Most people who have been injured only want one thing — their health back.
Unfortunately, the legal system cannot help with your health. That’s left to the medical professionals. All the legal system can do is get you financial compensation for your injuries. And often that does help you recover from your physical and emotional injuries. Because being injured is stressful on so many levels, and often financial issues are a major stressor.
So the obvious next question is, how much?
Ultimately, a personal injury claim is worth as much as a jury awards after a trial. At the trial, both the injured plaintiff and the defendant present evidence to the jury and then the jury makes a decision. (Ok, it’s not quite that simple, but that’s the gist.) Yet the vast majority of cases settle without a jury trial. How can that be? After all, we cannot know what a random group of strangers (i.e., the jury) will think a claim is worth when we haven’t even had the trial.
So we do the best we can to guess. And although it is a guess, it’s a highly educated one. Since both plaintiff’s lawyers and insurance companies have been doing this for so long, we have a lot of data from other cases to guide our estimates on value. After both sides have exchanged enough information about the claim, and have made their best educated guess on value, usually the case does settle.
But that still doesn’t answer the question, how much?
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
The term “damages” refers to the total amount of compensation owed to the injured person. Broadly speaking, damages typically include: The cost of medical treatment. Lost wages. And pain and suffering.
There are many variables at play in those broad categories of damages.
- Did a health insurer pay medical bills and now want reimbursement?
- Was the cost of medical treatment reasonable?
- Will there be future medical expense, and how much?
- Are the lost wages difficult to show because of multiple employers or self-employment?
- Is there a permanent disability?
- And what is “pain and suffering” anyway?
As you can probably see, each type of damages warrants its own page and then some.
But these broad categories are the starting point. From there, we gather information, research and analyze, until we are certain that we have captured every last dollar in our estimate of value. Then we are ready to discuss value and strategy to maximize the claim.
Contact us today for more information.