What are the Different Types of Damages You Can Claim from a Car Crash?

Justice Law Center is a full service Nevada law frim, founded by attorney Bret Whipple. We offer personal injury services, as well as criminal defense and family law representation.
Last updated on: November 15, 2022
This article details some of the most common damages that would be claimed in a personal injury case stemming from an automobile accident.
What are the Different Types of Damages You Can Claim from a Car Crash?

Its so easy for us to fall into a false sense of security and safety when we are behind the wheel. In modern day life, we drive so much that we understandably start to think nothing bad will ever happen out on the road. In fact, it is easy to spot the folks who have never been involved in a serious accident, because they are likely the ones speeding around traffic, cutting people off and not even bothering to use their signals.

           Those of us who have been involved in a serious car accident, or even have lost a loved one, can’t help but to feel anger and frustration when dealing with these types of drivers.

           All it takes is a single second for a car crash to occur. If we are lucky, the only damages that occur is to property. While this in itself can traumatic, the worst kinds of accidents can lead to physical damages, permanent disability and even death.

           After you have been injured out on the road, and someone else is at fault, immediately hiring a personal injury lawyer is almost always in your best interest. Before setting up that consultation, which are normally free, it would be best if you already knew just what kinds of damages you can be entitled to claim compensation for.

           Medical Damages

           The most obvious and common nature of damages that occur in a personal injury case are medical damages. When you are injured to a point where you need to be examined by a doctor or medical professional, the bills will immediately start to pile up. The costs of medical care in the United States are the most expensive in the world, as the U.S. spends an estimated $12,318 per person on healthcare per year. (HOW DOES THE U.S. HEALTHCARE SYSTEM COMPARE TO OTHER COUNTRIES?, n.d.)

           To get an accurate representation of medical damages, your injury lawyer will coordinate with your doctor and/or hospital and acquire all bills for treatments and therapy you have received that occurred as a result of the crash.

           Medical damages can also be represented as future treatments and therapy that you will need depending on your injuries. For example, if you are going to need physical therapy for a year, the cost of that therapy can be estimated, and claimed under medical damages.

           Loss of Both Current, and Future Wages and Income

           One of the most devastating results of an injury causing car accident is losing the ability to work in order to support yourself and your family. As adults, the ability to take care of our family financially is one of the most important and fulfilling tasks.

           Getting compensation that covers lost wages and income is even more important as getting your medical bills paid. While you can be sent to collections over an unpaid medical bill, you must still pay your rent or mortgage while laid up in the hospital, as well as other bills. Without being able to work due to your injuries, lost wages and income becomes one of the most important claims to damages in a personal injury case.

           Pain and Suffering

           So far, we have been discussing the economic damage that the car accident has wrought on your life. While recovering those damages are important, receiving compensation for your physical and even emotional pain and suffering is just as important as paying your bills. Being severely injured can be an emotionally devastating event, that can cause long term psychological issues such as PTSD.

           Calculating damages for pain and suffering can be one of the most difficult accountings that your injury lawyer can make. Sometimes the long-term pain and suffering can be difficult to comprehend at the time. This is why most attorneys will be very careful when seeking compensation for pain and suffering.

           One often used technique to calculate pain and suffering after a car accident is called the “multiplier” method. Your lawyer will add up all the medial bills from the accident, and then multiply them by a factor of x1.5 to x5. The multiplier used will depend on issues like the severity and longevity of the injuries, as well as the impact of those injuries on your day-to-day life.

           Loss of Quality of Life

           One of the worst side effects of being seriously injured in a car crash is a permanent disability of any kind. Even if you weren’t a serious athlete, having your body changed for the worst due to someone else’s negligence on the road will be one of the worst things that could happen to you.

           In the instance of a loss of a limb, you can be forever limited on what you can and cannot do. Even the smallest of things like riding a bike with your children or going for a jog on a nice day will be taken from you. Putting a price tag on this is difficult, but recovering these damages is just as important, if not more than getting the medical bills paid.


           Depending on your certain situation there could be other damages that you can seek in your personal injury case. The above are just some of the most common damages that would be sought after a car accident. During your initial consultation with your injury lawyer, the types of damages will likely be discussed in detail.

           Unlike other areas of the law, a personal injury lawyer will normally only take their fee out of the money awarded to you. This allows you to be able to retain an experienced lawyer without having to pay a sizable retainer, like if you were trying to hire a family or criminal defense attorney. The downside to this payment arrangement is that injury lawyers will sometimes take upwards of 1/3 of the payout; however, if that same lawyer gets you five times the amount of money then you would have gotten trying to go it alone, the fee is well worth it.


HOW DOES THE U.S. HEALTHCARE SYSTEM COMPARE TO OTHER COUNTRIES? (n.d.). Retrieved from Peter G Jackson Foundation: https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2022/07/how-does-the-us-healthcare-system-compare-to-other-countries