No one plans to suffer catastrophic injuries in a car crash. But, as they say in the rehabilitation hospitals, that the only difference between the patients and the medical staff is the ride home. So what if it happens to you or a loved one?
If a driver is careless and negligently injures you, that driver is legally responsible in a court of law to restore to you what you have lost because of the car crash. This may include payment for: your lost wages and medical bills, your decreased ability to earn a living in the future, your necessary medical care and treatment in the future, and your pain and suffering. You also may recover for your loss of enjoyment of life, meaning your inability to do or enjoy the things that you did before the crash. The negligent driver would also be responsible for your spouse’s losses as a result of the crash.
To recover these losses against a negligent driver, we assemble a team of medical and financial experts to prove those losses to the jury at the trial of the case. These experts may include a life care planner to estimate your future medical and rehabilitation costs, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, to evaluate whether you can still work with crash related injuries, a medical doctor to explain the crash related injuries to the jury and how they impact you, and a economist to take the data of the other experts and calculate for the jury the dollar value of those economic losses, called “special damages.” An economist will also determine if the crash has prevented you from performing work around the home, and calculate that dollar value. That is called “loss of household services.”
At the end of the trial of the case, the judge will give each juror a written document called a verdict sheet. It contains questions that the jury must answer in writing. If the driver was careless and negligent in causing the crash, the jury will determine your losses from the crash. They will use the opinions of the experts listed above to determine the specific dollar amount of your losses. They then write the number for each loss on the line designated for it in the verdict sheet, and hand it back to the judge. This becomes the amount that the negligent driver must pay you to restore to you what you have lost. Of course, there is more to it than that, but this is this basic concept. Please call me if you have questions at 518-489-1098 or email me at [email protected].