| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

A car accident can happen in an instant and when it does, it will leave you with serious injuries and immense pain. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and wonder how you are going to pay for your medical expenses, probably at a time when you are not able to work. Fortunately, you have a legal right to claim financial compensation, known as damages, for these losses. 
Many car accident victims are unaware of the type of compensation they are eligible for after a crash. Below are the most common types of damages you can claim after a car accident, and guidelines on whether or not you will have to file a lawsuit to claim them.

Medical Expenses

It is crucial that you seek medical attention immediately after any crash. When doing so though, you will incur many expenses. These may include the cost of the ambulance, hospital expenses, doctor’s visits, surgery, medication, and ongoing treatment, such as physical therapy. If your injuries are very serious, your recovery could take years and you may incur additional medical expenses during that time. You can include both past and future medical expenses in your claim for damages.

Property Damages

During a crash, your vehicle is likely going to sustain extensive damage. You can include compensation for these damages and if your vehicle is considered a write-off, you can claim the cost of replacing your vehicle. You can also include any other property damage in your claim, such as if your smartphone became damaged during the accident.

Lost Income

After suffering a serious injury, you will likely have to take time off work to recover from them. You can include your lost wages, benefits, bonuses, sick days, vacation days, and more as part of your claim.

General Damages

Medical expenses, property damages, and lost income are known as special damages because they have a concrete dollar value and are easy to calculate. There is another type of damages you can claim, and they are known as general damages. These general damages are still losses, but they do not have an actual dollar value so they are much more difficult to calculate. The most common types of general damages in car accident claims are as follows:

  • Pain and suffering: Your injuries will cause you serious pain and suffering, and you have the legal right to file a claim for these losses.
  • Disability and disfigurement: Burns, amputations, and other catastrophic injuries can result in permanent disability and disfigurement. These injuries can cause embarrassment and shame for accident victims, and you can include those damages in your claim, as well.
  • Mental anguish: A serious car accident can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. To cover these losses, you can include damages for mental anguish in a claim.
  • Loss of companionship: If a loved one was killed in a crash, or they are injured so seriously they can no longer engage in intimate relations with their partner, a claim can include damages for loss of companionship.

In the majority of cases, an insurance claim can provide these full damages. However, there are times when you may have to file a lawsuit to claim the full settlement you deserve.

When to Sue for Damages

Georgia is an at-fault auto insurance state, which means to claim damages, you will have to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. In the best of cases, you can claim the full damages you need from the insurer and will not have to take further action. Unfortunately, there are times when you may have to file a lawsuit to claim the financial compensation you deserve. These include when:

  • The negligent party does not have proper insurance: Georgia law outlines the minimum amounts of auto insurance all drivers must carry, but not all motorists comply with these laws. If the driver that caused the crash did not carry proper insurance, or did not carry the proper minimum amounts of insurance, you can file a lawsuit directly against the negligent party.
  • You were not offered a fair settlement: Insurance companies are notorious for denying accident victims the fair settlement they need to recover from their injuries. When an insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement that will fully cover the costs of your injuries, you can file a lawsuit against the company.

While the above two situations are the most common when accident victims must file a lawsuit after a crash, they are not the only ones. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can review the facts of your case and advise you of your legal options.

Our Car Accident Lawyers in Atlanta Can Help You Claim Full Damages

After a crash, you have the legal right to pursue financial compensation, but doing so is not always easy. At MG Law, our Atlanta car accident lawyers will go up against the insurance company for you, and advise when it is time to take further legal action. Call us today at 404-982-4219 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Author Photo

Michael Geoffroy’s law practice focuses on auto collisions, premises liability, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury, and he stands up for the cause of justice throughout Georgia and on behalf of his clients every day. He is a leader in both the courtroom and the community, having been recognized numerous times for his involvement in each.