When looking at the costs you want to recover in the wake of an accident, it's easy to look at the immediate costs. Your car is totaled. You had to be driven to the hospital. You stayed there for three days and now you're taking daily medications. You missed a week of work.
These costs are important, but don't forget to consider future costs as well. They may bring even more compensation than the bills you've already had to pay.
A few examples include:
- Lost earning capacity. Perhaps you were making $100,000 per year in a skilled trade. Your injuries don't mean you can't work at all, but that career is over. You new job pays $30,000 per year. You're losing $70,000 every year.
- Lost future wages. If you can't work at all, or must see reduced hours, those costs add up.
- Loss of enjoyment. This is a bit harder to calculate, but you may deserve compensation for the lasting negative impacts on your life and happiness. For instance, perhaps you used to love running and hiking, but your injuries mean you'll have to give both up.
- Disfigurement. You're going to live with the physical reminder of your injuries for the rest of your life. This can cause you mental anguish.
- Household assistance and related services. You can't properly care for yourself after the crash, and perhaps indefinitely. If you have to pay someone to help, you may be compensated.
These are just a handful of examples, but they help show how important it is to consider all costs and the way your life will be changed moving forward.
Source: FindLaw, "Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries," accessed Dec. 7, 2017