But the financial loss is just one of multiple devastating costs, which makes it vital to work with a personal injury lawyer you can trust to get you the settlement you deserve. Here, we highlight eight crucial costs of a traffic accident.
1. Medical treatment
When claiming compensation for medical treatment, it can be easy to think this applies only to the treatment prescribed at the time of the accident, such as surgery, hospitalisation, and doctor visits. However, you may be able to recover all medical expenses associated with your injuries, whether that’s travel to and from the hospital or a treatment centre or fees for prescription medication.
You can also claim for anticipated future expenses, especially if the accident has caused severe injuries requiring specialist treatment or regular repeat appointments. Expenses like transport can add up quickly over time, especially if you have to travel often or go a long way to see a specific doctor.
2. Property damage
Very few vehicles make it out of an accident without damage. In the worst cases, you may have to fork out for expensive repairs, or your car or bike may be written off entirely, making it more difficult for you and your family to travel.
3. Emotional distress and pain
Emotional distress can be incredibly debilitating. As a jarring and often traumatic event, a car or motorcycle accident can cause long-term emotional effects that may not be visible but can have a long-lasting impact. Experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression are common, causing nightmares or sleepless nights along with a fear of ever getting back behind the wheel. And as if that weren’t enough to contend with, an accident often also causes physical pain that may require extensive treatment and make it difficult to complete even the most basic of tasks or activities.
4. Loss of enjoyment
When you get injured in an accident, you might be surprised by how much it limits your quality of life and ability to do the things you’ve always enjoyed. Athletes can find themselves unable to enjoy their sports; avid gardeners might not be able to tend to their flowers; even a daily walk can prove too painful. When you hire a personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case, they’ll be able to determine whether you could be entitled to additional compensation.
Thankfully, some individuals walk out of a road accident with only a few cuts and bruises. However, for many, a trip to the doctor may be the first of numerous appointments involving hours of rehabilitation or ongoing, long-term care. Whether you need speech and language therapy, behavioural therapy, physiotherapy, or support to recover muscle function or cope with permanent injuries that affect your day-to-day, the road to recovery can be a long one.
If you require care or at-home treatment following an accident, it’s only natural to feel frustrated by a loss of independence. In some cases, car or motorcycle accidents prevent individuals from doing tasks around the home, from laundry and cooking to cleaning and childcare. An accident may even result in not being able to bathe or go to the toilet without support. The impact of this can be long-lasting, resulting in distress at having to be taken care of, a total loss of confidence, and perhaps even humiliation.
7. Scarring and disfigurement
While not things many associate with vehicle accidents, scarring and disfigurement occur more often than you might realise, especially in motorcycle accidents. Permanent scars and disfigurement can be especially traumatic, often causing anxiety and depleting your confidence and sense of self. Recovery is also often long, if not never-ending. You may require cosmetic surgery or skin grafts and extensive therapy to help you cope with a life-altering injury.
8. Loss of a loved one
The loss of a loved one is the most distressing cost of all — road traffic accidents claim the lives of approximately 1.3 million people a year. While it’s an incredibly sensitive time, you have the right to seek compensation for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. This can allow you to recover the above damages as well as funeral costs, burial expenses, and non-economic damages for the intangible cost of losing a relative, including the emotional anguish and pain that accompanies it.
What should you do if you’re in a road accident?
If you or a loved one are involved in a vehicle accident, it’s crucial to seek a personal injury lawyer experienced in dealing with road traffic cases. As experts in their field, they’ll be able to negotiate the right result for you, encompassing not just compensation for income lost during recovery but also future costs and other damages you may be entitled to.