Any personal injury case comes with losses and damages. These may be lost wages because you missed work, property damage or medical bills. And you have to correctly total your losses if you want to receive fair compensation for them. However, despite the big impact they have on your life after an accident, pain and suffering are hard to quantify. So, how much can you expect to make from your personal injury case? We’ll break down the major categories and how they relate to your potential settlement.
The term lost wages refers to the income that the accident has cost you. You can claim future lost wages as well. For example, someone left disabled by an accident may not be able to work in the future. A caregiver can also be compensated for their lost wages if they stayed home from work to take care of the injured party.
Medical bills are one of the simplest items to total for a personal injury case. Note that your personal injury case can include expected future medical bills, too. This can include physical therapy or surgeries you’ll have to undergo at a later date.
Counseling for dealing with the trauma of the incident or death of a loved one is another justifiable medical expense. Also, don’t make the mistake of ignoring the future costs of medical care. You should receive payment not just for medical bills but also for the years of nursing home bills.
Personal injury cases can include property damage. For example, if your car was totaled in an accident, the property losses start with the value of the car. Someone who assaulted you and damaged your furniture or home in the process can be sued for both your medical bills and the property damage.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is known as general damages, while other types of damage are called special damage. The more severe your injury, the more likely you’ll be able to claim pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering damages work as a multiplier when your award is being calculated. Work with a good personal injury lawyer that will be able to document and justify your damages while making the case for additional pain and suffering damages. Without pain and suffering multipliers or lifetime medical and income costs factored in, most personal injury cases are settled for $3,000 to $75,000. Unfortunately, many people settle for less than they’re owed because they don’t take all costs into account or just want to get some money in.
Punitive damages are damages assessed on the guilty party in addition to special and general damages. Punitive damages are only assessed if someone was found grossly negligent, and that’s well beyond simple responsibility for what happened. Know that you could be sanctioned for pursuing punitive damages frivolously. This is why attorneys recommend against it in most cases.
Around 90 to 95 percent of personal injury cases are settled without going to court. However, you need an attorney to help you properly assess your damages and prevent you from taking a lower initial offer than you deserve.