Don't forget to include future damages when pursuing an auto accident claim. The defendant should compensate you for all damages, including the ones you are yet to experience. Below are some of the future damages to which you may be entitled.
Future Medical Costs
Some auto accident injuries require long-term or even permanent medical care. The extent or nature of the injury, necessary treatment, preexisting conditions, and even age all determine how fast you can recover. Here are some examples of permanent or long-term injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Limb amputation
- Spinal cord injury
- Injuries to reproductive organs
- Sensory losses
For example, you may need ongoing monitoring, medication, and psychiatric help if your accident has left you with a TBI.
Future Loss of Earning Capacity
Include future loss of earning if you won't be able to work for the foreseeable future or forever. For example, paralysis, severe back pain, and mental problems can prevent you from engaging in income-generating activities. The defendant should compensate you for the income you are likely to lose due to their negligence.
Future Pain and Suffering
Injuries that require ongoing medical care tend to be painful and uncomfortable for a long time. In some cases, you might have to undergo multiple surgeries or take regular pain meds to manage your pain. You may have to struggle with your sex life, struggle with insomnia, and even require ongoing medication for physical pain. Since you wouldn't have suffered such pain and suffering without the defendant's negligence, they ought to compensate you for it.
Cost of Vocational Rehabilitation
Depending on the nature of your injuries, you might require vocational rehabilitation. The rehabilitation can help you switch jobs or deal with your limitations at your former workplace. Vocation rehabilitation is even more necessary if you have permanent injuries. For example, a driver with amputated limbs might require vocational rehabilitation to get back to work.
Future Housekeeping Services
Lastly, some accident victims also require help with house chores. For example, you might not be able to tend to for your garden or cut your lawn if you cannot move without assistance. Other examples include the difficulties of putting on clothes without hands, cooking without vision, and cleaning your house without limbs.
Note that you won't be able to collect any damages after you accept the settlement and sign the release. The time to ensure you have accounted for everything is before the negotiations are over — ideally, even before sending the demand letter. Consult a personal injury attorney to help you value your case appropriately.