How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
This is one of the questions we receive on a regular basis at the McEwen & Kestner, PLLC. Unfortunately, there’s usually no quick answer. There are many various factors that go into determining how much compensation you may be able to receive if you’ve suffered an injury due to some other person’s negligence. For instance, someone who experiences a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) will likely get more money than another person who has a broken leg that will heal in a few months. This is because of the differences in losses sustained due to an injury.
When you get in touch with one of our personal injury attorneys, we can promise you that we’ll do everything we can to make sure you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. We have a great deal of experience in the area of personal injury. Additionally, McEwen & Kestner has a long history of achieving successful outcomes for our clients.
The following is some information that will give you a better idea of what kind of compensation you may be eligible to receive.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover?
Whenever someone suffers an injury caused by the negligence of another party, they will typically suffer monetary losses. In legal terms, these losses are one type of “damages.”
Whatever the cause, you’re now facing significant medical expenses. There’s also a high likelihood that you’ve had to miss a lot of time from work. As a result, you will have lost wages. These are examples of “economic damages”. They are fairly easy for an attorney to calculate since they’re clearly stated on medical bills and previous pay stubs.
There are other types of damages that are more difficult to figure out because they’re not tangibly tied to a monetary cost. These are referred to as “non-economic damages”. Examples of noneconomic damages include:
- emotional trauma
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment
- loss of consortium
- permanent disability
You’ll need the help of a skilled attorney to not only prove your non-economic damages, but to also calculate how much money you should receive to compensate for them.
However, there is yet another classification of damages known as “punitive damages.” As the name implies, these are meant to punish a defendant for their gross negligence. For example, these may apply to the driver of a commercial truck who causes an accident while intoxicated or due to driving recklessly.
Punitive damages can be much, much higher than either economic or non-economic damages. However, they are rarely awarded since they’re reserved for cases where one’s actions demonstrate reckless disregard for the safety of others.
How Do I Prove Damages?
Say you’re stopped at a red light and another motorist slams into the back of your car. The force of the impact can be so great that your head hits the windshield. This may lead to your being diagnosed with a severe TBI. You’re 100% certain that the other driver is at fault, so you assume you’re going to get a lot of money from that driver’s insurance company.
Unfortunately, the insurer isn’t going to simply cut you a huge check. The priority of an insurance company is their own profit. That means they’ll find any way to minimize or outright deny your claim. To ensure that you’re properly compensated when filing a personal injury claim, you’ll need to show solid evidence not only proving the extent of your injuries, but also proving that the other driver was at fault.
How do you go about collecting and delivering that proof? You do this by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. Your legal representative will work to uncover the evidence needed to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. This not only means investigating the accident scene and interviewing witnesses, but also collecting information on your damages. Your attorney may also be able to obtain footage from nearby cameras that might have caught the accident as it happened.
Without evidence, it will be nearly impossible for you to get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
How Do Insurance Companies Calculate the Value of My Claim?
Insurers will typically combine both your economic and non-economic losses when calculating your total damages. They have their own way of coming up with a monetary figure for non-economic damages. This may or may not jibe with your attorney’s calculations.
In terms of economic damages, the more severe an injury, the more money the insurance company will be willing to pay. An injury that requires several intensive and complex surgical procedures or lifelong rehabilitation will have a more profound impact on your quality of life. The more of an impact the injury has, the more money they will be willing to offer.
Your salary at the time of the accident will also play a role in the value of your personal injury claim. The more money you were making that you’ve since lost, the more your case will be worth.
Once the insurance company comes up with a number, they’ll often offer a settlement to settle the case out of court. However, this initial settlement amount will likely be a low-ball offer that leaves money on the table. When you hire a personal injury lawyer to work for you, they’ll negotiate on your behalf to get you maximum compensation for your damages.
An Aggressive Personal Injury Attorney Will Negotiate Your Settlement
In the vast majority of cases, the settlement offer an insurer provides won’t come close to covering your damages. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney working on your side. Once your legal representative has all of the facts of the case and knows the present and future expenses associated with your injury, they will know exactly how much compensation you should receive.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Case Evaluation
There are no two personal injury cases that are exactly alike. A slip-and-fall incident, for instance, is different from a truck accident in countless ways. You need an attorney with the skill to handle every personal injury case individually. More importantly, your attorney needs to have a strong record of delivering positive results for clients.