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. Recovery for personal injury is often split between injury to persons and injury to property.
What Is the Dollar Amount of your Injuries?
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
- Income loss due to missed days or compromised performance
- Inability to take on future work due to injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- 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.
What Is the Dollar Amount If Your Personal Property Is Damaged?
This depends on the damage sustained by your property. The most important determination is whether the property can be repaired and the cost of making those repairs. The law typically categorizes damage to property into three groups:
- Repairable property: you can expect the cost to repair your property plus interest.
- Destroyed property: if your property is completely lost, you can expect the fair market value of your property.
- Non-repairable property: if your property is damaged, but the cost to repair is more than the value of the property, you can expect the difference between the fair market value of the property before the damage and after the repairs.
What about Insurance?
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 the 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.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you believe you may have a personal injury claim, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will represent your best interests and can help you receive compensation for your injuries.