Damages in a Richmond Car Accident

If a person has full coverage or collision coverage on their own automobile insurance policy, then their insurance will pay for the property damage. If they don’t have full coverage, then the person who is at fault for the accident would pay for the property damage after an evaluation of the damage is done by a body repair shop. Anyone seeking damages following a car accident should be sure to consult with a Richmond lawyer who can help with appropriate damage compensation.

Steps in Recovering Damages

The first thing an attorney would do is conduct a thorough interview with the client about any medical treatment he or she has received to date, any injuries he or she has suffered, and ask them to make note of any witnesses he or she is aware of. The attorney will also ask how the accident happened in order to make sure that the client they are representing is free from negligence. The attorney will collect all the records. Once a person is done with their treatment they will package the records along with any lost wage information and include a summary of the injuries, as well as the summary of the medical treatment, and put together what is called a settlement demand package in order to negotiate a favorable settlement against the other person’s insurance company.

Recoverable Damages

An injured party in a car accident can recover their pain and suffering, both past and future; they can recover past and future lost wages; and they can recover past and future medical expenses. The past element of those damages would be from the date of the accident up until either the trial date or the time of settlement. Any future damages for either future medical expenses or future lost wages or even future pain and suffering would be entirely dependent on a doctors’ opinion – to a reasonable degree of medical certainty – that claims the individual’s injuries are either permanent or will persist into some point in the future. Depending on how long the doctor(s) say their injuries will last into the future and what kind of treatment they will need in the future, that will determine whether or not the individual will get future benefits.

If a doctor gives an opinion that they will need future treatment, the doctor will usually indicate what the cause of those treatments would be and that would form the basis for a claim for future medical expenses.

There are no statutory caps on compensatory damages in Richmond. However, there are often limitations on coverage that act as “caps.”

Damages Covered by Insurance

Auto insurance will cover what is called med pay and med pay is the certain amount of money that will cover a person’s medical expenses and their lost wages up to a certain amount, so what amount of med pay they will receive, depends on the premium they pay. Therefore, someone who pays a lower premium could get as low as $2,500, but someone who pays a higher premium could get up to $10,000 in med pay benefits.

If, however, an individual’s automobile insurance policy (in terms of liability) is higher than the person who they had an accident with, for example if they had policy limits of $100,000 and the person who hits them had policy limits of $30,000, if that person who hits them tenders their $30,000 of coverage meaning that they are willing to settle the case for a $30,000, the individual can then turn around and make a claim against their own insurance policy for the difference between $100,0000 and $30,000. However, they do have to prove that their injuries are worth more than $30,000 and then by having a higher insurance policy they will have access to a higher coverage or higher benefits.

Role of an Attorney

An attorney will marshal the facts in a way that provides a compelling case for what the person is entitled to. An attorney will gather all of their medical records and an attorney will gather their lost wage information, and summarize the injuries that they had and the treatment that they received, and then come up with a value for what their case is worth. The attorney has to meet the value of their pain and suffering and then will try to either settle the case or present the case in a way so that a judge or jury will award the highest amount that the individual is entitled to.