Are you wondering what the total amount of your personal injury claim will be worth? Read on to learn the factors in the equation.
What You Need to Know about Personal Injury Claims
The compensation you receive for your personal injury claim will be directly related to your past, present, and future medical bills. Other losses are also factored into the total, like out-of-pocket expenses and lost income.
For this reason, it can be difficult to calculate the total amount of your losses, or "damages." It can require putting a price tag on things that don't necessarily have a monetary value, like emotional distress, pain, and suffering.
As you are probably already aware, your total demand amount is likely to not match up with the insurance company's offer. This is where your personal injury attorney will step in, and help you receive the highest amount of compensation possible.
The following will help you to calculate an approximate dollar value for your personal injury claim, based on the method attorneys and claim adjusters use.
Categories of Chargeable Personal Injury Cases
The first consideration when calculating your personal injury case is, of course, if it is chargeable in the first place. The most common chargeable personal injury claims include:
Automobile accident cases
Slip and fall accidents
Dog bites or any sort of animal attack
Types of Damages
In general, there are two main categories of damages that you can seek: compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are commonly described as "actual damages," meaning that they compensate you for the actual damages you suffered. This commonly includes medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of vehicle damage.
Many compensatory damage amounts are easy to calculate as you have medical and car payment bills as evidence. However, others are not as easy to calculate. Compensatory damages include:
Medical treatment: Personal injury claims will always include the full cost of medical care and treatment that you suffered as a result of the accident. Your attorney should also include future medical costs when they calculate damages. Be sure to keep records for all of your medical treatments and bills.
Income: Consider the compensation you are entitled to for the accident's impact on your salary and wages. This includes both income you have already lost as well as money you would have been able to make if it were not for the accident.
Property loss: Track all clothing, vehicle parts, or any other items that were damaged as a result of the accident. You will be entitled to compensation for the fair market value of the property that was lost.
Pain and suffering: If you suffered pain or serious discomfort as a result of the accident or its aftermath, you may entitled to compensation for your suffering.
Emotional distress: Emotional distress damages compensate a personal injury plaintiff for the psychological impact of an injury. This often includes fear, anxiety, and sleep loss.
Loss of enjoyment: You may be entitled to "loss of enjoyment" damages if the injuries you sustained have kept you or continue to keep you from enjoying hobbies, exercise, and other recreational activities you would normally partake in.
Punitive damages are any damages that a court orders a defendant to pay if the defendants behaviors was particularly reckless or can be classified as an attempt to cause deliberate harm.
Punitive damages differ from compensatory damages because unlike actual damages, they are not compensation for the plaintiffs suffering. Rather, they are awarded as a method to punish the defendant for particularly bad behavior and to deter other people in the defendant's position from repeating his or her actions.
To begin calculating the worth of your personal injury case, you will need to add up the bills you have already accumulated, and figure out the quantifiable compensatory damages. You will then want to consult with an attorney to see if you can seek punitive damages and the amount you can ask for.
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