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4 types of damages you may be able to claim after an accident

You've driven from the store to your house more times than you can count. It's only a few miles and you've never had a problem. You feel like you could do it on autopilot.

Then, when you're turning left with the light, another driver runs the red. It happens so fast. There's no way you can avoid the crash. You have a split second to realize what's happening and then it's nothing but chaos as the cars collide and spin. Everything goes dark and when you wake up, you're in the hospital.

The whole accident got caught on camera. You know you did nothing wrong. You want to seek compensation, and you're wondering exactly what damages you can target. Below are four potential options.

1. Pain and suffering.

Your injuries don't just cost money. They also cost you in pain and suffering you're now forced to endure. Perhaps you have a spinal injury. You're looking at months of recovery and physical therapy, if not years. You may have back pain for the rest of your life. You don't deserve that.

2. Medical bills.

That said, your injuries are costly. The ambulance ride, the emergency room visit, the lasting care in the hospital. None of it is cheap. Bills rack up with surprising speed. You may owe more in medical bills after a few days than you've owed for anything your entire life. You deserve the best care, and you sholdn't front that bill yourself.

3. Loss of companionship.

Perhaps your spouse was in the car with you at the time of the crash. While you survived, he or she was tragically killed. Financial compensation can't make up for that loss of companionship in the same way, but you may deserve something for your loss. It changes your life. You can't ever get that back. It's like an injury that never heals.

4. Lost wages.

Lost wages can take two forms. First off, you're likely going to miss out on some hours while you're in the hospital. Even a few days out of work can wreck your budget. Weeks or months out of work can make paying the bills impossible. You may also want to consider lost future wages. Are your injuries such that you can never work again? Now you could be looking at an incredible projected loss. If you made $100,000 per year before, every year that you don't work is another $100,000 out of your pocket.

The specifics of every accident are different, but these are four critical areas to consider. Someone else's negligence can change your life in a heartbeat. It's not your fault, but you can't always avoid it. Make sure you know exactly where you stand and what options you have.

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