Q: What can I get in compensation after a distracted driving accident?
Before you can determine what your Texas injury claim is worth, you will have to examine whether there is a viable reason to sue the person at fault. Your injury case will depend on whether or not the driver (or other person at fault) violated his duty of care to other drivers. A driver who engages in distracting actions, such as texting or talking on a cellphone, has intentionally put other road users at risk. If you can prove that the driver was engaging in negligent behavior, the driver is then liable for the damages he has caused.
Types of Compensation for a Distracted Driving Crash
Once negligence has been established, you will need to total the amount of financial and personal losses your accident has caused. Typical recovery categories in a car accident case include:
- Medical costs. The person who caused the crash can be held liable for any medical treatment you needed as a result, including emergency room costs, hospital stays, follow-up appointments in a doctor’s office, physical therapy, and other rehabilitation services.
- Lost income. Victims will often be forced to take a considerable amount of time off work. You can get payment for your regular wages, but also any sick time or vacation days lost due to the injury, bonus pay, and employment benefits.
- Property damage. Any damage to your crashed vehicle can be collected, including body work, paint matching, and repair work. If your car is totaled, you can collect the vehicle’s fair market value. In some cases, victims may also collect reimbursement for lost personal property damaged in the accident (such as a computer or cell phone).
- Out-of-pocket expenses. Any payment you were forced to make as a result of the accident—such as rental car costs, prescription medications, co-pays, assistive devices, medical equipment, and nursing care—can be recouped in an injury lawsuit.
- Pain and suffering. There are some losses that cannot be easily translated into a monetary figure, such as mental and emotional distress, sexual dysfunction, or the loss of marital intimacy. These values may be assessed in punitive damages, and the court generally decides the amount.
While some of these losses can be recovered by filing an insurance claim, it can be very difficult to get adequate payment from an insurer. Many insurance companies attempt to offer fast payments to victims, hoping they will accept money-in-hand in exchange for losing the right to seek a higher amount later. It is vital that victims do not accept a settlement before they know the full cost of their injuries and losses.
If the insurance company denies your claim or offers you a sum that will not pay all of your bills, your best option is to seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney. An attorney can examine your case, advise you on your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit, and give you an estimate of how much your claim is really worth. Contact us by phone, by using the instant live chat feature, or by filling out the quick contact form on this page to have us get started on your case.