The purpose of pursuing your claim against the insurance company and negligent defendants is to recover money to compensate you for your losses, or “damages.” During settlement negotiations, you must persuade the insurance company adjuster which type and the value of damages you are entitled to. And if you take your claim to trial, you must prove your damages through clear and convincing evidence.
What Does Causation Mean?
You must show that your damages resulted from the automobile or truck wreck. The law refers to this link as “causation.” One of the ways insurance companies avoid paying claims or juries refuse to award damages is when the defense shows that the injuries arose from something else, specifically from
- Preexisting injuries: The insurance company may claim that you already had the medical condition prior to the accident.
- Intervening causes: The insurance company may claim that you sustained the injury sometime after the accident because of an unrelated event.
In anticipation of these defenses, your lawyer will present evidence to show a direct link between the crash and the injuries it caused.
Calculating Medical Costs
Maintaining organized, thorough medical records from the moment you suffer an injury can help you to maximize your damages.
Your lawyer will subpoena appropriate medical records that might include:
- Emergency room intake and notes
- Doctors’ diagnoses, notes and prognoses
- Maximum medical improvement letter
- Prescriptions, including drug names and dosages
- Diagnostic tests, including x-rays, MRIs, EEGs and body scans
- Lab test results
- Invoices from all medical facilities and professionals
- Bills for ambulatory transportation
- Rental or purchase of medical equipment, such as crutches, wheelchair or bed
- Receipts for related costs, such as home care nurses
Experts can offer powerful evidence of the costs of your future medical care, expenses of living with a disability, and reduced enjoyment of your life.
Calculating Lost Wages
You may be entitled to your lost income if your injury prevented you from working. In addition, you may also pursue diminished future earning capacity if you have a disability because of the crash.
Proof of your past earnings includes pay slips, direct deposit statements, a letter from your employer, and or tax returns. To show lost profits of a small business you own, you will need to produce more detailed accounting records.