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Know your Rights: Damages You Can Claim After a Car Accident

Written by: Imelda Bouchard

Motor vehicle accidents cause bodily harm and mental stress, financial loss, and even death. If the accident is a result of somebody else’s carelessness, you can seek compensation for how it affects your life or that of your family members. Subject to your state laws, below are charges you can claim when filing for a lawsuit following a car accident.

1. Medical Expenses

Professional medical attention should be your priority after a car accident. However, this can result in costly medical bills based on the extent of your injuries. Damages you can seek for the medical costs incurred following a car accident include;

  • Ambulance costs
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Cost of medication, both prescription and over-the-counter
  • Treatment costs
  • The cost of medical equipment to help with your healing, like crutches or a wheelchair
  • Follow-up treatments like surgery, physical, or cognitive therapy
  • At-home care costs, even if they are not entirely medical

Remember, you must show evidence of your doctor’s visit and interactions to justify your medical expenses when filing a personal injury lawsuit. You should also get a statement from your healthcare provider to substantiate the claims.

2. Property Damage

Most cars barely survive a crash unscratched. They can either suffer structural or cosmetic damage that will lead to costly repairs. Luckily, you can claim an amount equivalent to the cost of fixing the vehicle. Your insurance provider may also replace your car with a new one if it gets written off. 

Other claims to make include towing fees and car rental charges. Most insurance providers also allow clients to claim transport costs they incurred while waiting for the vehicle to be repaired. You can also include valuables like jewelry or shoes in your claim. Proof of property damage may be evident through pictures of the accident scene, witness testimonies, damaged cars or valuables, and receipts from your mechanic.

3. Lost Income and Wages

Your job will certainly take a hit when you get severely injured after an accident, affecting your ability to earn a living. You may have to stay out of work due to hospital admission, doctor’s visit for treatment, or to recuperate at home. Disability can also render you unable to perform at your previous job, forcing you to take lower-paying jobs or change careers.

You can lose income and wages, career development opportunities, and any other benefits employers may provide to staff. Damages for loss of income exist to compensate car owners for reduced or lost earnings. It also covers potential income you might have earned if not for the accident. Don't forget to produce your employer's recommendation letter, your paystubs, and a doctor's note explaining your inability to work. They will come in handy in securing your loss of income damages.

4. Pain and Suffering

Accidents are traumatic events. The aftermath includes unimaginable psychological distress like PTSD, stress, anxiety, and emotional pain, in addition to physical pain. Permanent disability and disfigurement can also occur, interfering with your quality of life. While they cannot be assigned numerical values, you are entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and psychological distress you suffer following a car accident.

Under pain and suffering, you can also claim damages for loss of consortium. This applies when you lose companionship with your loved one or spouse due to death, divorce, or inability to enjoy intimacy after the accident. Since the loss of consortium is usually derivative, you will only get compensation if you win the case.

5. Wrongful Death

For accidents that result in death, family members can file a claim. These damages cover the pain and grief for losing a loved one, funeral and burial expenses. They also compensate for medical expenses and the loss of enjoyment of life, which your loved one suffered as a result. 

If your state permits, you can sue for the loss of income the departed would have made during his working time if they were alive. You can also seek damages for lost support or services you can no longer enjoy due to your loved one’s death.


To have a successful lawsuit, you must show that the person responsible for your injuries and other losses was careless. Additionally, the accident itself should be the direct cause of the loss. It is recommended that you file a personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible to avoid being denied your deserved settlement. Always consult and retain an experienced attorney to improve your probability of success. 

Imelda Bouchard
Imelda Bouchard is the owner of Gov Relations. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration in Finance​ at the University of Houston-Downtown. Imelda has over a decade of experience working in the finance industry. Following her stint at an international fintech company, she has decided to create a platform where businesses can make use of great business ideas.

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