Compensation for Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit – How Do You Calculate The Amount of Damages?

Compensation for Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit - How Do You Calculate The Amount of Damages? 2
Compensation for Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit - How Do You Calculate The Amount of Damages? 3

Harvey Manson* After you are involved in an accident that someone else caused, and you are injured as a result of the accident, then your next step after you have addressed your medical needs is to start planning about collecting compensation for the damages you have sustained.

Working out what damages are claimable will depend upon various factors including the different losses that are capable of compensation.

In many cases, the first step of this process is to initiate a claim with an insurance company. Over the next few days or weeks, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will investigate your situation before they get back to you with a check for the amount of money that they will offer you for your injuries. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. 

When you file a claim with an insurance company, or if you seek compensation directly from the person responsible for your injuries (if they do not have insurance), then you can be certain of one thing: they are going to do everything possible to limit the amount of money that they ultimately pay you.

It is important to obtain the best possible assistance from lawyers with experience in the area, such as professionals like Lawyers Hipskind & McAninch for your case. 

While you focus on recovering from your injuries, your attorney will be able to work on calculating the amount of money that you deserve, and then developing and executing a strategy for actually getting you that money.

There is no set formula to determine what damages should be claimed, which is a matter left for a jury to determine.

Legal compensation for personal injuries away from the job is comprised of “special” damages and “general” damages. Special damages include repayment of medical bills and lost wages, which can be readily calculated based on the total amount of bills, and proof of time away from the job and the amount wages you were earning.

There are different types of damages too. General damages for instance includes past and future pain and suffering, past and future physical injuries, as well as permanent disabilities. Pain and suffering includes physical pain, as well as mental suffering and emotional anguish or distress.

The actual amount relates to how physical injuries may restrict day-to-activities, including hobbies.

What are the key points and information your attorney will need to consider when calculating the compensation you’re entitle to?

Calculating Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Economic damages are the foundation of a personal injury lawsuit, and the figures that your attorney decides to seek will inform a variety of other pieces of your case (as you will see in the following section).

There are many different details that an attorney will be able to connect to your accident, and these types of damages include anything associated with your accident that has a measurable dollar amount attached to it. In most cases, this means that there is a receipt, invoice, or financial statement that can be used to support your claims.

Economic damages include all of your medical-related costs and expenses for your injuries, from surgeries and ambulances all the way down to copayments for medication and doctor visits. In addition, they cover all of your income-related losses including a diminished earning capacity, missed work, and even paid time off that you used in order to cover missed earning opportunities.

In addition to these two major factors that make up your economic damages, you will additionally be able to include any services you needed to hire to assist you through your injuries, and a variety of other costs associated with the accident. 

Calculating Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Once you and your attorney have explored all possible factors to include in your economic damages, the next step is to apply a dollar value to the “intangible” factors of your accident and injuries, such as your pain and suffering, and any other emotional, physical, and psychological issues you have dealt with.

As you can imagine, these types of damages are aggressively contested by the defendant because of their subjective nature, but they are no less important than the damages that come with receipts.

There are many different ways that a personal injury lawyer will determine a dollar amount for these types of damages, and the best way to figure out how they will calculate your own non-economic damages is to begin working with an attorney as soon as possible.

The more time they have to work on your case, the stronger their case will be on your behalf.

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