Auto accidents can be some of the worst things to ever happen to you. When your own car accident deprives you of a limb or one or more of your five senses, you might have a much bigger case for a lawsuit than you realize. Here is how this may apply to your case.
What You Lost Affects Your Job
In general, you might be able to sue for pain and suffering if you lost a limb in a car accident, but typically you cannot sue for the "value" of the limb. When what you lost in the accident directly impacts your career, then you can sue for much more. For example, someone who plays piano, or dances ballet professionally, or who is a professional "sniff" tester (it is a real job!) loses his/her ability to play, dance, or smell in a car accident, he/she can sue for that loss of income.
Let's take the professional sniff tester. He/she is hired because he/she has a very special gift no one else has; a nose that detects even the slightest nuance in scent. Every odor is distinguished as different and unique to this individual, and only a very small percentage of people have the noses to do this job. If the sniff tester loses his/her sense of smell in an accident, he/she can legitimately sue for his/her salary for up to forty years, or however many years he/she would have left until retirement age. Your lawyer would make that calculation and add it to the list of items for which you are seeking compensation from the courts and the driver that hit you.
The Exception, Not the Rule
As the above example shows, this type of compensation is the exception, not the rule. Losing a body part or one of your senses does not entitle you to the value of its loss because you really cannot place a value on it unless the loss of the body part forces you onto a new career path. You can, however, sue for all of your medical bills, hospital bills, and doctor co-pays that are tied directly to the missing limb or missing sense. It is not quite the same as suing for the missing body part or feature, but it helps with the sense of loss. If you want to see if your missing part or sense should be compensated for, consult an auto accident attorney.