What is my case worth?

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Every personal injury accident victim has the same questions:

“Can I get my medical bills paid?”

“Will I be able to recover lost wages?”

“What about the damage to my property?”

In the case of the wrongful death of a spouse or loved one, people wonder how they will care for their family.

Every question here is a valid one. And all are part of determining the value of a personal injury claim. When we hear someone ask, “How much is my case worth?” our answer is always, “It depends” because many factors impact a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Even a general estimate is difficult.

What Impacts My Case Value?

To understand how much compensation your personal injury case is worth, we need to know the scope of your claim. When you work with a law firm, an investigation will be conducted by a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will gather evidence, including any facts and details that could help determine a settlement amount. This information is critical in working with insurance companies and insurance adjusters. Should your claim go to court, it will help make your case to a judge and jury, so the responsible party is held accountable for their carelessness.

Ultimately, the various aspects of your claim impact its worth, including medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. All of these are part of your damages.

How much money can I receive for my personal injury claim?

Let’s take a closer look at what is meant by damages.

Damages is a legal term that refers to the monetary value of losses for a plaintiff. To receive damages, you must first prove that you experienced harm or loss caused by another party or parties. A permanent injury or disability tends to carry more value than those with temporary or short-term impacts.

There are two basic types of damages in most personal injury cases — special or economic damages and general or non-economic damages.

Economic Damages (Special Damages)            

Economic damages are just that — they are losses that have a current or future financial impact on your life. Typically, these costs are easily calculated because they are based on recorded amounts. A personal injury lawyer can conduct a review of your bills to determine the value of economic damages.

Common economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses – These are the total amount of bills accident victims have been charged for all medical care and treatment related to an injury. This includes bills paid by medical benefits or insurance coverage. Medical expenses include ongoing treatment such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, massages, prescriptions, etc.

  • Property damage or loss – This is the value of personal property damaged or lost in a personal injury accident. In the case of a car accident, all damages to your car would apply. If you are involved in a slip or fall that results in torn clothes or a broken phone, they become part of your property damages.

  • Lost income – It is not uncommon to miss work after a personal injury accident. The income you have lost should be part of your economic damages. This also includes any lost earning capacity and income you would have earned had you not been injured.

  • Out-of-pocket expenses – Many other expenses may be part of your damages. If you cannot drive, transportation to and from appointments or rental vehicles may be part of your case value. Some injuries prevent you from being able to do housework, mow the lawn, or get groceries. Hiring services to assist you could also be considered economic damages. Ultimately, accidents that result in you having to use outside resources to do everyday things could be considered out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

 Non-economic damages are generally more challenging to account for because much of this category is subjective. These damages usually account for the psychological and physical toll a plaintiff experiences due to injuries or trauma from an accident.

Common non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering – These are damages awarded for physical and mental distress due to an accident and are very difficult to prove. It’s critical to accurately evaluate all factors of your pain and suffering to ensure a fair settlement. An attorney’s expertise helps place more value on your pain and suffering than insurance companies tend to. Often, experts such as medical doctors or psychologists are consulted to determine the impact on quality of life.

  • Emotional distress – Sometimes, emotional distress is considered part of pain and suffering. This refers to specific psychological impacts from an accident or injury. These include things such as fear, anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.

  • Loss of enjoyment – An injury may prevent you from enjoying daily activities such as hobbies or exercise. If your injury has negatively impacted your ability to participate in everyday tasks, you should seek damages for loss of enjoyment.

  • Loss of consortium – If an injury has negatively impacted your close relationships, you may be able to seek damages for loss of consortium. An injury preventing you from having a sexual relationship with your spouse would apply. In the case of a parent, a brain injury that impacts your ability to engage with your children could also be considered a loss of consortium.

Where Do I Begin?

The type of injury, pain, and discomfort someone experiences at the fault of another must be accounted for. If you have experienced a personal injury caused by someone else, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney to explore your options. Choose a firm that does not charge for an initial consultation and works on a contingency fee basis. This means no fees are paid unless your case is won.

Every situation is unique. Injuries vary in severity and long-term impact, recovery times look different, and proof of liability or negligence isn’t always straightforward. As personal injury attorneys, The Advocates work with clients who have experienced injury or wrongful death due to another individual’s or entity’s carelessness.

If you have a personal injury claim, we will help determine the value of your case and do everything we can to make sure you are compensated for your losses.

Reach out to us. Call at (208) 995-2444 or visit.