Injured Iowans call us all the time and ask, “What is my case worth?” Most times we can’t give a specific answer without gathering more information like medical records, evidence of lost wages, and a doctor’s opinions about the severity of your injuries.
While we may not be able to give you an exact figure without a more detailed investigation and analysis, we can explain the types of losses you can be compensated for in an Iowa personal injury case.
Past Medical Bills
You can ask to be repaid for any medical bills you have from treatment related to the accident. This can include ambulance rides, emergency room visits, doctor visits, physical therapy, surgeries, medications, etc.
Remember though, if your own car insurance or health insurance has paid for some or all of your medical bills, most times they have a right to be paid back all or some portion of what they have paid. It’s important to know that number before you settle so you aren’t left with too little in your pocket after paying back insurance.
Future Medical Bills
If your doctor believes you will need medical care for your injuries in the future, you can also be compensated for the cost of that future care. Your need for future care, and the cost, will need to be documented in your medical records or in a special opinion letter written by your doctor. An attorney can make sure the letter from your doctor contains the proper language and legal standards.
Past Lost Wages
If you missed time from work or had to use vacation or sick time that you would have used doing something else, you can be reimbursed. You will need to get documentation from your employer of your lost wages to recover from this loss.
If you have received long or short-term disability to help cover some of your wages while you were off work, depending on the language of the policy, sometimes those companies have a right to be paid back out of any settlement you reach. It’s important to know what your policy says, and how much the company is expecting to be paid back.
Future Loss of Earning Capacity
If your injury is going to affect your ability to work going forward, you can seek compensation for your loss of future earning capacity. For an insurance company to compensate for a future loss of earnings, you will likely need a note from your doctor indicating you have permanent work restrictions. You may also need a report from an expert to document what jobs you’ll no longer be able to do.
Past And Future Pain and Suffering
If you don’t heal up from your injuries, leaving you with ongoing physical or mental symptoms, you can receive compensation. Most often, insurance companies will need to see notes in your medical records that your injury is permanent to include money for your future suffering. Sometimes, a special doctor’s letter is needed to appropriately document this.
Past And Future Loss of Function
If you are limited in how you can use your body, you can receive compensation for that loss. Again, insurance companies will want to see your limitations documented in your medical records. If they are not properly documented, an attorney may choose to send you to a special doctor or physical therapist who can give an opinion on how your ability to move will be permanently impacted by the injuries from your accident.
Of course, the types of damages we have discussed don’t include damage to your property or vehicle. Property damage claims are separate from bodily injury claims. Most often, you can handle the property damage side of things on your own. If you have questions about what your personal injury claim is worth—please contact RSH Legal at 1-800-433-0283 today.