No two injury cases are exactly the same, but most cases have the same foundation for determining the total value of a person’s claim. While these facts and figures will be different based on the specifics of your case, in most cases a claim amount is determined based on a combination of five factors. Below, we take a closer look at five factors that can affect the total value of your injury claim.
Putting A Dollar Amount To Your Personal Injury Claim
These five factors will provide the basis for determining the worth of your personal injury claim. They are:
Your Fault – In a workers’ compensation claim, it doesn’t really matter if you were the one who leaned off the ladder and caused your injury, but fault plays a bigger role in determining the value of a personal injury claim. If you were partly to blame for your accident because you were trespassing or looking down at your cell phone when you stepped on a patch of icy sidewalk, the court may rule that you are partly to blame. You will be given a fault percentage, which will affect your claim. If you incurred $10,000 worth of damages but were 20% at fault, you will be given an $8,000 award.
Economic Damages – Simply put, this category encompasses all expenses you incur related to your case. Medical appointments, surgeries, replacement services, assistive devices, even gas mileage to and from physical therapy are considered economic damages. You’ll be able to recoup these economic damages during your injury claim, and these are typically pretty easy to determine since they often carry a specific dollar amount.
Non-Economic Damages – This category is much harder to figure out. This involves damages that you can’t put a simple dollar amount to, like pain and suffering, cognitive impairments like PTSD or a loss in enjoyment of life. Your lawyer can help come up with an appropriate figure, but it’s not as simple as adding up invoices.
Future Expenses – Next, your lawyer will attempt to put a dollar amount to future medical expenses. If you’re going to need years of physical therapy or your future earning potential has been impacted by the injury, you’ll want to account for these expenses and lost potential income in your award claim. Again, this isn’t something you’ll want to try to determine on your own without the help of an expert.
Your Lawyer – Finally, one big factor that will affect your total claim award is whether or not you decide to hire a lawyer to help with your case. You absolutely may be able to win an award on your own, but odds are it will only be for a fraction of what a lawyer would have been able to get you. There are so many complexities that need to be considered and analyzed when developing an accurate claim award, so don’t leave money on the table because you thought you could handle your case on your own. Maximize your award amount by syncing up with an injury lawyer.
If you keep these factors in mind and hire a lawyer to develop a strong case, we’re confident that you’ll be able to maximize each of these factors and win a large award that is appropriate for the extent of your injuries. If you need help with your injury case, or you just want to talk to a lawyer about your options, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today.