You need to understand the different types of losses that can be compensated for if you want to understand how your personal injury claim will be valued. If you’re drafting a personal injury case with your personal injury lawyer, you’ve probably asked him or her how much your personal injury claim or the case was worth. The person probably told you that the number depends on the total monetary amount that you have sustained in damages. Damages include property damage and bodily injuries.
You are the plaintiff if you’ve been hurt in a personal injury accident. The person who pays you the settlement is the defendant. In most cases, you, the defendant, your legal teams, and an insurance adjuster will negotiate your final settlement amount. It’s rare for a personal injury case to make it to trial.
Compensatory damages in personal injury cases
Personal injury lawyers in Barrie know that the majority of damages in personal injury cases are compensatory. They are designed to help the plaintiff pay for expenses related to the personal injury accident. The insurance adjuster or courts will try to calculate all damages in dollar amounts. This is easy for property damage and bodily injuries. It’s not so easy for intangible losses like depression and mental anguish. The most common types of compensatory damages in personal injury claims and cases are:
● Medical treatment – this will reimburse you for the medical care you have received because of your personal injury accident. It doesn’t matter if they were expenses or bills.
● Income – if your personal injury accident caused you to miss work, your personal injury lawyer in Barrie will tell you that you’ll be entitled to lost income/wages in your settlement.
● Property loss – if you totaled your car in the accident, this will pay for a new car of equal quality, make, and model.
● Pain and suffering – your personal injury lawyer will try to get you money for any pain and anguish, or mental or emotional distress that you have suffered from.
● Emotional distress – this includes loss of sleep because of pain, anxiety, or depression stemming from the accident. This pertains to more serious types of accidents.
● Loss of enjoyment – you’ll be compensated if your personal injury accident is keeping you from enjoying the activities and hobbies that you did before the accident.
● Loss of consortium – this includes the loss of a loved one or a loss of sexual pleasure.
Punitive damages in personal injury cases
You may receive punitive damages if the defendant acted in a reckless manner. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and keep him or her from acting in the same manner in the future.
How do the plaintiff’s actions affect the damages award?
The following factors can diminish your potential settlement:
● Comparative negligence – if you’re even 1% at fault, your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
● Contributory negligence – if your state follows this model, you won’t be able to recover a penny in settlement money if you’re found to be even 1% at fault.
● Failing to mitigate the damages – your settlement could be reduced if you fail to seek medical attention immediately after the accident.
Now that you know how settlements in personal injury cases are calculated, you and your lawyer can work on getting the settlement that you deserve.