After a serious car crash, you have a lot to deal with. Getting medical care is at the top of your list, followed by dealing with your car, whether it is totaled or fixable. When the crash was caused by another driver, you also have to figure out how to get them to pay for your losses. A car accident attorney can help with all of these challenges, particularly if your losses are substantial. We take a look at the complicating factors that increase the value of a New Mexico car accident claim.
Damages That Might Be Available to You After a Crash
Ultimately, the value of your claim comes down to the value of what you have lost because of the crash, as well as how much insurance the at-fault driver has. In New Mexico, you can be compensated for the following losses (also known as damages in a lawsuit):
- Medical treatment. From the ride in an ambulance to the point of total recovery, medical bills resulting from the crash can be astronomical. A claim can be made on the other driver’s liability insurance coverage to pay for all of these costs, including emergency department care, hospital stays, surgeries, tests and scans, doctor visits, specialist visits, medications, and more.
- Lost wages. If you are unable to work because of the injuries you have suffered, you can also make a claim to recover your lost wages. If you use vacation time or sick leave to recover from your injuries, taking that time is also considered lost wages, and you can be reimbursed for it through a lost wage claim.
- Ongoing expenses. If you have sustained long-term injuries or have a permanent disability because of the crash, you might need years of medical care and rehabilitation, modifications to your home, and help with domestic services such as child care, lawn maintenance, and household chores. These costs can be factored into your compensation.
- Non-economic losses. In addition to the losses that come with a clear price tag, you have also suffered physically and emotionally. While money cannot relieve your trauma or take away your chronic pain, you might be entitled to pain and suffering damages. A skilled lawyer will write a demand letter that spells out your losses.
Clearly, the value of each of these losses depends on your unique situation.
Factors That Increase the Value of Your Claim
Not every car accident victim suffers the same losses. Some crashes cause a lot more damage than others. Factors that increase losses and, therefore, increase the value of your claim include:
- Severity of injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, compound fractures, and other catastrophic injuries require emergency medical care and ongoing treatment, making them very costly. A severe injury will increase the value of your claim significantly over a minor injury.
- Permanence of injuries. If you are permanently disabled as a result of the crash, you will need to be compensated for a lot more than just medical treatment. Ongoing rehab, full-time care, home and vehicle modifications, and equipment such as a wheelchair should be factored into your settlement.
- Effects on your ability to work. If you are unable to work because of your injuries or will be limited in the amount you can earn in the future, your claim will be much higher than if you are able to return to your previous job.
- At-fault driver’s policy limits. You can’t get blood from a stone. If the at-fault driver only carried minimal liability insurance, you may not be able to get more from them. However, an experienced car accident attorney will investigate other potential sources of compensation, including your own insurance policies.
Trust Keller & Keller in Albuquerque With Your Claim
Determining the value of a car accident claim is a complicated process. When you work with Keller & Keller, we will make sure we understand the full cost of your injury before we write a demand letter. In some cases, that could mean waiting until you reach maximum medical improvement, which can take time. Our compassionate team will keep you informed every step of the way. Contact us to learn more about how we help car accident victims recover what they deserve.