One of the first things many new clients ask our Los Angeles car accident attorneys is how much their case is worth. They naturally assume that they’ll be entitled to pain and suffering damages simply because they were involved in a crash.
When it comes to collecting significant damages, your car accident lawyer in Los Angeles will have to prove that you deserve pain and suffering.
Your Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles Has to Prove Fault First
Just because you were involved in a car accident, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re entitled to compensation. In order to collect any damages, your Los Angeles accident attorney must first prove.
If you can’t prove that the other driver caused your crash, you could walk away with no economic and pain and suffering damages. As convinced as you are that the defendant is at fault, they’re going to make the same argument about you.
This Requires That Your Los Angeles Accident Attorney Prove Negligence
To prove fault, your car accident lawyer in Los Angeles will have to prove negligence. This is the common standard most personal injury cases are measured by.
Proving negligence requires that your Los Angeles accident attorney prove the following four things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- They breached this duty.
- You were injured.
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach.
As long as your car accident lawyer in Los Angeles can prove these elements, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages. The question is what economic and pain and suffering damages will you be able to collect?
If the Defendant Was at Fault, You’ll Be Entitled to Damages
As long as you can prove fault, the defendant should be held liable for damages. This will include anything that you suffered out of pocket. It will also include money you may lose in the future.
For example, if your injuries are serious, you may have thousands of dollars in medical bills. You may also need extensive medical care going forward. You shouldn’t have to pay these bills out of your own pocket.
Lost Wages and Lost Future Income
In addition to compensation for medical bills, your Los Angeles accident attorney will also demand compensation for lost wages. If you missed more than a week from work, you can demand reimbursement for lost wages.
You will also be able to claim damages for lost future income. If you aren’t able to do the same kind of work due to the accident, you can demand compensation. For example, if you can only earn $40,000 now but you used to make $100,000 per year, you can ask to be paid for the difference.
Of course, if your vehicle is damaged in the accident, the defendant should have to pay to fix it. The same is true if your car is totaled.
The insurance carrier will determine what the fair market value is for your car. The defendant will have to compensate you this amount.
Your Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles May Also Demand Pain and Suffering Damages
For the damages listed above, all your Los Angeles accident lawyer has to do is submit receipts to prove your losses. Unfortunately, when it comes to pain and suffering, it isn’t that easy. Instead, your car accident lawyer in Los Angeles needs another way to prove damages.
Since pain and suffering damages are meant to compensate you for mental and physical anguish, you need to prove this anguish. There are a variety of ways in which you can do this.
How Can Your Los Angeles Accident Attorney Prove Pain and Suffering?
One way to prove your pain and suffering is to have you get on the stand. You can testify to the terrible pain you endured as a result of your injuries.
You can also explain how the accident affected you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This isn’t something that can be determined by looking through medical records or the police report. Your car accident lawyer in Los Angeles needs to be more creative.
How Much Can You Expect to Receive in Pain and Suffering Damages?
You’re probably wondering how much pain and suffering damages you can collect. It all depends on the seriousness of your injuries. It also depends on how long it took you to recover from these injuries.
One way to prove these things is to have your doctor testify on your behalf. Your Los Angeles accident attorney may also hire expert witnesses to explain how bad your pain and suffering were.
The General Rule: Pain and Suffering Damages Are Worth Three Times the Economic Damages
One way your car accident lawyer in Los Angeles may calculate your pain and suffering is by looking at your economic damages. Many lawyers take your economic damages and multiply them by two or three.
Whatever this amount comes out to be, that is how much they’ll demand in pain and suffering.
If you’re wondering what damages are considered economic damages, they include everything but pain and suffering and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Reach Out to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles Right Away
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation. In addition to damages for your medical bills and lost wages, your Los Angeles accident attorney can also demand pain and suffering.
As discussed above, these damages are meant for any physical and mental anguish you suffer from the accident. They can’t be measured in dollars and cents. They can’t be proven with receipts and invoices.
Our car accident lawyers in Los Angeles have decades of combined experience. You can count on them to get you as much money as possible. To do that, however, they need to meet you early enough in the process to make a difference.
We suggest you call our office today so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. We like to give prospective clients the chance to meet with one of our Los Angeles accident attorneys and find out if their case is worth pursuing.