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What damages are you entitled to after an auto accident?

When a person is injured in an auto accident, the primary focus for them is recovering. For surviving family members of someone killed in an accident, their focus is probably on getting through the grieving process and working to move forward with their lives. Victims and their families may be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver and possibly other entities, such as the driver's employer, to help ease the financial burden caused by an auto accident.

These damages can extend far beyond the costs of medical care -- both short-term and long-term -- or burial expenses. For example, plaintiffs can sue for lost wages and lost earning capacity. This may include not just income lost immediately following an accident but any diminished ability to earn a living in the future due to injuries resulting from the crash.

Many Floridians live alone. They may face a particularly difficult time after an accident. They may be unable to drive or take care of themselves or their pets while recovering. Victims may be able to recover money to pay for people to help them get by during this time.

Some aftereffects of an accident may be a little more difficult to place a dollar figure on. However, personal injury attorneys can quantify non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In addition, many crash victims suffer mental and emotional distress long after the accident. A serious crash can cause fear, anxiety, grief and other emotional issues that can continue long after the physical scars have healed.

When a loved one is injured or killed in an accident, spouses and other family members may be able to seek financial recovery for loss of consortium. Another type of damage that is sometimes claimed by family members in wrongful death cases is "loss of society and companionship." The damages for both of these claims are based on the relationship between the victim and the plaintiff prior to the accident.

Every case is unique of course. However, Florida personal injury attorneys can help victims and families determine what kinds of damages are possible in their particular situation. While no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one or undo the pain suffered by the victim, it can help ensure that financial suffering doesn't compound their physical and emotional suffering.

Source: FindLaw, "Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries" Oct. 04, 2014

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