How Much is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Whether you fell, got in a car accident, or were injured in another way that was no fault of your own, you might be wondering how much your possible personal injury claim is worth.
There is no exact formula for determining how much a personal injury claim is worth. In fact, the final amount you are awarded is usually determined by negotiations or a jury and neither of these uses a concrete mathematical formula for calculating a damages award.
However, when you retain a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case, your lawyer can work with you to come up with an approximation of the amount you should seek in your case. These approximations are based on different kinds of damages including past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
Past medical expenses
You will most likely have incurred medical expenses because of your injury. You can seek compensation for these expenses whether they were covered by your health insurance, you paid for them out of pocket, or you have yet to pay them.
If your insurance provider already paid for some or all of your past medical expenses, they will need to be reimbursed for that amount out of the awarded compensation.
Future medical expenses
In many personal injury cases, the victim is still being treated for the injury when the case is in negotiation or in a trial. This may happen to you have not yet fully healed or if your injuries are permanent and will require medication or treatment in the future.
In these instances, you are able to seek compensation for future medical expenses if you are able to provide evidence that details the type of treatment, frequency, and cost.
People often miss work because of injuries they sustained in accidents that were no fault of their own. If this happened to you, you can seek compensation for any wages you lost because of the injuries in addition to missed benefits like retirement contributions, insurance benefits, and pension benefits.
Just like you can seek compensation for future medical expenses you can also seek compensation for future lost wages. Your personal injury lawyer can ask for compensation for future wage loss if you are still not back at work by the time the case goes into settlement negotiations or a trial. These requests must usually be supported by expert testimony from economic or vocational experts.
Pain and suffering
Accidents that cause physical suffering usually also lead to mental anguish, anxiety, shock, discomfort, fright, embarrassment, depression, or general emotional distress. You can seek compensation for your physical pain as well as your psychological pain in a personal injury case.
In most cases, there are four main items that make up any damages for noneconomic losses: pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy life, humiliation or embarrassment, and disfigurement. These items are considered in conjunction with other case details that may have an effect on pain and suffering such as:
- Plaintiff age
- Injury severity
- The extent that the injuries prevent the performance of basic daily living activities
- Whether the injuries are permanent
- Duration of treatment
- Nature of treatment
- The health of the plaintiff before the injury
There are some personal injury cases in which your lawyer may seek punitive damages. These damages are intended to serve as punishment for the defendant in the event that his or her actions were outrageously negligent (i.e. there’s a long history of this kind of action occurring). Punitive damages can also serve as deterrents from similar negligent acts in the future.
You need a personal injury lawyer
These are just a few of the many different kinds of damages you can seek compensation for in a personal injury case. Every case is different, and it would behoove you to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. This is especially true because it has been shown time and time again that victims are awarded less if they try to settle a case without a lawyer than if they have an attorney representing them and their best interests.
If you’ve been injured in the Los Angeles area you should get in touch with Ellis Injury Law. Our personal injury attorneys have excellent track records and are ready to offer you superior representation. Call today to schedule a free consultation.