DAMAGES IN A VIRGINIA PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CASE
Pedestrian accidents happen with alarming frequency, and for a variety of reasons. Regardless, the accidents that happened can be severe, and you have the right to make a claim against the person who caused your injuries. You are entitled to compensation. It is important to speak with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer immediately. A good attorney will explain exactly what you can claim, and how.
What Are Damages?
Damages is a legal term that is somewhat expansive. It means all of the claims for monetary reimbursement and compensation that you have, as the result of a pedestrian accident that was not your fault. Damages fall into two separate categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Here are the different kinds of economic damages that can be claimed in a pedestrian accident:
Medical expenses. A person is entitled to claim the value of all medical services that have been rendered to get you back to normal - that is, where you were before the accident. The most common medical expenses are hospital emergency rooms, physical therapists, and the like. Some, however, are more hidden: radiologists (the ones who read the xrays and CT scans themselves, whereas the machine is on the ER bill); emergency room physicians, who are separate from the hospital bill, and more. However, in order to claim medical treatment, it has to be causally linked to the accident, as well as medically necessary. Just because medical treatment happened after an accident, does not mean is related to the accident.
Future medical expenses. Sometimes, a doctor will say that you need additional medical care in the future, or possibly even for the rest of your life. For example, sometimes after an accident a doctor will say that an injured person may need a hip replacement in 10 years. If this is directly related to the accident, then the expenses for this future treatment can be claimed. In order to make this claim, however, you need a medical professional to give that opinion, and then you also need a professional life care planner or other expert who is going to be able to forecast exactly what the cost of that service, and its ancillaries, is going to be.
Time lost from work. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you have the right to claim all of the wages that you have lost as a result of the accident. This includes leave that you may have to use, such as sick time or vacation leave. This may also include a secondary claim for loss of earning capacity, if you are not able to return to your given job due to the debilitating nature of the injuries.
Punitive damages. Punitive damages are not recoverable in every kind of accident, or in every kind of case. However, for example, if you as a pedestrian have been injured by a car driver who was also Driving Under the Influence / DUI, you have the potential to get an additional award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are specifically designed to discourage the underlying conduct, such as drunk driving.
Non Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are the most poorly understood aspect of a person's claim after an accident. Non economic damages include pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is what a jury or judge awards for the inconvenience and interruption to a person's life caused by the negligence of someone else. However, there is no bright line test. Just because one person suffered a broken arm in a car accident and received a certain amount of money, does not mean that everyone involved in a car accident who gets a broken arm will receive the same amount of money. Damages have to be proven to the court.
Contacting an Attorney
There are many kind of damages that can be claimed, and this list is not meant to be exhaustive. It is important that you understand everything that can be gotten to you to maximize your recovery. This is the job of the experienced attorneys and staff at Blaszkow Legal, PLLC. The Alexandria Injury Attorney represents clients all over Northern Virginia, and in DC and Maryland as well.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, call a lawyer who will fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
Get Justice with Joe: 703-879-5910