Whether it’s a slip and fall or auto crash, when you are involved in an accident you may quickly begin to wonder how much compensation you are entitled to. Compensation for injury is often referred to as “damages.” Damages can include monetary compensation for mental anguish, cost associated with medical care, damage to your property, and the loss of employment or employment benefits.
Using several different calculation methods and assessment strategies, your attorney can determine exactly what your claim is worth. Here’s how…
Medical Portion of Claim
The medical portion of your claim includes any medical care you received directly after the accident, future care that may be needed, and physical therapy. This is why receiving treatment immediately following an accident is so important. Due to shock or the adrenaline rush that can sometimes occur after an accident, you may not know the total extent of your injuries.
The paramedics that arrive at the accident scene will assess your most threatening injuries, but you should always follow up with your primary care doctor for a complete health assessment as soon as you are able. The tests performed by your primary care physician could help your doctor determine if your injuries are more extensive than previously thought.
If more serious underlying physical impairments are present, your attorney will add monetary compensation for future treatment and long term disability care. This covers the possibility of future surgeries, medication, and compensation for chronic pain management.
Income or Employment Benefit Loss
Whether you accident is severe or minor, the possibility of missing work is unavoidable. Long term disability such as chronic pain, extensive injuries to limbs, and loss of neurological function could render you unable to complete your normal duties at work.
Losing the capability to do your job can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. In addition, you will be unable to contribute to your work benefits such as health insurance, retirement, and pension. Your attorney will work closely with a financial expert to determine exactly how much income you will ultimately lose as a result of the accident and factor this number into your personal injury claim.
This usually applies to accidents involving motor vehicles. To determine the amount of damage your vehicle sustained in the accident, your lawyer will call upon an auto repair specialist or damage assessment expert to examine the vehicle.
Property loss does not only apply to your vehicle, it also applies to the contents. For example, if your cell phone or work equipment was damaged as a result of the impact, the cost to repair or replace these items will also be factored into the property loss portion of the claim.
Emotional distress applies to the mental anguish and physical pain you endure and will continue to endure as a result of your accident. Placing a value on pain and suffering can be difficult, but there are two tried and true methods your attorney can you to place a dollar amount on your suffering.
One that is most often used is the the multiplier method. This method involves multiplying the amount of physical damage and loss of work by a specific number. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the accident, these multipliers can change. For example, if you were struck by a drunk driver, the multiplier will be higher than if you sustained injuries from a slip and fall.
The Per Diem method uses actual figures to measure the amount of pain and suffering. First, your total medical expenses would be added to your total loss of income. Then that figure would be added to the total dollar amount you would have lost if you missed work for the entire time you were recovering.
Loss of Enjoyment
If your injuries have caused you to forgo hobbies, family activities, recreational activities, or exercise your lawyer may suggest that you seek damages for “loss of enjoyment.”
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium has to do with how the accident has affected the relationship between you and your spouse. Loss of companionship or the inability to fulfill certain obligations to your spouse could amount to loss of consortium damages. In some states, loss of consortium could also apply to the parent and child relationship and these damages could be awarded directly to the suffering family member.
According to the Big Spring injury lawyers, Glensheen Law, payouts for personal injury claims can vary depending on severity and damages sustained. Some examples of their cases include:
Gas Pipeline Explosion, Burn Case: In this case, a welder was hired to work on a gas pipeline. The pipeline maintenance team had failed to turn off the gas to the pipe being welded and it caused a severe explosion. After a thorough investigation, the defendant admitted guilt and the plaintiff was awarded compensation for $4.5 million for damages.
Train Crossing Collision, Brain Injury: Due to improper safety markings at the train crossing, the client collided with an oncoming train. Though the train company denied the liability claim, after a rigorous investigation, the company was ultimately found liable awarding $4.92 million for damages to the client.
Motorcycle Wreck, Multiple Fractures: On a two lane highway, the client was struck by a hot-oil truck trying to make a left hand turn. An accident reconstruction expert was hired by the law firm to determine exactly how the accident occurred, the facts coincided with the plaintiff’s claim and he was awarded $1.45 million in damages.
Car Wreck, Leg Injury: While driving in inclement weather, the client was struck by a truck that pulled out in front of her while making a turn. The defendant was found to be under the influence while driving and the client was awarded $645,000 for damages.
When determining the monetary amount of damages, your attorney takes several different factors into account. The employment of experts, careful accident analysis, and calculation of non-physical damage can all effect how much compensation you are due, and, in the long run, how you and your family will live following an accident.