In Light of Kobe Bryant: Understanding Compensation Following Accidents
The horrible accident in which Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and several other passengers lost their lives feels like a wakeup call. Like other horrific aircraft accidents like the Manchester United air disaster of 1958 or the more recent 2016 flight that resulted in the Association Football Chapecoense team in which all, but three players survived the crash.
Air disasters are horrifying because survival is so rare, but what we often forget about is that there is a reason why we hear about these crashes – they are rare in and of themselves.
Auto accidents are by far the more significant threat than air travel, and they too take away beloved stars. From Princess Diana to the Humboldt Broncos, auto accidents are deadly and, even if they aren’t, can be horrific to experience first-hand.
Compensation Covers Real Costs
Compensation can seem like a vague concept because the sums are often quite high as soon as you have been seriously injured, but they are based on real costs.
Your compensation sum will be calculated based on:
- Medical costs
- Aid costs
- Loss in Wages
- Personal Damages
- Pain and Suffering
Except for pain and suffering, which can be argued for by a car accident attorney, all costs will be based on real bills and estimates. If there is not a bill receipt to go off, then specialists will be brought in to estimate the cost in question professionally. This is useful if you can no longer walk following an auto accident, for example, and will need ongoing care and assistive aid throughout your life.
In short, compensation is there to cover the real cost of your injury throughout your recovery period and, if your injuries result in disability, throughout your life.
What an Accident Attorney Does
While insurance companies are more than happy to deal with you directly, you will always want to hire an accident or, in some cases, a wrongful death attorney to manage your situation. You can usually receive greater compensation sums when hiring an attorney than if you were just to accept the first sum offered. If you don’t go through an attorney, there is no guarantee the money you receive will cover the cost of your injuries.
How Things Change in a Wrongful Death Suit
Kobe’s wife has launched a wrongful death suit against the aviation company that handled her husband’s flight. Wrongful death suits, however, apply for any instance where an at-fault party resulted in the loss of a loved one. You can file whether you were in the accident or not, and compensation is calculated similarly with one key exception.
In wrongful death suits, the loss of wages is exponentially calculated over the deceased’s lifetime. A spouse who would typically have been reliant on these wages will be the beneficiary.
In some states, there are shared-fault laws that mean the compensation you could win will be decreased if there is evidence that both parties were at least somewhat at fault for the accident. In other cases, it might be worthwhile to prove criminal negligence, for example, if you were injured because your employer refused to fix a machine you worked with regularly, and it backfired. An attorney will work with local authorities to build your case for compensation in this case.