A thought which flashes across our minds when we decide to file a lawsuit for personal injuries slip and fall, brain trauma and wrongful death. Which is ‘How much is my personal injury case worth?’ Well this is a simple question, and the answer to it is a simple one as well. The extent of your ‘Damages’ determines the value of your personal injury case. These costs help authorities identify your losses; physical, financial, and psychological. In personal injury cases, the defendant pays the plaintiff a suitable amount of money against the losses faced by the latter. There are two ways to determine the value which the person responsible for accident pays to the injured party;
- Negotiations are carried out between both the parties and a settlement is reached.
- A decree is passed by the judge or the jury and after a trial in the court to raise the levels of your knowledge about the worth of a personal injury claim.
Damages Compensated in Personal Injury Cases
Most of the costs which follow an accident or a personal injury are compensatory. These compensations are meant to make up for the injured plaintiff, financially, up to a maximum extent. The damages in an accident are calculated, and all the losses are put into a dollar figure which is then paid to the innocent victims of the accident. Some damages are relatively easy to calculate, like the medical expenditures (on operations consultation fees, and therapeutic expenses) and property losses. But, there are damages like pain, suffering, embarrassment, and psychological traumas, against which it becomes hard to place a monetary value. Here, we have compiled a list of different types of compensatory damages which are common in most of the personal injury damages;
It is very easy to calculate the medical bills in a personal injury claim. Therefore, these damages are the easiest to figure in the case of an accident. Medical bills include all the money which you need for surgeries, medical therapies, and consultation fees. Moreover, the cost of expensive medicines is also compensated in this type of damages.
If you have injuries in an accident, then you won’t be able to resume your job anytime soon. Due to this, you won’t be able to earn money with which you used to support yourself and your family. The law allows you to activate your civil rights and file for compensations against the loss of income. Apart from lost revenue, you can also get compensated for the loss of earning capacity. For instance, if you aren’t able to resume your job owing to amputations then you deserve reparations.
If your property is damaged or lost in an accident perpetrated by someone else’s negligence then you are entitled to enjoy compensations for them. You can get money for lost/damaged vehicle, clothing, and other similar things.
Pain and Suffering
Unlike medical expenditures and damaged property, damage calculation for pain and suffering is difficult to measure. However, there are ways with the help of which you can get compensated for sufferings and pain which you felt during the accident and the ones which you will suffer from during recovery process.
Mountains of emotional distress follow an accident which leads to psychological injuries. These traumas could inculcate fear, anxiety, and stress in your life. The law endows you the right to file for compensations against psychological injuries as well.
Accidents cast an enormous impact on your relations with the members of your family. Your relation to your wife or your children won’t remain the same after an accident. For instance, if you aren’t able to maintain your marriage owing to impotence after an accident then you could go to court for compensations. Loss of Enjoyment If an accident and associated injuries keep you from enjoying your hobbies, doing exercise, or going to your favorite vacation spot then you can fight your case for reparations.
Punitive Damages Levied by Court
If the defendant has been found practicing extreme carelessness, during the accident, then the court can collect punitive damages on him/her as well. These punitive damages need the defendant to pay money which is extra from general compensations to the plaintiff. This reason behind these damages is to punish the defendant for his/her carelessness. Once a strain is put on the pocket, the defendant won’t exercise any negligence in future which could injure someone else. It is worth mentioning that the value of these punitive damages isn’t huge compared to the compensatory damages. Therefore, most of the states have set a cap on punitive damage awards.
Effect of Plaintiff’s Actions on Damage Compensations
The actions of the plaintiff matter a lot when it comes to calculating the accident costs. For instance, your role in the perpetration of the accident will be considered while judging the reparations. Similarly, your inaction in initiating a lawsuit could also negatively affect your chances of getting proper compensation for your damages.Here, we have discussed some plaintiff actions which have an effect on damage compensation; Comparative negligence The evidence which is gathered from the accident spot are examined, and percentage of your negligence is calculated. This relative negligence percentage negatively affects the compensations; more the negligence portion, lesser will be some dollars.
In some states, if even a small part of your negligence has been recorded in the accident then you won’t be compensated for any damages. This is, however, true for a handful of states only. The rest consider comparative negligence while calculating the costs.
Apart from the above two, there is a third action which could significantly affect your petition for compensations. This is when you don’t get the necessary medical treatments after an accident just to worsen your injuries. There have been cases where plaintiffs have been found to sit back and relax just to worsen their injuries after an accident. This is done to increase the number of damages and resultant compensations from the defendants. But, the court considers this action to be negligence of the plaintiff, thus reducing the value of compensations up to a significant value.
These simple things determine the worth of your personal injury case.