect $90,000. If you are more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover any damages. It is important to speak to a top Las Vegas car accident lawyer if you are in a car accident where there is a fight about who is at fault.

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is critical that you speak to a Las Vegas personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney does not mean you plan to sue.  A top Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can often resolve cases with the insurance company without having to file a lawsuit. Call us The Schnitzer Law Firm today to set up a no obligation consultation to discuss what your is worth.