How Much Can You Expect From Your Personal Injury Case?September 08, 2017
If you’ve had a recent slip or fall, car accident, or have been injured in another way that was not your fault, you probably want to know what your case will be worth before you begin the legal process. Your mental, physical and monetary costs are all a part of this number, but it’s important to understand how value is assigned.
Below you’ll learn how damages are determined so you can get a sense of how much your case is worth.
If you’ve been injured, damages will be paid to you by the person or company who is determined legally responsible for your accident. Sometimes damage awards are determined after negotiations with you, your lawyer, and your insurance company, and are part of a settlement. Rarely, a more complex case where negotiation can’t be reached will go to court and the damage award will be determined by a judge or a jury.
Compensatory damages compensate you for losses you endured due to your injuries. This includes reimbursement for medical bills and property damage, but it also includes pain and suffering or your inability to do things you once enjoyed due to your injuries. While monetary damages are usually easy to determine, pain and suffering can be more difficult to assess.
Medical treatment, including any reimbursement for treatment you’ve undergone and for estimated costs of future medical care for your injuries is included under compensatory damages. Any income you’ve lost or will lose in the future because of your injuries is also included. In addition, you can be reimbursed for damage to your vehicle, clothing, or other items.
If you have endured serious pain or discomfort because of your accident, experienced any emotional or psychological damage like fear or anxiety, or can no longer pursue enjoyable hobbies like exercise or recreational activities, you can also be compensated for this under compensatory damages.
Finally, if your injuries have negatively impacted your relationship with your spouse, such as making it impossible to have a sexual relationship or remain a good companion, you or your spouse can receive compensation through the Family Law Act. Depending on where you live, if your relationship with your child is negatively impacted, you or your child can also receive such damages.
If the negligent party acted in ways that were especially careless, punitive damages can also be awarded to you in addition to compensatory damages. The goal of punitive damages is to punish the negligent party for their behavior. Punitive damages often rise to millions of dollars, so most places have caps on these awards.
How Your Actions Can Affect Your Award
If you were partially at fault for the accident that resulted in injuries, your damages award will be reduced by the percentage to which you are found responsible.
Another occasion where your damages can be reduced is if you fail to mitigate your monetary damages by seeking important medical treatment and suffering worsening injuries because of it.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and want to get more insight into how much your case is worth, contacting a lawyer for a consultation is a good idea. Consultations are typically free and can give you a clearer sense of your legal rights.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.