Getting into an accident is one of the terribly unfortunate things anyone can go through, but the worst part of it comes with all of its consequences. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’ve probably had your life turned upside down as a result. While no amount of money can possibly bring back what you’ve lost, a personal injury compensation can help you get through the trouble you’ve endured due to the negligence of the at-fault party.
However, getting an accurate estimate to compensate for your injuries can be somewhat tricky. There’s no definitive rule to calculate personal injuries; each victim can suffer in their own unique and personal ways, even if two people were subjected to the same circumstances. Personal injury laws also differ depending on the state you’re living in. And yet, getting an accurate estimate of your injury compensation is critical to preserve your rights. If you’re located anywhere in the areas of Kentucky or Indiana, a New Albany personal injury lawyer can explain how damages are calculated, which can give you a clear idea about how to estimate your compensation. They’ll also point out the steps to take and the documents to present in order for your case to be fully and rightfully compensated.
Types of Damages
When it comes to personal injury compensation, we’re talking about two kinds of damages you should be compensated for: Special and General damages. General damages refer to the injuries your body has suffered as a result of the accident, and they represent the non-economic losses. These damages include all of the physical, mental, and psychological losses you’ve suffered, including:
- Physical Injuries ( Head, Back, Neck, Arms, Legs, or any physical trauma)
- Psychological Trauma (Emotional Distress, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, PTSD…, etc.)
Special damages are the economic losses you’ve suffered, or you’re going to suffer as a result of the accident. These are pretty straight-forward and tangible losses which include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages, both in the past and upcoming periods
- Damaged personal items
- Out-of-Pocket expenses on transportation, medications, treatment equipment, and others
- Replacement costs you had to manage due to being disabled, such as housekeeping or childcare
- Loss of earnings, which refers to missing out on promotions and future opportunities
How to Calculate the Worth of Your Damages
Before demanding an amount for compensation, you need to be sure that this number is accurate. Once you demand a compensation amount, you can’t go back. The insurer will, in most cases, try to push down the number you’re demanding, but their best option is to settle before going to court. However, you’ll keep your case strong by gathering all of the evidence and facts and presenting them in the proper document format. To calculate the total worth of your damages, you’ll calculate both the special and general damages.
Calculating Special Damages
Special, or economic, damages are fairly straight-forward to calculate.
Starting with the medical expenses, you’ll need to provide proof for all the expenses you’ve spent on treatment, in addition to the future expenses. Medical expenses include surgeries, physical therapy, scans (X-rays, MRI’s, and others), medications, rehabilitation, and care and assistance costs. You’ll also add any other financial losses you’ve suffered, such as lost wages so far, wages-to-be-lost in the future, loss of earnings, travel costs, and all out-of-pocket expenses. In case of a family that’s lost their main caregiver to an accident, they can be compensated for losing the source of financial support they had. After listing the costs of all the previous expenses, you’ll be able to add them up to calculate the amount of money of special damages in dollars.
Calculating General Damages
Calculating general damages is tricky as, most of the time, there’s no tangible number you can estimate. There are many calculators for personal injury compensation out there, but they’re mostly computerized. One of the most common methods of calculating general damages is by using a multiplier system. This system estimates the intensity of the general damages you’ve suffered on a scale from 1 to 5. Depending on the intensity of damage, a number is multiplied to the value of special damages, and the product represents the general damages value. This method of estimation may not be very accurate because every case of personal injury is very personal and unique. While two people may go through the same accident, one of them can suffer severe psychological trauma while the other doesn’t.
In many cases, the insurance company of the defendant will try to pursue a lower multiplier. That’s why it’s very important that you have a solid case backed up with facts. If you have any medical files stating your case of suffering severe trauma, you’ll want to present it to strengthen your claim. It’s always in the best interest of insurance companies to settle with compensation rather than take the case to trial. So, if worse comes to worst, you should always stand on firm grounds with your demand.
To make sure your compensation demands are met, you’ll need to make a strong case of your general damages and convince the insurance companies of your claim. To do so, you’ll need to provide evidence that the insurer was negligent in one way or another. The evidence can point out to the fact that their lack of responsibility has directly resulted in your losses, that they had a clear obligation to prevent causing any harm to you, and that the insured was liable. The evidence can be the testimonials of witnesses, pictures, medical records, and any kind of evidence that’s backed up with the proper documents.
Presenting Your Case
Personal injuries can be a little complicated to calculate and present. That’s why it’s always best to search for a professional to take on your case. A good lawyer will help you in calculating all of your general and special damages while giving you insight into the specific type of documents to have ready when presenting your case. General damages are specifically harder to calculate, so you’ll need all of the evidence you can present. Most states give you a timeframe to present your case, so it’s important to do that in the allotted period.