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What kinds of economic recovery can accident victims pursue?

Accident victims who suffer serious injuries will find themselves facing a host of damages. Some of those damages will be easily quantifiable by adding up receipts for expenses paid relating to medical bills and other costs, and some will be more subjective in nature relating to pain and suffering and mental anguish. This article will discuss several types of compensation that accident victims harmed by another party's negligence may commonly be able to seek in civil court.

-- Current and future medical expenses: Medical bills are probably the most pressing concern of most accident victims who are trying to pay for the medical care they require to get better from their injuries. In addition to expenses already paid relating to ambulance fees, emergency room costs, hospital stay costs and doctors' bills, injured parties will also incur medical expenses in the future, which may be estimated and pursued in a personal injury claim.

-- Loss of consortium: Loss of consortium refers to claims made by a spouse who is deprived marital benefits -- such as sexual relations, help and assistance, comfort, companionship, solace and affection -- as a result of the other spouse's injury. Generally, courts will try to place a value on loss of consortium by taking into account the life expectancies of the couple, the question of whether they are in a stable marriage, and the level of companionship and care the spouse received prior to the injuries and after.

-- Lost wages and lost earning capacity: Lost wages relate to the amount money a plaintiff lost because he or she was not able to work due to injuries. Lost earning capacity relates to the estimated future income the injured party will not be able to earn due to permanent and/or long-term injuries that will affect the individual's ability to perform job duties later on down the road.

--California residents hurt by negligent and/or unlawful individuals will be able to seek a wide variety of other kinds of damages in their personal injury claims. The types and amounts of damages pursuable in a personal injury case will depend on the severity of injuries and other facts surrounding the claim.

Source: FindLaw, "Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries," accessed Oct. 13, 2016

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