Being injured in a car accident caused by another driver can turn your life upside down. You may suddenly need long-term medical care and be unable to work for months or longer while you recover. Fortunately, under California law, the motorist at fault is responsible for compensating for your losses. Before you file a claim with their insurance company, it's important to know the types of compensation you're entitled to receive.
Compensation Awards in Car Collision Cases
In our state, special damages and general damages are awarded in vehicle accident claims. Special damages are the economic losses you suffer based on medical bills, pay stubs, and other documents. General damages are non-economic damages that are hard to determine because they're not based on out-of-pocket expenses.
You're entitled to both past and future special and general damages. It's critical that you not accept a quick settlement, because until you fully recover from your injuries—or heal as much
as you're going to—there's no way of knowing exactly how much compensation will cover your losses.
Here are the types of compensation you should receive in a car accident settlement.
You should receive injury reimbursement for all past and future medical bills. There are many types of medical expenses you may incur:
- Ambulance fees
- Doctor visits
- Specialist appointments
- Diagnostic tests
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Mental health treatments
- Assistive aids, such as a prosthesis, crutches, and wheelchair
- Home modifications, such as a wheelchair ramp
- Home health care or personal care to take care of daily needs
Under California law, you're also able to recover the wages you lost while recovering. Here's what you can ask for:
- Lost wages
- Lost sick and vacation time
- Lost benefits of your job, such as commissions, bonuses, and other perks
- Lost earning capacity if you must make a career change or are unable to work due to your injuries
Pain and Suffering
These damages refer to compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the trauma of the accident and your injuries. It can be difficult to put a dollar amount on how much you should receive. The severity of the collision, your amount of pain, and the long-term effects of your injuries are some of the factors that an experienced car accident lawyer will consider when determining how much this portion of your claim is worth.
You should be reimbursed for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle. You're also entitled to be paid for the repair or replacement of other property damaged in the car accident.
Remember to ask for any other expenses you incurred because of the car accident. Common out-of-pocket costs include towing and car rental fees.
If a family member died in the auto crash, you might be entitled to wrongful death damages. These can include reasonable funeral and burial costs, medical bills associated with your loved one’s injuries, and the loss of their support, companionship, and financial support.
California’s Rule on Car Accidents Involving Uninsured Drivers
Under California’s Prop 213, pain and suffering damages are not allowed if you failed to have motor vehicle insurance, which is required under California law. This is true no matter who was at fault in causing the collision. However, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses if the other driver was at fault in causing the crash.
Contact a San Diego Car Accident Attorney
Unlike some other states, there's no cap on the amount of compensation you can receive for your injuries in California. So after a car accident injury or wrongful death, you deserve to not only recover from your injuries, but also regain financial stability.
My role is to collect the evidence you need to prove the other driver’s negligence, and take on the insurance company to secure all your rightful compensation—and I won't hesitate to take your case to jury trial if the carrier refuses to be reasonable.
To learn how I've helped other car accident victims and how I can assist you, start a live chat to schedule your free consultation.