One of the things a lot of our clients don’t understand at first is that not all accident victims are entitled to compensation. First of all, in order to collect anything, your Charlotte accident lawyer must prove that the other driver caused the crash. Once they’ve done that, they must prove that you suffered damages. It’s entirely possible that the defendant was responsible for the accident but won’t owe you damages. If your Charlotte accident lawyer can’t demonstrate that you were hurt, you could walk away with nothing.
Here, we’ll discuss the various types of damages your Charlotte accident lawyer can demand in your case. We will also explain how they can prove each type of damages listed in your initial complaint. If you still have questions about your car accident case, give us a call. We’ll help you schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Charlotte.
Your Charlotte Accident Lawyer Will Demand Certain Damages
After we determine that a client has a valid case, we get started on filing their complaint. In this complaint, you have to name all possible defendants. You are also required to list any damages you feel you’re entitled to. It can be very difficult to change the types of damages you’re asking for. In fact, your Charlotte accident lawyer may not get the chance to amend your complaint without disrupting the entire case.
In most car accident cases we handle, our clients are entitled to some or all of the following:
- Medical Bills
- Future medical bills
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
In very rare cases, we can ask for punitive damages. However, judges don’t like to award punitive damages unless they want to punish the defendant. These types of damages are often limited to cases against large corporations or other parties who acted out of a profit motive.
You’ll Need a Copy of Your Medical Bills and Medical Records
In order to justify your damages for medical bills, your Charlotte accident lawyer will need to prove that these bills existed. They will also have to prove that the evidence you have adds up to the amount listed on your complaint.
This is one of the reasons we tell people that it’s critical that they go to the hospital immediately after their crash. This is the only way to demonstrate that you suffered any physical injuries. Then, it isn’t so hard for them to prove that any medical care you received was related to these accident-related injuries.
Make sure you keep copies of any medical bills or “explanation of benefit” forms. These forms will show how much your primary health insurance carrier paid. They will expect to be reimbursed when you settle your case.
Your Charlotte Accident Lawyer Will Also Need a Copy of Your Payroll Records
If your Charlotte accident lawyer has demanded compensation for lost wages, you’ll need your payroll records. Your employer can print out proof of how many days you missed. They can also confirm how much this has cost you in gross income.
In addition to damages for lost wages, your Charlotte accident lawyer may also demand compensation for lost future income. If you’re disabled as a result of the crash, you probably won’t be able to do the same kind of work you did prior to the accident. If this is the case, you can demand compensation for the difference between what you would have earned compared to what you’ll actually earn now that you’re disabled.
Keep All Receipts from Your Auto Mechanic
Obviously, if your car is damaged or destroyed in the crash, you can demand damages. The defendant (or their insurance company) will have to pay to have your car fixed. If you have already had your vehicle repaired, make sure you keep a copy of your mechanic’s final bill.
In addition, if your car is totaled, you should have proof of this from your insurance carrier. Your Charlotte accident lawyer will be able to demand compensation for the fair market value of your vehicle at the time of the accident. You can’t demand compensation for a new car – only its value.
Proving Pain and Suffering Can Be Difficult
Almost all accident cases involve damages for pain and suffering. These damages are meant to compensate victims for any mental or physical anguish they suffered from the accident. The general rule is that your pain and suffering should be valued at about three times your total medical bills.
In order to receive pain and suffering, your Charlotte accident lawyer must prove that you did indeed suffer. One way to do this is by submitting a copy of your medical records. These will show any painful surgeries or therapy you underwent. They will also show any prescriptions you had to take for pain or discomfort.
In addition to your medical records, your Charlotte accident lawyer can also rely on other evidence to prove pain and suffering. For example, your attorney may decide to submit some of the following in support of your claim for damages:
- Testimony given by your friends and family affirming that you were in a lot of pain in the weeks and months after the crash
- Your own statements about the pain you experienced as a result of your injuries
- Affidavits from your employer or coworkers explaining that you were no longer able to perform at your job
- Your doctor’s testimony that you were subjected to very painful medical treatment
Once your attorney has established that you are entitled to pain and suffering, the judge or jury will review the evidence and make their decision. However, since more than 95% of all car accident cases settle, this shouldn’t be necessary.
Reach Out to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Charlotte
If you or your family member have been injured in a car accident, contact our office right away. If you were injured, you may be entitled to damages. If you want to find out for sure, schedule a free, initial consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Charlotte.
Our Charlotte accident lawyers have decades of combined experience handling cases just like yours. If you want to have the best chance of recovering damages in your case, you’ll want to retain an attorney sooner rather than later.