Figuring out the exact value of your injuries may depend on various factors. The specific details of your case need to be considered — these could range from if you were at partial fault, are your injuries are disabling, or if your medical care is ongoing.
At the same time, you are evaluating the value of your personal injury claim, and you have to consider:
- What it has cost you to date, and
- What it will cost you in the future.
Disabling injuries may cost you more and would require consistent and ongoing care and daily assistance as well.
Let’s say you have had a car crash, and initially, you thought it was mild pain, and it would go away after a while. However, a sudden whiplash could have caused detrimental long-term problems such as tinnitus and mobility issues. While these consequences are costly, they don’t appear immediately.
Hence, once you’ve faced an accident, knowing right away what it might cost you, in the long run, is difficult. You may be unaware of the insurance for personal injury – how much compensation you’re supposed to get from the insurance company.
You are recommended to wait for a full recovery or have been discharged from the hospital on the notion of what the future cost of your injuries might be.
People may tell you the worth of your case before complete improvement, which could be forthright dishonesty. Moreover, a quick settlement would also be harmful as you would not receive full value for your injuries.
To avoid it, you need to know what personal injury protection is, and why you should hire a lawyer with the right experience.
How to Make Sure You Receive Full Value for Your Personal Injury Claim?
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will offer you a detailed perspective on your personal injury after inspecting all information related to your case. Lawyers with experience in the field may have worked with similar cases in the past and will be able to offer you the most help.
The branch of law that deals with the consequences of victims suffering through physical, psychological or emotional injury at the cost of others’ negligence is known as personal injury law.
Personal injury lawyers help by holding the negligent individual legally responsible for the damage they have caused. They make sure the victim receives monetary compensation depending on the degree of damage and other factors. The financial compensation helps victims to manage medical expenses, emotional distress, loss of income, physical, or mental health
A personal injury lawyer is a civil lawyer who will provide legal representation to victims subject to either intentional or unintentional injuries. Typically, these cases involve car accidents, defective products, slip-and-fall accidents, domestic violence, workplace injuries, or even medical negligence. The sought-out compensation can range from economic and non-economic damages.
Calculating the Value of Personal Injury Case
Making calculations of personal injuries can be tricky. Numerous factors need to be taken into consideration.
To briefly explain, we need to consider the following:
- Would personal injury have a long-term effect on your life and lifestyle? If yes, what would they be?
- How much has the medical care and therapy cost you until now, and how much would they cost you in the future?
- Would you not have to work as you recover? How much will the time off work cost you?
- How much does the insurance company pay for similar cases in the area as yours?
- How much amount do juries award for personal injury cases like yours?
Per Diem Calculation
One of the ways to do the calculation is to consider the approximate case value using the per diem method. What this means is that you will assign a value such as $200 for each day, starting from your accident and until you reach full recovery. While this may not be a reasonable calculation method, the following method is.
Unlike the previous method, the multiplier method would give you a more accurate value figure for your personal injury case.
Start by adding up economic damages. These could include the following:
- Fee for Ambulance
- Emergency room expenses include fees, diagnostic tests, triage, emergency treatment, etc.
- Inpatient hospital charges such as prescription medication and surgeries.
- Rehabilitation fees and charges for mental and physical therapies.
Once you have calculated that, you can then take an arbitrary amount and multiply the total by that. The arbitrary amount often ranges from 1 to 10 and depends on how serious the injuries are. For example, you would say “1” for a nosebleed, “5” for a dislocated arm, and “10” for permanent blindness.
The more disabling and catastrophic the injuries, the higher the number goes. The figure you arrive at will be for non-economic damages for the following subjective losses:
- Suffering through physical pain
- Suffering mental health problems
- Ending up with permanent disfiguring scars
- Self-esteem issues due to disabilities
- Loss of functionality
- Loss of being able to enjoy life
- Loss of being able to participate in things of choice, such as sports
- Not being able to do essential work such as bathing or getting out of bed
Once you’ve added your economic to your noneconomic damages, you would come to add your loss of salary. The money you didn’t make working due to your injuries will also add to the total value. Finally, you will come to the approximate total of your personal injury case.
Make sure to calculate the costs that you have paid to date, along with an estimate of what and how much longer it would cost you in the future.
Factors to Consider
As an individual recovers from sustaining careless or intentional injuries, they need compensation for their loss. We brushed the surface of non-economic and economic damages that a victim goes through — but there are a variety of factors that actually determine the value in-depth.
Read ahead as we explain the determining factors that significantly impact the value of personal injury cases.
Typically, someone with a more severe injury receives a higher compensation regarding jury verdicts or insurance settlements. While we discussed the formula to determine the injury claim, we mentioned how the extent and nature of injuries play a role in determining the value—the more severe the damage, the more medical care it needs.
Spinal cord injury that leads to permanent paralysis would cost you more during medical treatment; hence you will be compensated more for it. Meanwhile, a broken arm can recover in a few months, and its value claim would be lower.
Property Damage Expenses
Typically, when we hear about property damage in personal injury cases, our first thought goes towards damage to motor vehicles, as cars can be difficult and expensive to repair or replace.
However, the property can also include sunglasses, cell phones, computers, or watches. Your pets are also considered part of your property in such cases.
Loss of Income
When someone gets injured, they may not be able to resume work, and may even be laid off. The negligent are responsible for that, and they must compensate for it. This could be until they recover well enough and start a new job or go back to the previous one.
The Victims Suffering
A severe injury can come with a lifetime of trauma and discomfort. Victims can suffer from damaged internal organs that could lead to bleeding, putting them through a life-and-death situation.
In other cases, such as if a person’s face has scars can make them deal with life-long self-esteem issues, which would take them a while to cope with. People going through PTSD would need constant therapy. Such suffering can not be ignored, and a victim must be compensated for it. These non-economic suffering are measured through the multiplier method mentioned before.
Insurance companies have a limited compensation amount they can give according to their policy. This could be a problem because the at-fault party may only have insurance for $100,000 for car accidents, but the victims’ total personal injury value adds to $300,000.
This may lead to a massive gap between the victim’s needs and what the insurance for personal injury will cover. Hence, it’s better to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. This would help recover more compensation.
Chances are that the victim had a part in getting injured. In most places, the law states that the victim only gets compensation if they are at 50% or less fault.
For example, if someone gets into a car accident, the defendants may argue that the victim was jaywalking, and the at-fault party had no time to think and slow down. If a person is 50% or more responsible for their injuries, they will not receive compensation.
So, if a person is at 20% fault for their injury, and their total compensation amount adds up to $100,000 for an accident, they would only get paid $80,000. Per law, 20% of the amount would not be paid to the victim.
While monetary assistance can not help you emotionally, compensation for your injury allows you to get back to your daily life and help you and your family stay financially stable during a difficult time.
Make sure not to suffer through your injuries alone, and have your family by your side. And to make sure you recover adequate compensation, make sure you are hiring a personal injury lawyer for legal assistance and representation.