Were you injured in an Oakland accident recently that someone else caused? California law states that every person who suffered injuries or losses because of another person’s unlawful act can receive financial compensation. Learn about special damages in this article, then speak to our Oakland personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak if you have a case.
There are two kinds of damages in a California personal injury case: general damages and special damages. General damages, also called noneconomic damages, includes pain and suffering and emotional distress compensation.
On the other hand, special damages, also called economic damages, refer to medical bills, lost earnings, and additional out-of-pocket costs stemming from the injury:
Special damages include medical expenses for the past and future. To prove your damages, you must show the medical costs were reasonably required because of the injury, and that you received them.
Medical expenses can be proven to the insurance company or in court by showing medical bills, the medical diagnosis, and medical records. Your Oakland personal injury lawyer can also call your doctor to testify about your injuries. Or, a medical expert witness can provide this critical testimony.
Remember that the medical bill amount that may be paid in a settlement might not be the total amount on the bill. Many health insurance organizations in California contract with other providers at a lower rate. Your attorney will negotiate the best costs for the medical services rendered. Even if you had insurance and your carrier paid your medical bills, you are entitled to compensation for medical specials because you own the policy and paid the premiums.
Lost earnings, lost future earnings, and the inability to earn a living are the other special damages in many personal injury lawsuits. Lost earnings include wages, commissions, bonuses, and other earnings and benefits you would have enjoyed if you were not hurt.
If you have a regular job, you may be entitled to receive this compensation because you could not be at work because of your injuries. Sufficient proof of lost earnings for traditional W-2 employees includes pay stubs, W-2s, and other documents that show your wage or salary.
Loss of future earnings includes what you would have earned at your regular wage or salary if the injury did not happen. This compensation includes benefits, such as Social Security, for lost time. Proving loss of future income requires you to show how long you will not be able to return to your job, and how much you would have earned absent the injury.
Your physician’s testimony usually proves how long it takes to return to your job. They should be able to offer their expert opinion, backed by medical evidence, about what will prevent you from going back to your old job or if and when you can return to work. An economist or other financial expert also can be called to testify to demonstrate what you would have earned.
If you were injured in an accident in Oakland, Montclair, or Glen View, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our Oakland personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak today at 415-835-6777 for a complimentary consultation. If another party caused your injuries, we will fight for the best personal injury settlement or take the case to court.