Being injured in a motor vehicle accident is a traumatic, frustrating, and painful life event. For some accident victims, the injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident change their lives forever. Lost limbs, paralysis, traumatic brain damage, and other injuries can leave the victim unable to work and in need of round-the-clock medical and personal care. The mental anguish and emotional stress can be overwhelming. The financial cost can be impossible for the person and the family to pay. How can an accident victim seek justice for what has happened to him or her? The first step is proving fault and the second step is proving extent of injuries.
Holding A Driver Responsible for Damages
If you have been injured by a reckless or negligent driver, Kentucky’s personal injury laws provide a way for you to seek compensation for your damages. Money doesn’t undo what has been done, but it can help provide for the care you need and your living expenses. To recover compensation from the other driver, you must prove the following:
- The other driver did something that caused the collision;
- You were injured because of the crash; and,
- You have suffered damages because of your injuries.
You don’t need to prove that the other driver purposefully caused the collision. A collision is described as an “accident” because most drivers don’t intend to cause a collision but they do because of some type of negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. It is sufficient to prove that the driver “caused” the accident — you don’t need to prove intent to receive compensation.
Calculating the Value of Your Injury Claim Based on The Extent of Injuries
To correctly calculate your injury claim, you must establish the extent of your injuries. The extent of your injuries directly impacts the value of your injury claim. The greater your injury, the higher the value of your claim. The reason the extent of your injuries affects the value of your claim has to do with past and future medical expenses and lost wages.
If you have traumatic injuries, the cost of medical and personal care will be higher than if you suffer a broken leg. Likewise, if you are unable to return to work because of a permanent disability caused by the car wreck, your future lost wages will be substantially more than someone who is out of work for a few months while recovering from a broken leg.
Your Louisville car accident attorney works with your doctor to determine the extent of injuries by defining your prognosis. The prognosis gives your attorney relevant information about your future medical care and your ability to return to work. In some cases, your attorney may retain the services of experts to help prove the extent of injuries and calculate your damages.
In any case, your attorney will advise that you shouldn’t settle your claim until your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point at which you have recovered as much as possible. For some accident victims, MMI is a full recovery, but for other victims, a full recovery is not possible. For those victims, MMI may include a permanent disability or condition that requires ongoing treatment. If you settle your case before reaching MMI, you may receive much less than your case is actually worth.