When someone else is responsible for your injuries because their negligence or behavior caused your accident, you may worry you won't get the money you deserve. However, depending on the extent of your injuries and the behavior of the other party, you may due more than just medical expenses. Check out these three common types of monies you may be eligible for in your personal injury settlement.
Injuries and Damages
Injuries and damages are perhaps the most basic type of settlement you can get. If the other person is found responsible, they are usually required to at least pay for these expenses. However, it is important you take the steps to mitigate your injuries by visiting a doctor immediately after the accident, continuing to visit a doctor, and following the recovery plan. Failing to do this may reduce your settlement.
Another factor that plays a huge role in this settlement is whether you are partially responsible too for the accident. For example, if you were texting while driving and someone ran a red light, hitting you, you are also likely to be found partially responsible because you shouldn't have been texting. In many states, this means you get a reduced settlement by how much you are responsible. If you are 30 percent responsible, your settlement is reduced by 30 percent. Be careful, however, in some states, if you are found partially responsible, you get nothing.
Pain and Suffering
While a broken bone is easy to spot and identify, some injuries are less noticeable but just as painful and life-changing. If this is the case, your personal injury lawyer may seek extra money for pain and suffering. You'll need to show your injuries go above and beyond the normal. If you want reimbursement for physical pain and suffering, you need to prove your injuries will affect you long-term (for example, a broken wrist may cause life-long nerve pain).
Mental pain and suffering is also an option, and it is even harder to prove than physical pain and suffering. Sometimes your bodily injuries affect your mental health. A bad scar may cause depression and isolation. Extreme fear and stress over the incident can even cause PTSD. Other mental suffering includes anger, loss of sleep, lack of appetite, loss of interest in sex, mood changes, etc. Just about anything that changes the way you enjoy life may be considered mental pain and suffering.
Hopefully, whoever caused your accident honestly didn't mean for it to happen. They may simply not have been paying attention or just weren't aware of a problem on their property. However, in some cases, people's selfish actions caused your injury. If this is the case, the judge may decide to award you with punitive damages. Punitive damages aren't really a reward for you. They are a punishment for the other person so they don't make the same mistake again.
Punitive damages aren't as easy to win because the other person had to have been extremely careless. If you visit a friend's house, and they tell you to be careful on the porch because it is old but you still get hurt, you probably can't get punitive damages if you fall through and are severely injured because you were warned. On the other hand, if the homeowner deliberately didn't tell you so you would get hurt, they could pay punitive damages.
Don't stress another moment. With a good personal injury attorney, you have the best chance of getting every penny you deserve. If you would like to know more about personal injury law and your rights in seeking a settlement, contact an attorney in your area today for a consultation.