Friday, July 6, 2012

Motor Vehicle Accident Recovery: A Short Primer

With the holiday week, I have had a number of calls regarding motor vehicle accidents and what can be recovered.  Here is a shorthand list of the basic items of recovery:

Property Damage to your vehicle measured by the cost of repair or the Actual Cash Value of the vehicle (Note that this is not the replacement cost)

Medical bills, including future medical bills (But if these were paid by your health insurer, your own vehicle insurance, or Medicare/Medicaid, you have to repay back)

Loss of income, including future loss of earnings if your injuries prevent you from returning to work.

Non-economic loss (pain, suffering, emotional distress, forced changes in your life because of injuries, the inconvenience related to the accident)

No matter how severe the accident, I do not suggest that clients hope for recovery in the form of punitive damages.  By law, 50% of these damages awarded at trial are paid to the State of Alaska with the client, not the State of Alaska assuming the risks of litigation.  At the same time, these are the verdicts most often appealed.

You have to play your hand smartly.  See