How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

You never know when an accident could happen. An accident victim must understand their injury claim before agreeing to personal injury settlement amounts with the responsible party’s insurance company or attempting to go to trial.

How is personal injury compensation calculated? A personal injury attorney  can help you better understand your benefits while guiding you throughout a personal injury claim by being your personal injury damages calculator. They can look at all aspects of your unique situation and value your compensation. They will take into account lost wages, damages, and other details to value your claim. 

Determining How Much Your Personal Injury Claim Is Worth

How do you value a personal injury claim? A clear understanding of the value of each claim that you have a legal right to will allow you to recognize a fair settlement when offered and effectively weigh the pros and cons of going to trial.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are present and future costs that can be documented with a monetary value for the duration of the personal injury’s effect. These damages tend to be tangible, which allows them to be easily tracked compared to intangible damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible but also trend toward requiring a higher compensation for the injured party because the losses can be incalculable due to the psychological, mental, and emotional anguish.

Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Compensatory damages are any amounts of money that are given to the injured party to make up for the damage to their life in any form.

Medical Expenses

Every medical treatment or procedure that was or wasn’t covered by your insurance can be compensated. This includes surgeries, physical injuries, doctor’s appointments, and medical bills related to care and prescriptions.

Rehabilitation, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, ongoing treatment or care, and other costs related to work provided at your home by a medical professional is also eligible for compensation.

Property Damage Or Loss

If there was damage to your material items, or if they were lost as a consequence of the accident referred to in your claim, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Lost Income

If you missed work due to your injury, you can be compensated for the time you missed. You can claim the amount of time off of work, shorter work schedules, and reduced wages or salary because of an imposed change in profession caused by your injury.

Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

If there are any other costs that you accumulated that weren’t necessary before your injury, you can report them. They’ll often be included in your compensation. Examples of this are buying tools and adaptive equipment. Childcare, home maintenance, and drivers also count as out-of-pocket expenses. 

Pain And Suffering

The loss of human experiences such as going to school, attending social events, and taking a vacation can give you the right to reimbursement from the plaintiff. You could also receive a monetary award for injuries, humiliation, and physical pain and suffering owed to physical or mental handicaps or disfigurement.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress is generally associated with prolonged trauma related to an accident or catastrophic event. The effects of this type of distress tend to be psychological and influence every aspect of your daily life by either causing or magnifying your stress, fear, loss of sleep, and other symptoms that may not be listed here. 

To prove you’ve experienced emotional distress, you may have to speak with a mental health professional, such as a therapist or a psychologist. This professional can prepare documents for the court if the case goes to trial. 

Loss Of Enjoyment

If you can no longer participate in the lifestyle you had before the injury stated in your claim, you can ask to be awarded money to make up for the loss of the life you used to live. This could be no longer being able to play a sport, using your hands to cook, and dancing.

Loss Of Consortium

This compensation claim can be demanded by family members who have been affected by the injured party in a personal injury case. A family member can ask for the reimbursement of a loss of services or affection in their relationship caused by injuries incurred in the accident.

Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Punitive damages, unlike compensatory damages, don’t attempt to reimburse the injured party. Their goal is to penalize the responsible party by reducing their unfair profits and gains and using their case to dissuade and set an example for society.

How Plaintiff’s Actions (or Inaction) Can Affect a Damages Award

Depending on the claim or state, if you had any part in the accident or you failed to make the correct decisions to alleviate your injury after the accident, then you may be awarded less or no compensation at all.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence law is based on a percentage of negligence. If your negligence is less than the responsible party’s negligence in your injury claim case, your compensation will be proportionate to the defendant’s actions that provoked the accident.

Contributory negligence

Contributory negligence law means that if you had any fault or contribution to the accident in some U.S. states, the defendant may not be required to award you any compensation.

After the Accident: Failure to Mitigate Damages

You are expected to continuously do everything in your power (attend doctor’s appointments, purchase adequate tools and equipment, adhere to your medical treatment, avoid exacerbating your injuries, etc.) to reduce the damaging consequences to your life related to the accident in most states in the U.S. or else you may be compensated far less money.

Conclusion

It can be difficult for a personal injury victim to measure their potential compensation without adequate legal representation. The stress of the injury combined with the anxiety of how to proceed can lead to confusion, further emotional distress, and a lack of compensation. 
For example, some of the reimbursable damages are subjective and intangible. Nevertheless, even though pain and suffering can’t be easily quantified, a personal injury attorney can help you reasonably estimate a fair settlement for having to go through them.

Jarrod Hays

Jarrod Hays

Jarrod Hays is the founder of Skyview Law. He is licensed to practice law in Washington State and the Western District of Washington State Federal Court.