Every personal injury claim is different. There isn’t a generalized formula that will tell you exactly how much you deserve in compensation for your injuries based on a simple formula: this amount for a car accident, that amount for a construction injury. Consulting with a lawyer will help you better determine the full amount of the claim you deserve, which may depend on a variety of factors.
How were you injured?
Personal injury claims can come from accidents caused by a variety of different sources. This might include:
- Auto accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product liability accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Workplace accidents
The way you were injured can help determine how much compensation you deserve for your injuries. In workers compensation accidents, for example, you cannot claim pain and suffering as part of your damages when you file a claim. Understanding how you were injured, therefore, can help a lawyer better establish the funds you deserve.
Who was responsible for your injuries?
In order to determine how much compensation you can receive for your injuries, it’s important for your lawyer to understand who bears responsibility for your injuries. If you bear partial responsibility for those injuries, for example, you may receive less compensation than if another party is entirely to blame. On the other hand, even if another party accepts full responsibility for your injuries, your compensation may depend on the extent of the insurance company that covers the individual or entity. For example, in an auto accident, you can receive compensation only up to the maximum amount of the responsible party’s auto insurance policy. On the other hand, if more than one party bears responsibility for your injuries, you may receive increased compensation due to the limits of more than one insurance policy.
How severe were your injuries?
In order to have grounds for a personal injury claim, you must have injuries. In the case of minor injuries that are little more than a short-term inconvenience–mild whiplash following a car accident, for example–you might receive relatively minor compensation for your injuries. On the other hand, if you suffer serious injuries, including amputations, severe burns, traumatic brain damage, or spinal cord damage, you may receive more compensation. The extent of your injuries and the way they impact your life can have a huge impact on the compensation you receive for your injuries.
The Damages You Can Claim
Following an accident caused by the negligence of another party, many people choose to claim the same general damages. Those damages will depend on your individual needs and lifestyle as well as how your injuries impact them. Talking with a lawyer is the most effective way to determine the full extent of the damages you deserve in each category.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, medical expenses may add up fast after an accident. The insurance company may offer a payment that includes many of your medical bills. Make sure, however, that you assess the full extent of all of your medical bills, including future anticipated medical bills, following your claim. Include the cost of ambulance transport, the emergency room visit, hospitalization, any surgeries or procedures, and physical therapy as you recover from your injuries. Medical expenses may also include any modifications you need to make to your home or vehicle to accommodate disabilities from the accident: ramps for your home, for example.
Do your injuries prevent you from returning to work in your usual capacity? Often, serious injuries mean a significant amount of time in recovery, which can leave you without income during your convalescence. By including lost wages as part of your claim, you can get compensation for those lost hours.
If you are permanently unable to return to your previous employment due to your injuries–traumatic brain injury, for example, can prevent victims from returning to jobs that require complex processing skills, while paralysis may prevent the victim from returning to a highly physical job–you can also claim lost earning potential or the cost of education to seek a new job.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering represents both the physical pain you suffer as a result of your injuries and the embarrassment and emotional trauma associated with your injuries. Talk with your lawyer about activities or events you may have missed due to your injuries as well as how your injuries continue to impact your life.
Your personal injury claim may also include physical damages to your property as a result of the accident. In an auto accident, for example, this might be the cost to repair or replace your vehicle.
Services You Must Pay For
If you suffer serious injuries, you may need to hire someone else to take care of the services you once performed around the home. You may need to pay for transportation instead of driving yourself, pay for someone else to come mow your lawn, or pay for childcare when that was once a service you performed for your family.
Each personal injury claim is a little different from all the others. By working with an experienced attorney, however, you can develop a better idea of exactly how much your personal injury claim is worth and how much you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about the legal services we offer.