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How Much Is an Injury Claim Worth?

A plaintiff is entitled to recover his or her losses by filing an injury claim or lawsuit if the at-fault party has caused economic or non-economic damage. In such a scenario, the victim's injury attorney can help determine the value of a claim by taking a variety of factors into consideration. Common injury claims are for car accident injuries, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, work-related injuries, dog bites, or defective products.

Factors Considered When Determining the Value of an Injury Claim

Determining how much a plaintiff is eligible to receive in a personal injury claim is dependent on many factors. The amount he or she receives from the at-fault party depends on the accident's nature and the extent of damages suffered. The economic damages, such as hospital bills or lost wages, are straightforward to evaluate. However, the non-economic damages, such as disability, pain and suffering, and mental disturbances, are a bit more difficult to determine.

Economic Damages

The economic damages can be determined by examining medical records, payment receipts, or past wage records. The primary damages in this class can be handled in the following ways:

  • Medical Bills-If a plaintiff suffered injuries on his or her body and is admitted to a hospital or is treated by a medical provider, the at-fault party and his or her insurance company are liable for the bills. This includes the past, current, and future medical costs. If the victim has suffered a permanent disability and requires lifetime medical treatment, the insurer must cover all the costs.
  • Car Damage-To help ensure the victim receives adequate compensation for property damage sustained in a car accident, the plaintiff must provide information about the car's value before the crash occurred, and the cost to have it repaired or replaced.
  • Lost Income- When DUI crash, a slip and fall, or another serious accident causes disabling injuries, the victim is entitled to compensation for lost past and future wages. Compensation is generally calculated by examining wage records and evaluating future lost earning potential.

Non-Economic Damages

There is often conflict when determinging the value of non-economic damages. It can be difficult to place monetary value on pain, suffering, or emotional distress. However, the insurance company considers some of the following aspects:

  • Pain and Suffering-since it is difficult to estimate the intensity of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, the insurance company generally uses pain multipliers. The company examines the amount of economic damages and multiplies by a standard number.
  • Emotional Distress-factors such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, or post-traumatic stress disorder are common after an accident. A plaintiff is entitled to compensation if he or she suffers from conditions due to somebody else's negligence. Similarly to calculating damages for pain and suffering, the multiplier method is often used to determine the value of emotional distress.

Other Damages

In some circumstances, the defendant may be aware of the act's potential risks but proceeds with the action anyway. If a doctor who conducts medical errors is aware of the injuries he or she may cause to the patient, for example, the victim may be able to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the plaintiff for the damages suffered but to hold the defendant accountable for specific wrongdoings done intentionally.

What Happens if the Plaintiff Is Partially At Fault?

If the plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation he or she is entitled to receive reduces by a certain percentage. If there is evidence that the injured person is above a certain percentage at fault, he or she will not be eligible for any compensation.

Are Personal Injury Compensation Guaranteed?

To win compensation for personal injuries, victims and their attorneys need to prove all the elements of the injury claim. An innumerable number of personal injury claims don't proceed to court, and plaintiffs receive their compensation without trial.