In the United States, car and trucking accidents are a leading cause of serious bodily injury and death. According to government studies, the average number of vehicle collisions in the U.S. each year is approximately 6 million. In any given year, approximately 3 million people in the U.S. are injured in a car or trucking collision, and of those 3 million, 2 million people suffer permanent injuries. Additionally, approximately 6% of collisions end in a fatality, which means that each year, approximately 360,000 individuals die in a car or trucking collision. The statistics also show that if the collision involves a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, the chances of a catastrophic injury or death goes up tremendously. What this means is that it is becoming increasingly rare for a person to go their entire life without ever being involved in a collision.
What is unfortunate is that even after dealing with the trauma of being in a collision, the aftermath that the victim must overcome is significant. Property damage, medical bills, treatments, and other issues begin popping up, making an already scary situation terrifying.
Typically, the negligent party’s insurance company will cover all of the necessary costs, but that is not always the case. The negligent party may be uninsured, or their insurance company will not cover all the expenses. At that point, hopefully, your insurance company will step in to help you, but often, your insurance company will try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge as to what damages you could receive.
To help you out, here is a list of the common types of damages that you may be eligible to receive:
Property damages. This is the typical damage done to your vehicle. To help get an accurate amount for this, be sure to have a law enforcement officer note the damages to your vehicle when he or she is typing out their report, then follow up with a mechanic to get an itemized cost of repairs.
Medical expenses. Whether you suffer a minor injury or a catastrophic injury, you should always seek medical treatment immediately after the accident. To take it further, because some injuries can manifest several days after the accident, healthcare professionals usually recommend a follow-up visit, which you should go to. Even if you have medical insurance that covers a doctor’s visit, it is still important to keep track of those expenses, which could include ER visits, follow-up appointments, physical therapy sessions, and on-going treatment.
Lost wages. Sometimes, a vehicle collision could keep someone from returning to work. It is always important to document those days that you missed from work, even if you use sick or vacation time, since you may be able to recover that time. The rationale behind getting reimbursed for those lost wages is that you would not have had to use that time had the other party not acted negligently.
Out-of-pocket expenses. This type of damage can include costs such as having to get a rental vehicle, towing, and over-the-counter medical supplies. The key to receiving reimbursement for these damages is that the amount must be reasonable, and it must be related to the injury.
Pain and suffering. This is the area where many insurance companies tend to fight the most. These types of damages are determined by how the collision affected you outside of your physical injuries, such as anxiety, trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, and quality of life.
Whether you are in a minor collision or dealing with a catastrophic injury, there are many things to consider to ensure that your recovery is maximized. The important thing to remember is that you do not have to face this alone, and no person should be taken advantage of by an insurance company.