Millions of Americans are injured each year in various types of accidents that may have been caused by another person’s negligence. Automobile collisions, slip-and-falls, commercial truck accidents, medical errors and even defective products can cause minor to severe injuries that have a major impact on peoples’ lives. Not only are the injuries themselves physically and emotionally traumatizing, people may be forced to deal with the financial repercussions of these injuries. A personal injury attorney in Las Vegas knows that the financial, physical and emotional effects of an injury can change the life of an accident victim.
In some cases, people involved in an accident are able to receive compensation for their injuries. The party responsible for causing the accident may be obligated to cover the expenses accrued by the injured victims. Here are a few crucial costs people may want to consider when organizing their personal injury case.
While there are obvious medical expenses stemming from an injury, including physician appointments and medication, there can be several other costs that injury victims should take into account. These include:
• Any costs associated with a hospital stay, including emergency room expenses
• Rehabilitation services, including physical, speech and occupational therapy
• Diagnostic testing, including blood work, CT scans, MRIs and use of other imaging devices
• Cost of ongoing medical treatment, including follow-ups and routine maintenance
• Cost of purchasing a new home or vehicle, or remodeling an existing home or vehicle to make it accessible to the injured person
• Any medical equipment needed to facilitate the injury, such as wheelchairs, breathing machines or prosthetics
People who suffer from catastrophic injuries obtained in an accident may need life-long medical attention. For example, a person who has significant spinal cord damage and is paralyzed may require use of home health nurses, motility devices and other medical equipment to help them survive on a daily basis. In addition to medical expenses for injuries caused by an accident, there may be costs for treating a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by the accident as well. Some conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, may not appear until several months or years after the incident occurred. All of these factors may be considered when awarding compensation in a personal injury case.
When a person becomes injured in an accident, they may be unable to return to work for a period of time. Some people may be forced into another career field because their injuries will no longer allow them to perform the duties they had previous to the accident. Others may not be able to return to work at all, a fact known by a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas. For example, if a writer is in an accident which injures one or both hands, he or she will no longer be able to write and must find a new way to earn a living. When people cannot work, earn and provide for themselves and their families, it can be financially and emotionally devastating.
The accident victim may apply for state and federal assistance, such as Social Security Disability benefits, in order to pay for medical expenses and make ends meet. The quality of life they once enjoyed can be seriously affected, as people are forced to live on a decreased income.
People who cannot work because of their accident injuries may receive compensation for lost income. This includes the wages they lost from not going to work while they received immediate medical treatment, as well as any wages they will lose in the future because of their reduced earning capacity.
In addition to the physical distress of having been injured in an accident, people may suffer from emotional trauma as well. It isn’t uncommon for victims of tragic accidents to acquire certain mental conditions, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and paranoia, following an incident. This emotional distress may challenge a person’s ability to work, maintain a relationship or engage in certain activities that he or she enjoyed prior to the accident. The cost of ongoing psychiatric care for these disorders may play a role in the compensation amount, as they are a direct result of the accident.
The cost of property that was damaged during the accident may be factored into the compensation amount in a personal injury case as well. This includes vehicles, homes, clothing or any other personal items that were affected. Generally speaking, courts often use the fair market value when calculating the amount of damages awarded for property destruction.
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the court-appointed judge wants to make a statement regarding the egregiousness of a crime. Often times, punitive damages act as a deterrent to make other people aware of the dangers associated with engaging in certain behaviors. For instance, a motorist, who was texting while driving, caused a car accident. The other people involved in the car accident received catastrophic injuries. The judge in this case may order the motorist to pay punitive damages as a way to penalize him or her for careless and negligent behavior.
While certain costs are obviously associated with an accident and may be easily considered for compensation, others are left up to the discretion of the judge presiding over the case. Injured victims who have suffered because of the negligence of another party may want to seek the legal counsel of a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas.