How much is your personal injury case worth?
Many potential clients come to us asking “how much is my case really worth?” The answer to this question can be very complicated and relies on a variety of factors. After a car accident, slip and fall, or another type of injuries the amount of “damages” in the principal factor in determining how much compensation you may be due.
Damages are the total amount of monetary, physical, and mental losses the injuries have cost you. Money damages are owed to the injured person from the person or company (defendant or insurer) who is responsible for the accident. The value of the damage award can be determined after a negotiated settlement out of court, or ordered by a judge or jury after a court trial. Below is a list of the common kinds of damages and a brief description of them.
Most personal injury case damages are compensatory. Compensatory damages awards are monetary amounts intended to make the injured person “whole” again. The injured party and the defendant’s attorneys must come arrive at a dollar figure to remedy the consequences of the accident. Some of these dollar figures are easy to calculate such as, reimbursement for medical bills, property damage, or missed time from work. Other compensatory damages such as pain and suffering or loss of ability to participate in recreational activities are harder to quantify. Forms of compensatory damages include but are not limited to:
- Medical treatment– Personal injury damage awards nearly always include compensation for medical bills that are a result of the accident.
- Income-You may be due compensation if the accident clearly caused you to miss significant periods of work.
- Property loss– If any of your belongings were damaged because of the accident, there is a good chance you are due compensation for their loss at reasonable market value.
- Pain and suffering– Personal injury plaintiffs are often due compensation for serious pain and discomfort caused by the accident and it’s recovery.
- Emotional distress– In more serious accidents, emotional distress damages are give to personal injury plaintiffs for the injury’s psychological impact.
- Loss of enjoyment– If an injury causes you to leave your recreational activities and hobbies, you could be due damages because of it.
- Loss of companionship– Sometimes serious injuries damage relationships between spouses, family, and close friends. You can be compensated for this loss.
When the defendant’s behavior is especially irresponsible or careless, you can be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages by definition are damages on top of normal compensation that are awarded to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are awarded to discourage the defendant from engaging in future similar behavior. It is not unusual at all for punitive damage awards to reach ten of millions of dollars because most states do not have a limit on punitive damages in personal injury cases.
Contacting an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Your best chance at securing the greatest damage award is by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Roxell Richards has practiced law for decades and has detailed experience in personal injury cases. A free consultation can give you an exact monetary estimate of how much damages you are due.