Types of Compensation in Auto Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you or your family may have suffered unimaginable losses. In the aftermath of a devastating car accident, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and for the damages you have suffered. If you lost a loved one in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation on their behalf. The “at-fault” driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying these damages. However, collecting the amount of compensation you need isn’t always easy.
Unfortunately, insurance companies know that injured accident victims or their families need money fast and they use this to their advantage. Immediately after an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may quickly offer you a settlement that is far below what you actually need to recover. They don’t want you to fully understand the severity of your injuries and the amount of long-term disability you may face. They’re hoping you sign quickly and for as little money as possible. Never sign anything without first speaking to an experienced Colorado car accident attorney.
At McDivitt Law Firm, our Colorado car accident attorneys have the experience and resources needed to tackle these large complex cases – and win. Our attorneys know how to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company that takes ALL of your injuries and damages into account. We can protect your future and safeguard your right to compensation every step of the way.
Am I Eligible for Compensation?
After a car accident, one of your first thoughts may be “who is going to pay for my injuries and for the damage done to my vehicle.” Are you eligible to collect compensation? If you are not the one who caused the accident, then you are entitled to collect compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance. After all, Colorado is an “at-fault” state. This means that drivers who are injured in an accident must seek compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance policy.
Before receiving a settlement, however, you must prove the following elements:
- The driver of the other vehicle owed you a duty of care
- The other driver’s negligence directly caused your damages and injuries
- You sustained injuries or damages in the accident
Colorado uses a proportional comparative fault rule when determining liability. This means that damages are awarded according to the percentage of fault, as long as you bear less than 50% of the fault for the accident. This means that if you are found to be 20% responsible for the accident, then your compensation will be reduced by 20%. For example: if you are awarded $10,000 after an accident, but you are found to be 20% liable for the crash, then you would only receive $8,000.
Types of Car Accident Injury Damages
The amount of compensation you receive after a car accident will be dependent on the severity of the damages and injuries you suffered. In general, a significant injury that results in permanent disability and long-term pain and suffering will be awarded a higher amount of compensation. In a personal injury case, the term “damages” refers to money that is awarded to the injured party. In general, there are two types of damages an injured accident victim can claim – special or economic damages and general or non-economic damages.
- Special Damages – these types of damages are easy to calculate because they’re based on actual out-of-pocket expenses that the injured accident victim has paid or expects to pay. They’re quantifiable financial losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term care expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Car repair damages
- General Damages – these types of damages are more difficult to quantify because they’re subjective and are not based on anything that can be assigned a monetary value. Yet, these types of damages are very real and can result in a lifetime of suffering. General damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Decreased quality of life
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Inability to have children
- Emotional distress
- Phantom limb pain
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To?
Every accident is different, and every case is unique. It can be difficult to fully anticipate the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. No two injuries are ever quite the same and any settlement you agree to should reflect all of your injury needs both now and, in the future, as well as how your injury and your accident have affected your life.
Have You Been Injured in a Colorado Car Accident?
At McDivitt Law Firm, our Colorado car accident attorneys have more than 40 years’ experience protecting injured car accident victims and their families. Our law firm has the resources needed to win large and complex car accident cases. In fact, our attorneys have successfully achieved millions for our clients, including some of the biggest settlements in state history. Without an attorney on your side, however, you may not obtain the money you need to fully recover.
At McDivitt Law Firm, we have offices conveniently located throughout Greater Colorado. With offices in Downtown Colorado Springs, North Colorado Springs, Denver, Aurora, and Pueblo, our attorneys are ready and willing to fight for you and your rights to full and just compensation.
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