The Worth of Your Personal Injury Claim
How Much is Your Claim Worth?
The amount of your recovery depends on the amount of damage that you incurred and the degree to which you can show that the injury was the fault of another.
What is the Dollar Amount of your Damages?
The dollar amount of your damages is the sum of all loss incurred as a result of your injury. This includes physical damage to your personal property and physical and emotional damage to you. When calculating this damage, consider the cost or value of:
- doctors bills
- emergency transportation
- permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- loss of property
- repair of property
- income loss due to missed days or compromised performance
- loss of enjoyment of life
- the effect of the injury on your emotional or mental health
The court may also award punitive damages which function as a punishment to the wrongdoer, over and above the actual value of the loss incurred.
Insurance companies often use a formula to calculate damages. However, that industry standard simply provides a number on which to base negotiations. Your personal injury lawyer will consider all of the specific circumstances in your case and negotiate with the other parties for a damages agreement that compensates you fully for the loss you incurred due to the fault of another.
How Much of the Injury is the Fault of Another?
Most states use comparative liability to determine the amount of damage. Comparative liability means that a person is only responsible for the percent of the damage that they caused. For example, if you were in an accident that resulted in $1000 of damage, and the other party was 75% at fault, then they would be liable for $750. If a third party was responsible for the other 25% of they damages, they would be liable for the remaining $250. However, if you contributed to the accident, then you would be liable for the percentage of your own liability.
Attributing percentages of liability is not an exact science. Each party must present its theory on what happened and who was responsible. If you hire a lawyer, it will be your lawyer’s duty to represent your interests, to show the fault of the other parties, and to recover what you are rightfully owed for your injuries.
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Last Modified: 08-26-2013 04:29 PM PDT
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