Talking about winning money in a personal injury suit can feel uncomfortable for some people who bristle at the thought of courtrooms, lawyers, and making demands for money. But, after an accident occurs, someone has to pay for the medical bills (which can skyrocket over the months and years) and victims are often left in a state where they cannot work at their previous level and endure pain and suffering. Ultimately, these costs will occur as a result of the accident, regardless of your decision to sue, and the question is then whether you as the innocent victim should shoulder those costs or, instead, the defendant whose negligent acts caused your injuries should pay those costs. Thus, while it may be uncomfortable, understanding what compensation you can win in your California personal injury suit is extremely important for you and your family to understand.
Your Medical Care Costs
If you have been injured by another’s negligence, that defendant is liable for the full cost of your medical care for injuries resulting from the act or accident, even if your insurance paid for care. This includes medical care costs you received prior to bringing suit as well as projected costs for the care you might need in the years going forward, including rehabilitation and in-home care.
Your Lost Income and Reduced Earning Potential
If you had to miss work due to your injuries, you can sue for your lost income. In certain serious and catastrophic injuries, plaintiffs find themselves unable to pursue a career they had been working towards prior to the injury, and can sue for the lifetime differential between what they would have earned had their injuries not occurred and what they can earn now.
Your Pain and Suffering
Beyond your cost of medical care and lost income, you may also experience pain and suffering, such as persistent soreness, ongoing pain in affected areas, frequent headaches, inability to perform physical functions, and depression and other types of trauma. Your attorney will fight to ensure that you are compensated for the unwanted pain and suffering that accompany your injuries.
Punitive Damages Where a Defendant Acted Egregiously
In some cases where a defendant acted particularly egregiously – such as where a manufacturer ignored safety warnings to put a dangerous product in the market or an individual intentionally injured another person – a court can also award punitive damages on top of the other costs to deter future defendants from acting in this manner. Where applicable, punitive damages can be extremely significant and the most substantial part of a plaintiff’s financial recovery.
Contact a Southern California Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
Ultimately, the best way to learn what compensation you might be entitled to in a settlement or at trial is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your situation and provide you with a range of legal strategies to pursue.
At Berglund & Johnson, we have decades of experience in winning compensation for personal injury victims across Southern California, and our attorneys are committed to serving our clients in an honorable, ethical, and compassionate manner. Contact Berglund & Johnson today at 1-800-4IF-HURT to schedule a brief, no-hassle consultation to discuss your auto accident and see how we might be of service to you and your family.