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What Compensation Can I Get After a Car Accident?

Posted in Auto Accidents

The average car accident in Albuquerque can cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and property repairs – not to mention money lost in missed wages and productivity. Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit after a car accident in New Mexico is the only way to recover compensation for your costs. A successful car accident claim could provide you with compensation for several types of losses, allowing you to recover and move forward.

car accident claim compensation

Past and Future Medical Care

Almost all car accident claims seek damages for medical care. Medical bills can total into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a catastrophic injury, such as a brain injury or spinal cord injury. Even a minor injury could require expensive treatments. Bringing a car accident claim allows you to request compensation for many different medical costs.

  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Visits with specialists
  • X-rays, MRIs and CT scans
  • Medical tests
  • Treatments and surgeries
  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Psychological therapy
  • Disability-related costs and accommodations
  • Live-in nursing care

First, add up your existing medical bills. Then, estimate your future health care costs by multiplying existing bills by the number of appointments or treatments you will foreseeably need over your lifetime. You may need assistance from a lawyer or a medical expert to help you calculate your future health care expenses.

Losses of Income

Another key category of financial compensation for a car accident is lost wages. These damages refer to both the wages you already lost from having to miss work after the car accident as well as your future lost capacity to earn due to a disability. Calculate a fair value for this award by referencing your most recent pay stubs before the accident. Calculate the wages you would have earned had the car accident not taken you out of work. Then, calculate your future lost earnings, bonuses and employee benefits if your injuries will continue to prevent you from working for the foreseeable future.

Property Repairs or Replacement

The person or party at fault for causing your car accident may have to pay to repair your damaged vehicle or replace a totaled vehicle. The costs of repairs will be the amount necessary to restore your car to its pre-crash state. A totaled vehicle is a total loss, meaning the costs of repairs exceed the total value of the vehicle. You could recover compensation for the full value of your car if it is a total loss.

Pain and Suffering

Civil laws in New Mexico do not only allow you to recover compensation for economic losses. You can also seek financial compensation for physical trauma, emotional injuries and psychological damage. These are called pain and suffering damages in a car accident case. It may take evidence such as medical records, eyewitness testimony and opinions from experts to establish pain and suffering during a car accident claim. A jury decides the amount awarded to a claimant in pain and suffering damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are relatively rare in Albuquerque car accident cases. A court will only award punitive damages when the at-fault party’s conduct was particularly egregious, reckless, grossly negligent or malicious. If the other driver was driving with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.16% or higher, for example, he or she may have to pay punitive damages as a form of punishment for bad behavior.

Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

It is critical to demand the right amount of compensation from a defendant after a car accident. Otherwise, you could settle for less money than you need to move forward after a collision. You only have one chance to obtain a fair amount. Once you settle, you cannot reopen your car accident case. Work with a car accident lawyer from the very beginning to ensure you fight for maximum compensation for all of your losses.

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