Certain types of damages and compensation may be available in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Injuries are frequently the result of someone else's
Certain types of damages and compensation may be available in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Injuries are frequently the result of someone else’s carelessness or malice. Those at fault may have to pay damages to the victims or their families.
If you’re unfamiliar with personal injury cases, you may want to brush up on the various injuries and damages that can be at stake. The total amount of compensation victims may be able to recover can be estimated by identifying all of the damages at play in a case.
- 1 The Types of Damages Involved in Personal Injury Cases
- 2 How to Calculate Damages in Personal Injury Cases
- 3 How Can a Statute of Limitations Hurt a Plaintiff’s Chances of Succeeding
- 4 What an Experienced Attorney Can Do to Help Recover Full Compensation
The Types of Damages Involved in Personal Injury Cases
There are various forms of compensation available to victims of personal injury cases. These may consist of:
In personal injury cases, compensatory damages are typically awarded. Both monetary and intangible losses are included here. Victims suffer material, physiological, and psychological effects.
Damages that result in actual money being paid out are known as “economic damages,” “special damages,” or “monetary damages.”
The following are some types of economic losses:
Cost of Healthcare. Victims may be responsible for covering some medical costs, such as those for emergency and ongoing treatment. Projecting the cost of future treatment based on the current level of care and the patient’s treatment plan allows for an estimate of future medical expenses.
Drop in Revenue. Victims of accidents may suffer financial hardships because of medical leave or because they are temporarily or permanently unable to work as a result of their injuries. If an injury prevents you from working in the future, you will lose future income.
Loss of Property. Automobile accident property damage, among other forms of property damage that may be at issue in personal injury cases, are just two examples.
Disability. Depending on how seriously someone is hurt, they may suffer a temporary or permanent disability. Disabilities can have devastating effects on victims’ lives and their ability to go about their daily business. They may need to install ramps for wheelchair access to their homes and vehicles, among other modifications. There may be expenses associated with these that can be recouped through a personal injury claim.
These monetary losses may be offset, in part, by compensation for non-monetary losses.
Damages that a monetary amount cannot quantify are considered non-economic damages.
Hurt and distress. Pain and suffering can refer to both physical and emotional anguish. Other negative feelings like fear and a general lack of enjoyment of life usually accompany the physical pain that accident victims endure.
Disbanding of Group. Loss of a relationship is another possible consequence of victims’ injuries. For instance, victims could experience a decline in their ability to find solace, support, assistance, sexual relations, and community.
Disfigurement. Victims who suffer disfiguring injuries may experience severe emotional distress, mental anguish, and a drop in self-esteem as a result of their ordeal. A person’s inability to perform these tasks may be a direct result of their disfigurement.
Wrongful Death Damages
In the event of a fatality due to an accident, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for their loss. A skilled wrongful death attorney can be an invaluable resource during this trying time.
These may consist of:
- Price of a funeral and burial
- emotional suffering because of the grief
- The total price tag for the victim’s final medical treatment
- Reduced access to aid and services
- The pain of parting company
- Reduced access to resources
Punitive damages, in addition to compensatory damages, may be awarded to plaintiffs in exceptional cases. Punitive damages are awarded solely for the purpose of punishing defendants, as opposed to compensatory damages, which aim to help compensate victims for their losses and pain and suffering. They are relevant in situations of extreme carelessness and malicious intent. The defendant may have intentionally caused an accident or committed a serious crime, both of which resulted in harm to the victim.
By punishing the defendant severely, both they and others will be deterred from engaging in the same or similar behaviour. Punitive damages can be awarded in some cases to deter companies from engaging in reckless behaviour, such as continuing to sell dangerous products despite knowing of the risks involved.
How to Calculate Damages in Personal Injury Cases
In personal injury cases, economic damages are typically straightforward to ascertain. They include things like dental work and medical bills, both of which have obvious prices. There could be a lot of costs involved, but they’re probably pretty obvious and won’t be too much of a hassle to factor into pay.
However, general damages, also known as those that cannot be easily measured in monetary terms, can be more difficult to calculate. Attorneys and others may use a multiplier method to get a more precise estimate of possible compensation when calculating these damages.
How the Multiplier Method Works
Multiplying the sum of economic damages by a predetermined number yields the amount of non-economic damages. The extent of injuries, the nature of future medical care, and the likelihood of a full recovery all factor into this multiplier’s calculation.
The higher the multiplier, the greater the potential compensation for intangible losses suffered by the victim.
The Daily Rate or Per Diem Method
Non-monetary losses can also be quantified using a per diem or daily rate method. To use this approach, one must first settle on a daily rate that takes into account the additional expenses brought on by the injury. The total number of days needed to recover completely or reach MMI can be calculated by multiplying the daily rate by that number.
Since going to work and recovering from injuries appear to impose comparable psychological stress, the daily rate is often calculated using the plaintiff’s daily income.
How Can a Statute of Limitations Hurt a Plaintiff’s Chances of Succeeding
There is a time limit within which accident victims must file a claim or lawsuit in the event of a personal injury. It varies from state to state, but the statute of limitations is usually between two and four years.
Even though the statute of limitations gives you several years to file, time flies, and personal injury cases can drag on for years before they are resolved.
It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to successfully file a claim or lawsuit against negligent parties if the statute of limitations has passed. Filing a claim as soon as possible can help injury victims get compensation faster to cover recovery-related expenses like medical bills.
While most statutes of limitations begin on the date of the accident or injury itself, others may begin on the date the victim discovers (or should have discovered) that they were hurt.
Statute of Limitations Exceptions
There are exceptions to every rule, and sometimes, the statute of limitations will be different.
Personal injury claimants, for instance, may request a deadline extension because:
- The victim’s mind was rendered helpless after the accident.
- The victim was a minor when the incident occurred.
- The responsible party fled the state soon after the collision.
What an Experienced Attorney Can Do to Help Recover Full Compensation
If you hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases, you have a better chance of getting fully compensated for your injuries and other losses. The services of a good lawyer include, but are not limited to:
Providing Dependable Support
A good personal injury lawyer will have extensive experience with various types of injury claims and will know how the legal system works. It’s also important that the lawyer you hire has experience with cases like yours. For instance, if you were in a car accident, you should seek out a lawyer who specializes in such cases. If you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall incident, it’s important to hire a lawyer who specializes in such cases.
Negotiating With Insurers
It is possible to negotiate with insurers without a personal injury lawyer if the injuries are minor and the amount of compensation sought is low. When the stakes are high due to extensive damages and compensation, however, you may face unique difficulties.
Injured people can never count on help from insurance companies. In each case, they aim to reduce payouts as much as possible. When compensation is scarce, insurers may be more willing to pay a reasonable amount, but they will likely do everything in their power to reduce or deny a claim that will cost them a lot of money. While insurance adjusters may put on a friendly and cooperative front, keep in mind that their ultimate goal is to minimize any payouts to their company.
If an adjuster makes you an initial offer, don’t take it until you know how much your case is actually worth. It would be best if you talked to a lawyer about how to figure out how much money you are entitled to receive. If a lawyer agrees to represent you, they may be able to negotiate a satisfactory settlement with the insurance company.
Enabling Your Recovery from Injuries
When settling a personal injury claim on your own with the insurance company, you’ll have to deal with a lot of paperwork and different tasks. This could put you under unnecessary strain and delay your recovery. Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case allows you to concentrate on getting better while they handle the legal details.
Collecting All Necessary Evidence
It is essential to prove in a personal injury case that another party was at fault for the harm suffered. You also need to have substantial proof of the losses you incurred. All relevant evidence, such as medical records and bills, photographs or videos, and witness statements, can be gathered with the assistance of an experienced attorney. You can also keep on resting and getting better.
Building a Case
Your attorney will be able to begin investigating the case and constructing a case in your favour once you have provided them with sufficient evidence and details about the accident. In order to do so, it may be necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. The lawyer can assist in determining who is at fault and initiating a claim for damages from them or their insurers.
Representing Victims in Court
The vast majority of injury claims are settled before ever reaching a courtroom. If victims are unable to settle their claims, however, their cases may proceed to trial. There are many moving parts in a lawsuit, and thorough planning is essential for success.
If you have no prior trial experience, you should not represent yourself because you risk losing your case due to inadequate preparation or an inadvertently damaging statement. With the right legal counsel by your side, you can move through the legal system with ease and sidestep the pitfalls that come with representing yourself.