Damages after a Long Island Car Accident
Car accidents can be a stressful experience. Not only must you deal with the damage done to your car, but you must also deal with the expenses associated with seeking treatment following an accident. Unanticipated medical expenses can make an already stressful and traumatic experience worse. Following an accident, you should get in contact with a lawyer who can inform you of your options. If you have been in an accident, speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you pursue damages after a Long Island car accident.
Damages a Person Can Recover
Medical expenses and loss of income are recoverable damages after a Long Island car accident. Medical expenses are any expenses that are related to a hospital stay surgery, follow up doctors, physical therapy, psychological, psychiatric care, rehabilitation services; those are all what would be considered medical expenses.
Loss of income includes lost time from work, that money is recoverable, somebody who no longer works anymore. That money is recoverable plus benefits if somebody was getting health insurance, life insurance, as well as all kinds of other benefits from a company that can all be monetized meaning that it can all be defined by a specific dollar amount so that is money that can be recovered. It is hard to translate pain and suffering but pain and sufferings is the worse pain and suffering that can occur such as burns. In a burn, the value of something like that could be minimal to extraordinarily high.
Economic damages refer to damages that are out of the pocket damages such as lost wages from work, a person gets hurt in an accident and the person loses funds from their job, that money is economic damages, money that is recoverable. Lost wages, loss of vacation times, and depending on how long a person is out of work, they might even have lost of benefits.
Those are clear economic damages, somebody who picks money out of their pocket to pay for medical expenses, somebody who takes money out of their pocket for pharmaceuticals, somebody who takes money out of their pocket to replace items that might have been damaged in an accident; those are clear recoverable damages after a Long Island car accident.
Non-economic damages are commonly referred to as pain and suffering damages. Those are generally the bigger damages after a Long Island car accident. The money is for the pain and suffering that the person had at the time of the accident immediately, and is also supposed to count as compensation for the victim after the accident, and for the rest of their life. An attorney could calculate damages by looking at past cases, the cost of the medical treatment needed, and what kind of suffering the person endured. Sometimes an attorney gets that from the testimony of the clients, sometimes they get that from the testimony of friends, co-workers, relatives, and etcetera.
Non-economic damages are awarded by a jury and the jury makes that decision after hearing all the testimony from the victim and the victim’s family and also the medical experts. The medical experts help show the kind of suffering that a person went through. If somebody has had surgery, the medical experts can help explain the type of residual pain the person might have had following the surgery. A physical therapist and rehabilitation, or other medical experts can help explain what kind of pain the person had after the accident and what they might have for the rest of his or her life, and, of course, the person can articulate, can verbalize, can say exactly what the pain and what the suffering is.
Defining Damage Caps
Caps on damages are based on a law that says that if the person is bringing a lawsuit, the person can only recover a certain amount of money for non-economic damages. For example, if somebody gave birth to a baby suffered brain damage because of the negligence of the obstetrician, the pain and suffering for that baby will be for the next 60 years of their life, and the most updated cap is $250,000. In the state of New York and including Long Island, there are no caps on damages.
Steps to Recover Damages
When pursuing damages in a Long Island car accident case, it is important for experienced attorneys to review hospital records and medical records. It is also important to understand where the case going to be heard because while those like to think that it does not matter where the case is heard, if somebody has a broken leg, it should be worth the same case value whether it is being heard in one part of Long Island versus another part of Long Island, where that may not always be the case.
Different counties have different juries, and some juries might be more conservative, some might be more liberal, and that is something that an attorney has to consider especially if they have a choice where to bring a case, and an attorney always likes to bring the case in a county that is more beneficial to the client.
An attorney looks at medical records, hospital records, how much one person is out of work, and how much a person’s life has been affected by a case, but they will also consider other case aspects as well. They look at where the cases are going to be heard, at the credibility of the client, those are all factors that are ultimately going to tell the attorney what kind of damages after a Long Island car accident a person can get.