Can Common Law Damages Help You After a Car Accident?

If you were an innocent party in a car accident, then you may have already been through the insurance claims process. In some cases, you may also be able to lodge a common law damages claim against the person who caused the accident.

What do these damages cover, and are you eligible for them?

What Are Common Law Damages?

If you apply for common law damages, you basically sue the person who was responsible for the accident. You do this on the basis that you have suffered financial problems or some kind of pain and suffering.

So, for example, if your claim was successful, you might get some money to compensate for any earnings or superannuation contributions you lost if you couldn't work because of what happened in the accident. You might also get money if you can't earn the same amount as you used to because you can no longer do the same job or type of work.

Common law damages also sometimes cover other expenses. For example, if the effects of the accident have given you a load of medical bills, then you might get compensation for these and any future health-related costs.

These damages don't just cover financial loss; they also factor in pain and suffering. If your life changes after an accident, then you might lose some physical or mental functions. Your enjoyment of life may be impaired. For example, you may suffer from depression or anxiety.

Are You Eligible for Common Law Damages?

Working out whether you can claim common law damages can be difficult. This isn't an option that is open to every person who is the innocent victim of an accident caused by someone else.

Your eligibility usually depends on the state where you live — states all have their own rules that dictate this procedure. For example, in some locations you can claim for minor injuries; in others, common law damages are only valid for serious ones.

You may also have time limits in which you can make a claim. The easiest way to work out if you are eligible is to consult compensation lawyers.

A local lawyer understands the rules of your state. They can also assess if it is worth making a claim and, if so, what you should claim for. If you think you have a case for common law damages, book an initial consultation with a lawyer who has experience of handling car accident claims.