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Home » California Car Accident Lawyers » What Damages Can I Collect For a Car Accident?

What Damages Can I Collect For a Car Accident?

California sees more car accidents than most states. They can cause injuries and property damage, and victims are often left with mounting expenses and a loss of income during their recovery periods. Family members of those who lose their lives in fatal accidents have funeral expenses. Accidents can also take a huge emotional toll and produce long-lasting repercussions.

Accident victims deserve compensation for their damages, but liable insurance companies don’t want to pay. Johnson Attorneys Group can help.

What Is Negligence?

Before you can seek damages, your lawyer must establish that the party causing your accident was negligent. Drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely to avoid harming themselves and others. They can violate this duty in many ways; if they do, it’s called negligence and the guilty party is responsible for paying your damages.

This is true even if you’re partially at fault for causing your accident. California uses pure comparative negligence in these cases, meaning that you can seek damages even if your accident was mostly your fault. However, you’re also responsible for paying damages to other victims.

To establish negligence, your attorney will show that:

  • Someone owed a duty of care
  • They breached their duty of care
  • This breach caused an accident
  • You sustained damages in that accident

Your percentage of fault determines how much compensation you can receive. Ask your lawyer for more information.

What Are Damages?

Legal terms are confusing sometimes. In car accident cases, damages are financial compensation paid to victims. Insurance companies usually pay these damages. However, if an at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance or doesn’t have enough, that person is personally liable to pay eligible damages.

In California, car accident victims or their eligible survivors can seek damages to compensate for their expenses and other, more intangible costs. Contact Johnson Attorneys Group so we can assess your case and tell you what damages you may be able to receive.

What Damages Does California Allow?

Injured car accident victims can file insurance claims or civil lawsuits seeking damages; eligible survivors of fatal crash victims can file wrongful death lawsuits. The types of damages each can seek are similar.

Economic Damages

Motor vehicle collisions typically produce a wide variety of out-of-pocket costs, and victims deserve reimbursement. Economic damages repay you for these expenses.

Keep all your invoices, statements and receipts for your accident-related expenses in one place. Your attorney will need them to ensure that you receive full compensation.

Medical Expenses

Injured car accident victims require medical treatments, some more than others. You may only need a few doctor visits for minor injuries, but severe injuries might require long-term treatment. Reimbursable medical expenses include:

  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries and rehabilitation
  • Various types of therapy
  • Medications and other treatments
  • Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and at-home hospital beds
  • Transportation costs to and from medical appointments

If your injuries are severe and you need extensive treatments, you can seek reimbursement for future medical expenses in addition to current ones.

Lost Wages

Even if your injuries are relatively minor, you’ll probably need time away from work to:

  • Recover
  • Keep medical and legal appointments
  • Get quotes to repair or replace your car

If not for your accident and the resulting need to accomplish these tasks, you probably would have been at work earning money. Instead, you lose wages as expenses rise. You’ll need documentation from your employer that explains how much money you would have earned by working.

Replacement Services

Many times, injuries make it impossible to take care of ordinary tasks. You may need to hire people to care for you or your children. You may need someone to clean, cook and run errands for you.

If your condition makes these replacement services necessary, you can obtain reimbursement.

Property Damage

Car accidents can damage or total your vehicle, leaving you without transportation. Your auto isn’t the only eligible item for property damage, however. This category may also cover things like:

  • Your clothing, eyeglasses and jewelry you were wearing at the time of your accident
  • Phones, laptops and other electronics in your car
  • Groceries or other purchases
  • Sports equipment or other personal items
  • Damage to mailboxes, fences and other structures

Your lawyer can help you calculate property damage amounts.

Non-Economic Damages

Car accident victims can suffer from more than physical wounds. A collision’s aftermath can be with these victims for the rest of their lives and cause untold amounts of suffering. Non-economic damages attempt to compensate victims for this kind of loss.

The adverse impact of these conditions affects some victims more profoundly than others. The amount of damages you can seek varies significantly. Your lawyer from Johnson Attorneys Group can tell you how much your case is worth.

Pain and Suffering

Some injuries leave victims with permanent pain, causing them to suffer endlessly. Pain and suffering damages compensate them for this unfortunate consequence of their injuries.

Permanent Disability or Disfigurement

Car crashes can amputate limbs or leave victims unable to use them. Injuries can also leave extensive physical scarring, especially if:

  • The car caught on fire
  • Auto glass damaged the victim’s face
  • The impact crushed facial bones or knocked teeth out

These conditions can impact your ability to work and function. They may also create low self-esteem and other emotional issues.

Lost Quality of Life

Your injuries may prevent you from doing things you took for granted before your accident. You might have enjoyed playing sports, riding a bike or going on frequent vacations, only to have these activities taken away from you because of your injuries.


Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident and your injuries is inconvenient, to say the least. You deserve compensation.

Punitive Damages

In California, you may receive punitive damages only in certain circumstances. To qualify, the wrongdoer who caused your collision must have behaved in specific and reprehensible ways. Not many accident victims get punitive damages; ask your lawyer to see if your case is eligible.

What Is Wrongful Death?

When car accident victims lose their lives due to their injuries, qualifying survivors can seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. In California, qualifying individuals are usually the victim’s:

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Children

If the deceased didn’t leave these survivors, other people might qualify.

As a rule of thumb, if the deceased could have filed a personal injury claim had they lived, that person’s survivors can file a wrongful death claim. Damages may include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical treatments that attempted to save the victim’s life
  • Property damage
  • Lost source of income and support

Johnson Attorneys Group can tell you if you’re eligible to file a wrongful death suit and what damages you can seek.

Why Should You Choose Johnson Attorneys Group?

If you or a loved one is the victim of a car accident, you deserve maximum compensation for your damages. Johnson Attorneys Group has an outstanding track record; we have won more than $100 million in settlements for our clients with a 98.7% case success rate. Our firm focuses on personal injury law, so we understand the problems you may face and how to help you resolve them.

When you contact Johnson Attorneys Group for your free case evaluation, there’s no obligation to hire us. If you do, you won’t owe any fees until we win damages on your behalf. There’s nothing to lose, so let us tell you how we can help. Use live chat, our case evaluation request form or call us 24/7 at (800) 208-3538.

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