How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Whether you were injured in a car accident or you fell in an icy parking lot, the physical and financial toll can be devastating. You might be unable to work, and you are probably not able to do the things you enjoy, like spending time with friends, participating in hobbies, and playing with your children. If someone else is responsible for your personal injury, either because they were negligent or because they violated safety regulations, speak with an experienced attorney about your options.
One of the first questions most people have is whether they will be able to recover the full value of the losses they experienced. During your initial consultation, your lawyer can give you a general idea about what your personal injury case is worth. However, the exact amount won’t be clear until you have completed your medical treatment.
The first thing your attorney will look at is compensatory damages, which includes all of the direct and indirect costs of your injury.
These are the most common ways compensatory damages are assessed:
Your medical bills are one of the biggest considerations in a personal injury claim. Your lawyer will calculate all of the expenses you have already incurred, as well as additional expenses you are expected to incur in the future.
If you had to take time away from work due to your injury, your lost income is part of your claim. In addition, you could be entitled to the loss of future earnings if you won’t be able to work, or the type of work you can do has changed as a result of your injury.
Often, when people are injured, property is also damaged or destroyed. For example, a car crash might make it necessary for you to replace your vehicle. Your attorney will include the value of damaged property in your claim.
Pain and Suffering
Of course, it is not possible to make you whole again when it comes to the physical pain you experienced when the accident occurred, and perhaps long afterwards. However, the legal system allows you to recover financial compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced. There is no rule that states how much you can be reimbursed for pain and suffering, so it is likely your lawyer will estimate the value based on awards in other cases.
Loss of Enjoyment
Your inability to participate in the activities you enjoy may have a financial impact on your case. As with pain and suffering, you can’t get back the experiences you missed due to your injuries, but you may be compensated for them.
Loss of Consortium
Spending time with your spouse and children is a crucial part of your life. If your injury prevented you from participating in family activities, loss of consortium damages may apply.
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages have no relationship to the expenses you incurred as a result of your injury. Instead, they are designed to financially punish the party responsible for your injury. Generally, punitive damages are only considered in particularly serious cases of negligence or in cases where the conduct that led to your injury was deliberate.
As your case develops, your attorney might use a settlement calculator to determine how much your claim is worth and whether any settlement offers you receive from the other party are reasonable. The insurance company for the other party will do the same. This practice often results in a faster resolution, saving you the time and energy required to go to trial.
If you have been injured through someone else’s negligence, make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. The experienced personal injury specialists at Bates Law, APC can help. Call today at (619) 222-0900 to schedule your consultation.