When it comes down to deciding whether or not to file a personal injury lawsuit, you may ask yourself “is this case even worth anything?” While there are no cut and dry methods of determining how much a personal injury claim is worth, the amount awarded for will be determined based on intent, liability, personal responsibility, and accountability. Other factors include if the injured party played any role in the incident, or if the defendant’s conduct is in question.
Compensatory damages are intended to act as guidelines for what can legally be compensated for due to injury related to a lawsuit. Below are some of the most common types of compensation that may be awarded in a personal injury case.
Loss of income encompasses not only the loss of the income while out of work due to the accident, but also future earnings the plaintiff will lose due to their injuries. These are determined by the amount of time the plaintiff is out of work and whether or not they will be able to return to work once physically healed.
Property loss can be the damage or loss of any personal property due to the incident in question. Examples of this can include your vehicle, clothes, computer, or anything else you own that has been damaged or destroyed as a direct result of the incident.
Punitive damage is a monetary amount that is awarded to an individual solely to punish the other person for a malicious or intentionally cruel act. While they are rarely granted due to trouble being able to calculate what something is actually worth, typically the value placed upon these types of damages reflect the estimated fair cost to replace the item that was destroyed.
The emotional and psychological distress some injuries can create such as anxiety and depression may also be grounds for legal compensation in some cases. While these are harder to prove due to lack of physical evidence, certified documents and testimonies from mental health professionals can help to establish credible evidence.
Pain and Suffering
The term pain and suffering refer to the physical or psychological pain and suffering that a person experiences due to their injuries. The physical pain relates to the bodily pain associated with the injuries in question while an example of psychological pain and suffering could be the depression a person develops due to the physical pain of their injuries. In some cases the mental stress is so severe the person cannot return to work even after they have healed resulting in more loss of wages which is then factored into the amount awarded as well.
The costs associated with the physical care due to associated injuries are one of the most common forms of compensation granted. This type of compensation can encompass hospital and surgeon bills, any specialists you may need, and physical therapy while recovering from the injuries sustained in the incident.
The cost of ongoing treatment the individual receives after the initial injuries are healed such as mental health professionals, and physical therapy falls into the category for possible legal compensation.
Loss of Enjoyment
The loss of enjoyment is described as anything that the injured is no longer able to do on a daily basis such as exercise, hiking, and other activities. It can also include upcoming events that the individual will no longer be able to participate in or have to cancel, due to the injuries.
Loss of Consortium
When a person says that they have suffered a loss of consortium due to an accident they are referring to the loss of a relationship, or inability to have sexual relations with their significant other. This failure can cause added stress due to their crumbling relationship resulting in depression.
The monetary value of all the above mentioned, as well as the determined value of other factors combined, will be the final amount the plaintiff will receive once a settlement has been agreed upon, or after a judge awards it in a court of law. Contact a legal professional to help you understand what you are legally entitled to as compensation, and to assist with filing your personal injury case.