There can be no doubt about the massive toll exacted by automobile accidents each and every year, both in terms of the physical injuries they produce as well as the emotional, financial and societal costs they yield. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that over $1 trillion in total losses annually can be attributed to car and truck crashes. While the aggregate number is certainly startling, the true tragedy of these events lies in the devastation so often experienced by the individual victims themselves and those who love them.
Considering the profoundly negative impact auto accidents regularly have on those involved, it is important for victims to gain a solid understanding of the categories of compensation they may be able to obtain with the help of a knowledgeable injury attorney. Jeremy Rosenthal is prepared to help guide those harmed in car crashes through the process of assessing their damages and pursuing the financial recovery they need in order to reclaim their lives.
Sometimes referred to as compensatory damages, economic damages are awarded as a means to make injury victims financially whole following an accident that resulted in a monetary loss. There are several distinct types of economic damages a victim may be able to recover, with some of the most common being:
- medical expenses including past and current hospital and doctor bills, ambulance transportation, emergency room treatment, imaging studies, surgical procedures and hospital stays
- ongoing medical costs, which could include the anticipated expense of future treatments and therapies which are known with a high degree of certainty to be required going forward
- lost wages, which will require calculation of the work hours missed due to the accident event and the rate at which those hours would have been compensated
- reduction in future earning capacity, an amount which may be available to individuals who are able to establish that their ability to be gainfully employed following the accident has been limited or diminished to a specific degree
- loss of support for dependents in cases of a family member's death, an amount designed to compensate those left behind for the fact that the financial support on which they necessarily relied will no longer available
Separate from economic losses is the category of non-economic or intangible loss. Accident victims are often able to recover significant compensation for damages of this sort, though it can be more difficult for these types of losses to be accurately valued for purposes of a monetary award. Common realms of non-economic loss stemming from auto accidents include:
- physical pain and suffering, which entails the agony and discomfort resulting directly from the accident event and the ensuing recovery process
- mental and emotional trauma, which encompasses the anxiety, grief, concern, embarrassment and other similar manifestations often suffered by those involved in auto accidents
- loss of consortium, which is related to the reduction of a spouse's ability to enjoy the companionship, affection, sexual relationship or society of the other spouse following an accident
Valuation of Losses Following a Car Accident
As mentioned above, some types of losses stemming from car accidents are easier to value than others. Economic damages can be calculated by reviewing medical bills, property repair bills, wage and hour data, education levels, job histories, life expectancies and the like. However, determining an appropriate level of compensation for non-economic loss categories can prove far more contentious, as it requires a certain degree of subjective judgment which is routinely an area of real disagreement.
Calculations related to pain and suffering will necessarily involve examination of the nature of the injuries in question, the sorts of treatments typically undergone to address them, and other key factors. Comparisons between injury types will have to be made, with greater weight afforded to a severe bone fracture than to a minor burn, for example. The severity of the injury will lead to a higher level of compensation. Whether or not the injury will result in lasting disability may also play a role in the amount ultimately awarded.
Payment for emotional trauma will also depend on a number of assessments, which could include whether or not the victim experienced ongoing social distress such as panic, shock, embarrassment, depression or similar conditions. Detrimental effects on the victim's pre-accident lifestyle will also be reviewed to determine the severity of the event's impact on his or her future.
Loss of consortium claims are also relatively nebulous propositions in terms of dollar valuation, but it will typically be necessary to conduct an analysis of the length and current state of the marriage in question, the actuarial life expectancies of the spouses and the degree to which the unharmed spouse has lost the ability to receive the attention and care of the other.
Fighting for Maximum Financial Recovery
Clearly, the health and well-being of accident victims and their families can be significantly and sometimes permanently influenced by the way in which post-accident losses are valued during the insurance negotiation process or in litigation. Since so much is at stake, attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is committed to conducting a detailed investigation into the accident itself, the damage produced by it and the ongoing financial burdens resulting from it. Aligning with economic loss analysts, medical professionals, and others, he will do everything possible to secure every dollar of compensation to which his clients are entitled.
Effective Advocacy for Colorado Accident Victims
It is impossible to dispute the fact that auto accidents have the ability to bring catastrophic harm to the lives of those involved in them, often creating ripple effects that can jeopardize the stability of entire families. Though the law does afford injured parties the opportunity to secure financial compensation to ease some of the difficulty, the process of placing a value on the losses sustained can be arduous indeed.
Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal brings powerful knowledge and methodology to bear when it comes to obtaining the maximum financial recovery for those harmed by the negligence of others, and stands ready to fight on your behalf. To arrange for a no-cost consultation to discuss the facts of your accident, contact us at 303.825.2223.