When you endure the trauma and turmoil that an injury from an accident can cause – and you were not at fault – receiving adequate compensation can act as a salve to somewhat heal your wounds. After all, not being the at-fault party, you thus have the right to receive the full and maximum amount you can obtain for the various forms of injuries you suffer in your personal injury claim.
What’s more, your awarded compensation should cover the damages to various aspects of your life, which we will cover later in this blog article.
As you can imagine, there are different and distinct factors that come into play when calculating the full value of a personal injury claim. They would initially include the following:
- Extent of your injuries
- Costs related to the treatment of your injuries
- Amount of available coverage
Relevant Factors in Determining the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim
If you suffer injuries in an accident where you were not at fault, you are entitled to compensation. As each case is unique, the type of injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident will all weigh into how much that compensation will total.
The amount of damages that stem from an accident will have a direct effect on the amount of compensation that will be awarded. How it works is the party found to be legally responsible for the incident pays damages to the injured plaintive to compensate for the various losses they have sustained because of the accident or injury.
Financially speaking, damages attach a dollar value to the effects on the plaintiff caused by the accident. The actual amount of damages that ultimately goes to the plaintiff in a lawsuit can be determined by an agreed-upon amount in a settlement or by a jury trial.
In order to evaluate the value of your case, we would consider the following factors:
Medical Bills and Costs — Your compensation should include both past and future medical treatment which encompasses adaptive medical devices, pain management therapies, physical therapy, and transportation to your doctor.
Pain and Suffering — Insurance companies occasionally will use pain multipliers.” This translates into your economic loss being multiplied by a designated number designed to estimate your pain and suffering damages.
Lost Income — If you have to miss work and, as a result, lose a certain amount of income – due to the injuries you sustained in the accident – you have a right to be compensated for those lost wages you could not earn. If you have permanent injuries, you are entitled to compensation for 100 percent of your lost wages. If it turns out you are only able to work in a diminished capacity, you should receive the difference between what you earned before and after the injury.
Emotional Distress — As the result of the accident, if you are contending with health issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other emotional issues, you have a right to be compensated for these mental injuries, as well.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
In the vast majority of personal injury cases, the plaintiff’s losses typically fall into two types of damages that are the foundation of your claim. They are economic, also referred to as “special” damages, and non-economic, also known as “general” damages.
What is included in economic damages are current and future financial losses. These costs are normally based on amounts that are recorded in numbers during the negotiation or litigation process. As a result, it is while formulating your claim that you typically establish a dollar value for these economic losses.
Economic Losses will usually include the following:
- Medical Bills to treat the injuries
- Lost wages for time off work
- Damage to or loss of property
- Other out-of-pocket losses
When it comes to non-economic damages, this can be more difficult to determine as they often account for the physical and mental toll that comes from the accident or injuries. This type of damages could include the plaintiff’s physical discomfort and pain, or pain and suffering.
Non-economic damages will usually consider the following factors:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Other Factors That Might Impact the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim
When you go about the process of assessing the value of your claim, you should consider these two other distinct factors:
Comparative Negligence — For example, if you are partially to blame for your accident or injuries, then you could see your damage claim decreased by the percentage of fault that you bear. So, if you were 30 percent responsible and suffered $100,000 in damages, you would be responsible for covering $30,000 in costs, or 30 percent of $100,000. The person you injured would have to cover 70 percent, or $70,000. And if you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault, you would not recover anything.
Insurance Limits — The at-fault party’s insurance coverage typically covers your costs and losses in a personal injury claim. Nonetheless, insurers will pay just up to the policy limits. For instance, if the at-fault party has a $100,000 limit, the insurance company will pay nothing in excess of $100,000, even if a jury awards you $200,000 in damages.
You have the right to pursue a claim against the at-fault party for the excess, but people usually don’t have that much money. This translates into not being able to collect it all, or you could have to take steps such as garnering the at-fault party’s wages or placing liens on their property. This course of action is often challenging, and you are not guaranteed of getting anything from your efforts.
This is why settlements are typically for an amount equal to the at-fault party’s policy limits.
Roberts Jones Law Is Here To Serve Your Legal Needs During Personal Injury Cases
If you have been involved in an accident and there are multiple parties involved, you need legal services from an experienced personal injury attorney from Roberts Jones Law. Our attorneys at Roberts Jones Law have the expertise and experience necessary to effectively handle multiple insurance companies simultaneously and to build a case designed to protect your rights and interests.
At Roberts Jones Law we will provide you with the guidance, care, and support needed to secure the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured as a result of someone’s carelessness, breach of duty of care, or deliberate act, you have rights under the law to seek compensation for your damages.
Trust the attorneys at Roberts Jones Law when you want legal services catered to your individual needs.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice.