Car Accident Injury Assessment Guide
Being in a car accident can turn your life upside-down in the blink of an eye. If the crash was someone else’s fault, you have the right to seek compensation for your injury-related expenses and other losses. Thoroughly assessing your injuries is a critical starting point for establishing how much the other driver might owe you.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help with Your Car Accident Claim
When dealing with car insurance claims in Albuquerque, the guidance and advocacy of an Albuquerque car accident attorney can make all the difference. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can optimize your chances of a successful claim by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident
- Identifying all liable parties
- Calculating the full value of your losses
- Negotiating aggressively with the insurer for fair compensation
- Going to court and filing a personal injury lawsuit if the other driver’s insurance company refuses to give you the compensation you deserve
- $4 million for a drunk driving accident that caused multiple fractures, organ damage, and traumatic brain injury
- $2 million for a drunk driving accident causing a broken ankle and heel injuries
- $1.5 million for multiple bone fractures in a teenage driving accident
Common Types of Auto Accident Injuries
Traffic collisions can lead to serious injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, leading to paralysis
- Limb dismemberment and amputation
- Broken or shattered bones
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Whiplash and other neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- PTSD and other psychological injuries
Symptoms of Car Accident Injuries
Pain is often the first sign of an injury. However, the adrenaline in your system after a car crash may mask the pain for hours or days after the crash. As such, it is important to seek medical attention after a motor vehicle accident, even if you do not feel hurt.
Other symptoms of car crash injuries include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes to vision or hearing
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep issues
How to Calculate Damages in a Car Accident Claim
The legal term for the compensation paid out for Albuquerque car accident injuries is damages. In most auto accident cases, damages will fall into two broad categories: economic and non-economic. Let’s explore each type of car accident injury compensation at length.
Calculating economic damages entails tallying the financial value of the tangible losses you have suffered due to the auto accident. Car crash victims may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses – To calculate your medical expenses, you must maintain all invoices, medical bills, and receipts from ER visits, ambulance rides, doctor’s appointments, diagnostic scans, surgeries, physical therapy, and medications.
- Future medical expenses – Calculating future medical expenses is more challenging. An experienced car accident attorney can consult with medical experts and financial professionals to determine an accurate forecast of the continuing cost of your accident-related medical care.
- Lost wages – These damages can cover a wide range of income lost from time off work. If you receive an hourly wage, you can calculate your losses by multiplying the number of hours you have missed by your pay rate. For an annual salary, you must divide your yearly earnings by the number of work hours in a year, then perform the same calculation as above. If you are self-employed or rely on tips or commissions, you and your attorney can enlist the help of an accountant to determine the amount of money you have lost due to your injuries. Compensation for lost wages can also include used sick or vacation days, promotions or bonuses you could not earn, and reductions in other work-related benefits.
- Reduced earning capacity – As with future medical expenses, determining reduced earning capacity is complex. Your auto accident attorney can work with accountants, economists, and other financial professionals to understand how much income your injuries will cost you in the form of reduced career opportunities and advancement.
- Property damage – Calculating property damage will require you to save all receipts and invoices relating to repairing or replacing your vehicle or other items damaged in the crash.
Non-economic damages compensate you for the intangible losses you suffered from the accident. These are harder to put a dollar-and-cents figure on, but they are every bit as real as more quantifiable losses. Damages New Mexico car accident victims may be able to recover compensation for include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Diminished quality of life
While New Mexico does not have an official “damages calculator” to determine a claimant’s non-economic losses, car accident attorneys often use what is called the “multiplier method.” This involves multiplying the total of your economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5 to arrive at a total compensation figure. The more severely your injuries affect your life, the higher that number – called the multiplier – will be. Your car accident lawyer can use their experience and other case results within your jurisdiction to determine the appropriate multiplier.
Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim
Some of the factors that can affect how much compensation you receive may include:
- Severity of injuries – The more severe your injuries are, the more substantial your settlement or verdict can be.
- Duration of recovery – If you have a more extended recovery period, the insurance carrier or jury might be more inclined to offer you a larger sum.
- Availability of insurance – When the negligent driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may have a more challenging time recovering maximum compensation.
- Your proportion of fault – If you were partially at fault for the accident, your award can be reduced by your percentage of fault.
How to Maximize the Value of Your Auto Insurance Claim
The most important decision you can make to maximize the value of your claim is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. A skilled Albuquerque car accident lawyer will know how to calculate the full value of your losses, deal with challenging insurance companies, and fight aggressively for your rights and interests.
Hurt? Call Burt
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident in Albuquerque, personal injury attorneys at Parnall Law are ready to calculate what you’ve suffered and fight hard for the compensation you deserve. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.