If you were injured in an accident, whether from a car wreck, a slip and fall, or some other way, you are entitled to seek damages (monetary compensation) from the person or business that caused your injury.  While not every case is the same, there are three broad components of damages that you may recover.

Medical Bills

You are able to receive reimbursement for the medical bills for any treatment related to the accident.  In North Carolina, the at-fault parties must pay for any amount that is actually paid to satisfy a medical bill or that is owed to a medical provider.  That means that if your insurance carrier or Medicare works with your doctor to reduce the bill before it is paid, you can only recover the reduced amount and not what as originally billed.  You are also entitled to recover for any future medical treatment that a doctor prescribes in your treatment plan.

Lost Wages

If you are unable to work due to an accident, you may recover any wages that you lost while you are out of work.  The amount you can recover should not be reduced by if you used vacation days or sick leave because of the injury. In order to prove your lost wages, you will likely need documentation from your employer of your position, salary or hourly wage, and the days you are out. It is important that you speak with your doctor to ensure that you are able to return to work, as you could exacerbate your injuries if you do not allow yourself sufficient time to recover.  If you have suffered a serious injury, you may have a claim for future lost wages based upon your inability to perform the same or similar work in the future.

Pain and Suffering

While it is usually fairly simple to establish lost wages and medical bills that result from an accident, it is much harder to put a value on you personal pain and suffering.  If you’ve been injured, you know that the pain you feel is only one part of the disruption that the accident will cause to your life. These damages can be significant, and you should not agree to any settlement with an insurance carrier that has not accounted for how your life has been impacted.

These are some, but not all, of the potential damages that may be recoverable if you have been injured by a negligent person or company.  It is very likely that you will be contacted by an insurance company for the at-fault attempting to settle or resolve the case.  Before speaking or negotiating with an insurance company, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to better understand your options and answer any questions you have.

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