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What damages are available to accident victims?

Accidents are often unexpected. Not only do drivers and passengers not suspect being involved in a car accident, but also they are not prepared for the aftermath the car crash could cause them. When car accident victims in West Virginia are involved in a collision caused by a negligent driver, they are often aware of their rights and ability to file a civil action, such as a personal injury claim, in order to recover damages. But what types of damages are available to accident victims?

The recoveries available to accident victims can come in many different forms. In most cases, damages fall under the categories of current expenses, future expenses and expenses impacting the victim's personal life.

Current expenses often come in the form of medical bills and lost wages. These are caused immediately following the accident when a negligent party injured the victim. Included in these expenses is pain and suffering, which could also extend into future expenses.

Future expenses include expected medical bills. If permanent disability occurred or addition surgeries, treatment, household services or care, and rehabilitation are required, the victim could incur future medical bills. In addition, lost earning capacity caused by their injuries could also fall under the category of future losses.

Lastly, expenses that impact the personal life of the accident victim includes loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, mental anguish and emotional suffering caused by permanent disfigurement. These damages are harder to put a specific number on, requiring sound legal argument and negotiation.

When an accident occurs, a victim could suffer serious injuries. This might cause them to endure significant economic and noneconomic losses. It is important accident victims understand their rights and legal remedies so they could alleviate these financial hardships and focus on getting back on their feet.

Source: FindLaw, "Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries," accessed on Jan. 27, 2015

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