The law has a language all of its own — and familiar words sometimes take on unfamiliar meanings when they’re used in reference to a car accident claim.
Consider the term “damages,” for example. In a car accident claim, your damages are the sum value you assign to whatever losses you suffered as a result of the accident. The total will naturally include any actual economic damages — or things that can be easily assigned a dollar value. Economic damages include the cost of your car repairs, your medical bills and your lost wages, among other things.
However, your damages also include noneconomic losses — or things that aren’t quite so easy to value. For example, noneconomic damages after a wreck can include things like the emotional trauma you endured from the accident, your pain and suffering and the general loss of enjoyment of your life following the wreck.
It’s very common for insurance companies to bicker over the noneconomic damages the most. After all, it can be difficult to dispute a pile of medical bills — so the adjustor may focus his or her attention on trying to whittle down your claim for pain and suffering.
To help yourself, make sure that you keep track of all of your actual economic expenses tied to the accident — including those covered by your insurance. Don’t forget to include lost wages — even if you were able to cover your time off with sick leave. Most insurance companies follow the logic that “a high medical bill equals greater pain and suffering,” so every dollar helps support your case.
If you’re struggling to make heads or tails over all of the terminology being thrown your way after a wreck, it may be wise to seek legal advice about your claim.