There are all sorts of personal injury claims that go through the civil court system in the US, common ones including car accident claims, slip and fall claims, and work injury claims.
With such a wide variety of cases falling under the same umbrella, how do lawyers calculate damages?
If you’re about to launch a personal injury case, it’s useful to understand some of the basic processes ahead of time. Perhaps the most important thing is that you have realistic expectations regarding the amount of money your lawyer can ask for.
Read on to find out how lawyers calculate damages in a personal injury case.
Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
There are two categories of damages related to an injury that are factored into all personal injury cases. The first is economic damages. The second is non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
- medical expenses including estimated future medical expenses
- current and future lost income
- personal property damage (ie the cost of car repairs after a car accident)
Non-economic damages are a bit more complicated. Non-economic damages typically cover the mental, physical, or emotional toll that an injury has taken on the plaintiff.
How Lawyers Settle On a Number
How do lawyers determine the level of compensation that you are owed by the defendant? It’s often easier to understand how they reach a figure when it comes to economic damages than non-economic damages.
First, your lawyer will look at the economic damages you are already facing. In other words, how much have you already spent on medical bills and how much income have you already lost? They will then take into account any medical predictions regarding the future of your injury to estimate future economic damages, as well.
To calculate non-economic damages, lawyers will assess how strongly your injury is impacting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Most have a formula they rely on based on previous cases, the prevalence of regional resources, and more.
What If You Get Low-Balled?
Let’s say that your personal injury lawyers establish a number that you find fair and satisfactory. Now, let’s say that the defendant’s team is trying to lower that number. What should you do?
Talk to your lawyer about whether or not you should settle or go to trial. Keep in mind that personal injury cases don’t often make it to the courtroom. If going to trial seems like the only way to get the compensation you are owed, weigh the pros and cons of prolonging your case.
Know the Value of Your Personal Injury Case
The term “personal injury case” covers a vast array of accidents and injuries. However, the process by which lawyers establish damages is more or less the same. Know the value of your personal injury case to get the compensation you are due.
Looking to learn more about your personal injury case before it moves forward? Take a look around for additional legal information, news, and insight.