Catastrophic accident cases typically lead to a significant claim for damages. As our Rogers accident attorney recognizes, fatal accidents are not the only source of huge damages. An unfortunate car accident in New York, involving a Cornell student resulted in a $71 million damages award.
How much can you typically recover for damages?
The amount of compensation you may recover after a car accident depends on the type of damages you suffered. Each claim is different, both factually and with regard to which laws apply to your claim. The most important element used in determining the value of a car accident claim is the nature and seriousness of your injuries.
What is the real purpose of a damages award?
The purpose of a damages award in a personal injury case is to make the victim “whole.” This basically means compensating the victim for everything was lost as a result of the accident or injury. The only way to accomplish that is through a monetary award.
Facts resulting in a $71 million damages award
Morgan was a Cornell student traveling back to school for the fall semester in 2012. She was traveling with several other students, one of which was driving the vehicle. The driver fell asleep and crashed into a minivan, killing one of its occupants. Although Morgan survived the accident, she suffered severe injuries. In particular, she suffered a spinal cord injury that left her without any feeling in her lower legs. She could walk with braces, but her condition was expected to deteriorate as she continued to age. Eventually, it was expected that she would not be able to walk.
The severe damages suffered by the Cornell student
As a result of the injuries Morgan sustained in the accident, her life was severely impacted. Before, she was able to ski, run and sail – some of her favorite hobbies. However, after the accident, her life was consumed with rehabilitation and pain management. She could not finish her degree at Cornell because she could not travel around the school’s campus.
In addition to the changes to her daily life, Morgan will no doubt require medical and psychological care and rehabilitation for many years. As she ages and her condition worsens, the amount of care she will require will increase, particularly if she becomes no longer able to walk. The cost of this care, as a resident of Midtown, New York, will likely be overwhelming.
Ensuring complete compensation for damages
As our Rogers accident attorney knows, in order to receive proper compensation for your accident injuries, victims must be able to demonstrate to a judge or jury the complete extent of your injuries and other damages. One of the reasons Morgan received a multimillion-dollar award is because she was able to persuade the jury that, in addition to her pain and suffering damages (totaling $11 million), she should be compensated for her future medical expenses, as well, which totaled $60 million, resulting in one of the largest verdicts in the country.
Our Rogers accident attorney explains compensatory damages
In most car accident cases, the primary component of damages is medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Reimbursement for medical treatment basically includes compensation for treatment already received, as well as the estimated costs of any medical care that may be required in the future. Additionally, the injuries suffered can have a substantial impact on the victim’s ability to return to work, either temporarily or permanently. In that case, damages may include future income.
Emotional distress and pain and suffering
Another important component of damages in nearly every car accident case is compensation for pain and suffering. If you suffer pain and severe discomfort at the time of the injury, as well as ongoing pain, that is a separate type of damages for which compensation may be available. Another thing to consider is the effect of more severe injuries, which often lead to emotional distress damages for the psychological impact of the injuries.
Accidents happen, even to the best drivers. Regardless of how minor your injuries may seem at first, you should always seek medical attention as soon after a car accident as you can. Remember to tell your doctor that you were involved in a car accident and describe exactly what happened. Then contact our Rogers accident attorney to protect your recovery.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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