When you must make the difficult decision to file a claim for compensation after suffering an injury in a car, slip and fall, or other personal injury accident, it's important to know whether or not it's worth your time to file a claim. To start this assessment, you first have to know the damages for which you can receive a settlement.
Types of Compensation You're Entitled to in Personal Injury Cases
Although each personal injury claim is unique, most people report the same type of damages in order to regain financial stability after suffering an injury. You may be awarded compensation for the following:
- Medical bills. You're entitled to reimbursement for the cost of doctor visits, hospitalizations, surgery, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any other expenses associated with treatment for your injuries.
- Wage losses. This includes income you'll lose while you're off work, vacation and sick time benefits, bonuses, and commissions. If you must make a career change or become disabled due to your injuries, you may also be entitled to lost earning capacity, which is the future income and job benefits you might lose as a result of those changes.
- Pain and suffering. You're entitled to be reimbursed for emotional trauma, pain, and suffering caused by your accident and injury. Since there isn't a set formula for calculating this amount, you'll need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to value this part of your claim.
- Wrongful death. If a family member died as a result of his or her injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for the financial losses you suffered as well as the support, companionship, and advice of your loved one.
- Punitive damages. When the at-fault party’s actions are grossly negligent, punitive damages may be awarded.
Factors That Affect the Value of Your Claim
The exact amount you receive in a settlement is based on a number of factors that affect the strength or weakness of your claim. Some of these factors include:
- Liability. If the liability of the negligent party is clear-cut, or he admits being at fault, this strengthens the claim and makes it more likely that you'll receive what you are owed. When there are issues about your fault in contributing to your injuries, you may have to accept less when settling the case.
- Severity of injuries. Your claim will be worth more if your injuries are more severe or cause some permanent injury than if you suffer a minor injury that you recover from quickly.
- Insurance coverage. The amount of insurance coverage for the negligent party affects the value of your settlement in a practical way. No matter how much the amount of damages, you can only receive the insurance liability coverage in settlement of your claim.
- Your attorney. Having an experienced personal injury attorney with a track record of successfully settling and trying cases similar to yours can increase the value of the case. He or she will be able to thoroughly investigate your accident, build a strong case against the negligent party, and negotiate a settlement that provides you with deserving compensation.
If you were injured in a personal injury accident, call our office today to schedule a free consultation. We'll discuss the parties who could be responsible for compensating you and the value of your personal injury claim.