Car accident victims who were not liable for their accident may be entitled to damages covering all their financial expenses related to the accident, as well as mental suffering, damage to personal relationships, property damage, lost wages, and more. In cases where the liable party was acting extremely negligently or cruelly, the victim may be entitled to punitive damages to serve as a warning to other drivers, so they do not repeat the reckless behavior. The amount of damages awarded will either be negotiated by a personal injury attorney between the liable party, or the court will ultimately decide it, if the case goes that far. In cases where the victim chooses to make a claim for themselves, typically done when the damages are not substantial, they will attempt to work out a settlement on their own.
When a victim asks themselves what damages can I collect for a car accident, perhaps the most important of these damages will be those that cover medical expenses if any injuries occurred, as even a brief trip to the emergency room can result in thousands of dollars of medical bills. According to research done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accounting for victims hospitalized for their injuries and those released upon treatment, the average cost of emergency department care for a non-fatal injury is $15,211. This also factors in the costs of lost wages during treatment. For unintentional injuries, the average is $14,685. For many car accident victims with traumatic injuries, these numbers can jump to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What Actionable Injuries Come From Car Accidents?
Any injury sustained during a car accident can result in damages for the victim, with the most common injuries, including whiplash, broken bones, cuts from glass, internal injuries, and more. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), collisions between motor vehicles accounted for around 79% of injuries, while they only represent less than half of all fatalities related to vehicles. A number of contributing factors can determine the extent of the injuries, such as if the driver slowed down before impact, poor road conditions, driver intoxication, and more.
Sometimes, the safety mechanisms themselves may cause injuries, such as broken bones in the facial area from airbag deployment and damaged ribs from the seatbelt. Even so, the party who caused the accident may be held accountable for all the pain and suffering caused by the impact. In more serious cases, car accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and paralysis, which may require extensive rehabilitation for the victim to recover from—in the event that a recovery is even possible.
Other common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Mental conditions, such as “survivor’s guilt” in the event of a wrongful death, depression, anxiety, loss of interest in the things you once loved, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Wrongful death
- And more
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Get You Damages
While there are no laws that require a victim to retain the services of a lawyer before filing a claim to recover damages for their injuries, some victims choose to do so because it allows them to focus on other tasks. At the same time, a legal professional takes action on their behalf. Even though hiring a personal injury lawyer for your car accident case does not mean you will automatically receive compensation, victims with life-altering injuries take comfort in the fact that they have a legal team by their side who has worked on these sorts of things before. After all, there can be a lot at stake. As the field of personal injury law can involve proceedings that may seem overwhelming to the average person, especially when still recovering from an accident, some victims would rather have an attorney on their team than go through it alone.
Car Accident Lawyers Fighting To Get Victims the Damages They Deserve
The car accident lawyers at Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow are proud to serve Maryland victims in their time of need. We dutifully review every case carefully so we can let you know your best legal options before you act. When victims ask what damages can I collect for a car accident, it is important to note that Maryland is 1 of 4 states that has statutes related to pure contributory negligence law, which means you may have difficulty collecting compensation if the insurance company tries to assign any fault to you.
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow today at (410) 777-8960 to receive your free consultation with a team member.