How much your personal injury case is worth depends on its unique factors. Its circumstances could increase your claim’s monetary value or decrease or eliminate its economic worth. We will cover some of the most common factors below.
How Economic Damages Affect the Value of Personal Injury Cases
Per the American Bar Association (ABA), if a person suffers an injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, the injured person could seek compensation for damages from the at-fault party. These losses can be economic damages or non-economic (non-financial) losses. Economic losses are key in calculating a personal injury case’s worth. The higher your economic losses, the higher your settlement will likely be.
Here are examples of economic damages in personal injury claims:
- Lost earnings. You have an economic loss if you miss time from work because of your wounds and did not get paid your regular income.
- Future lost income. A person who cannot earn as much money after the accident as they did before might have a claim for lost future wages.
- Medical care expenses. The reasonable cost of medical treatment you need for your injuries is usually recoverable.
- Long-term care. If you need daily assistance with medical treatments or personal care after suffering catastrophic injuries, the estimated cost of your home health care or nursing home could be a part of your personal injury claim.
These categories are some of the more common types of economic damages. You might have additional losses. Every case is different, so having an attorney to review your case can ensure you consider all your losses.
Do Intangible Losses Have a Dollar Value?
Yes, intangible losses have a dollar value. These damages can be challenging to calculate, but they are worth including in your injury claim because they could increase your injury case’s worth. Let’s say you have economic damages of $100,000. You might get an additional $150,000 to $500,000 for your intangible losses on top of your $100,000 in economic damages. The circumstances will determine if your intangible losses are closer to $150,000 or $500,000.
Intangible losses can include pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, loss of independence, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How It Can Change Your Case’s Financial Outcome If You Were Partially at Fault
If you were partly at fault in your case, you could recover a smaller award of damages cut by your percentage of fault. This is the comparative negligence rule. However, in some states, you cannot seek compensation for your losses even if you were barely at fault. These states use the contributory fault rule.
Still, other states let you pursue a lower amount of compensation from the at-fault party, but only if your percentage of fault was less than 50 percent or 51 percent, depending on the state. This is modified comparative fault.
How this works is that a person with a total of $100,000 in economic and intangible losses and 10 percent of the fault could get $0 in a contributory state. They could pursue $90,000 in a comparative fault state, with their $100,000 reduced by 10 percent, which is $10,000, for a result of $90,000. They would get nothing if they had negligence higher than 50% or 51% in a modified comparative fault state.
You Might Be Able to Recover Losses From Your Insurance Company
Getting a judgment on paper does not do you much good if the defendant cannot pay you. The amount, if any, of the at-fault party’s insurance coverage, including “umbrella” liability insurance, could affect how much money you could collect. A person with only the minimum required liability insurance will still be responsible for paying all your award of damages.
If their insurance does not cover all your losses, you could look to the at-fault party’s personal assets to satisfy the judgment. Also, your insurance coverage, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, might help with your losses.
What a Statute of Limitations Is and Why It Matters in Personal Injury Cases
A topic most people do not talk about is their state’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases and how this law could affect their right to recover compensation. For example, the ABA says if your injury case does not settle and you miss your state’s case filing deadline, the law could prevent you from seeking compensation for your losses.
No matter how severe your wounds or how careless or reckless the at-fault party was, they will no longer have any legal liability for your injuries and other losses after the statute of limitations expires. The defendant is home-free.
Call Greenberg Gross Today for Help With a Personal Injury Case
You could talk with the lawyers at Greenberg Gross about how much your personal injury case may be worth and explore your options with a legal professional’s help. To get started, call us today.