If you are injured through no fault of your own but by someone else’s negligence, California law entitles you to recover various types of damages, which include the following:
Medical Bills/Present and Future: You are entitled to recover all of the medical bills and other expenses that you incurred or will incur in treating for your personal injuries. You are also not penalized for having part or all of these expenses covered by some other collateral source such as your own health or car insurance.
Pain and Suffering: Ordinarily, the most valuable element of your bodily injury claim is the right to compensation for physical pain and mental anguish you have suffered and will endure in the future because of your injury. These general damages are in addition to and may be far more than the amount of your medical expenses and lost earnings.
Loss of Earnings: You are also entitled to recover the loss of earnings sustained from missing work as a result of your injuries. This includes wages, commissions, bonuses and all other earnings and fringe benefits.
Future Loss of Earnings: If your injuries permanently limit your ability to earn, you can recover the value of the reduction in earning capacity that, with reasonably probability, will occur in the future. These damages compensate you for your lost earning power over the remainder of your working years.
Death: Damages for wrongful death are available for the wife, husband, parent and child of the deceased person. Sometimes, persons related by blood or marriage, who were dependent upon the deceased, may recover. Damages are not limited to the economic loss and may include damages for loss of companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance or education. Damages are available for the deceased’s estate as well.
Disfigurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, you are entitled to recover for the disfigurement, humiliation or embarrassment associated with the disfigurement.
Damage to the Marital Relationship: Serious injuries to one spouse may cause damage to the marital relationship. If this occurs, you are entitled to recover for the loss of society, affection, assistance, conjugal fellowship and loss or impairment of sexual relations that occur.
Damage to Your Vehicle or Other Personal Property: You are entitled to be made whole for any damage to your personal property. Where they can repair your vehicle, you are entitled to recover the reasonable cost of restoring the vehicle to its condition before the collision. In addition, you may recover the cost of substitute transportation necessarily incurred while they are repairing your vehicle (i.e. a rental car). If your car is deemed a “total loss”, you are entitled to recover the true, fair market value of the vehicle or other property.
(Warning: Changes in the law concerning damages occur frequently. You should consult with an Attorney regarding the damages recoverable in your particular case)
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