Once you are receiving medical treatment and you and your personal injury attorney have taken the necessary steps toward receiving any needed ongoing medical treatment and making sure that your medical bills get paid, the next question you and your attorney will need to address is the issue of financial compensation.
There are various forms of financial compensation available to you as an injured victim. Medical bills are usually covered as long as you were not at fault, as discussed in the section entitled: “Medical Treatment. Will my medical bills get paid?” In addition to medical bills, in most cases you can recover compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, future loss of earning capacity, and loss of companionship (in wrongful death cases).
The first item of compensation in any personal injury case is recovery of medical bills that you have incurred and may continue to incur. Generally, as long as the charges are reasonable and there is no overbilling or excessive treatment, you have a right to collect all of charges billed by hospitals, doctors and other medical providers.
Of the various forms of damages (financial compensation) available to an injured victim, pain and suffering damages is the type of financial compensation that one is referring to when they ask, “How much is my personal injury case worth?”
In cases involving medical malpractice, there is cap on pain and suffering that limits that amount of a damages award that you can obtain against a doctor, hospital, or health care provider.
In most cases, you can recover the amount of your lost wages for time you were unable to go to work as a result of an accident caused by the neglect of another person. A claim for lost wages must be reasonable based on the nature and extent of your injuries.
If you are unable to perform the same type of work you had performed in the past and will suffer a loss of earning capacity in the future as the result of an accident caused by the carelessness of another person, you can also recover financial damages for your future loss of earning capacity.
A serious and debilitating injury can prevent you from taking part in sports or recreational activities that you regularly engaged in prior to your injury. This adverse change in your lifestyle is referred to as Loss of Enjoyment of Life and constitutes part of your financial damages.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, you are entitled to loss of consortium damages, a type of financial compensation for the loss of companionship (family relationship) that you are suffering.