Every personal injury claim is different. Its worth depends on the amount of damages that you incurred and the degree which you can prove the other party was at fault. Full monetary recovery for personal injury includes injury to persons and injury to property. Some elements are more easily calculable such as, your medical bills, your lost income because of time missed at work, your property damage, and any other out-of-pocket losses.
General damages can include pain and suffering, discomfort and physical pain, as well as emotional distress, anxiety, and other effects of the accident and your injuries. In a personal injury lawsuit, the compensation awarded to a winning plaintiff, as well as the total damages incurred, determines its value.
Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
Several personal damages incur during a personal injury. These damages are added together for the total dollar amount of your damages. This includes physical damage to your personal property and physical and emotional damage to you. Personal damage is one part of the total worth of your personal injury case. When calculating this damage, consider the cost or value of various expenses.
- Doctors bills
- Emergency transportation
- Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- Income loss due to missed days or compromised performance
- Inability to take on future work due to injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- The effect of the injury on your emotional or mental health
- The court may also award punitive damages which function as a punishment to the wrongdoer, over and above the actual value of the loss incurred.
Physical property damage is another factor in determining the value of your case. This depends on the damage sustained by your property. The question is whether the property can be repaired. The cost of those repairs is then added to the total value of your case. The law typically categorizes damage to property into three groups:
- Repairable property: The cost to repair your property plus interest
- Destroyed property: The fair market value of your property
- Non-repairable property: The difference between the fair market value of the property before the damage and after the repairs
Your personal damages plus property damages together factor into the total worth of your claim.
Quantifying Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is often awarded in personal injury claims, but it’s difficult to place a dollar amount on pain and suffering. Two main methods, however, known as the multiplier and per diet methods, are calculated based on the following.
This is the most common approach is to add up all the special damages and multiply those by a number between 1.5 on the low end, and 4 or 5 on the high end. This second number is known as the multiplier and depends on all the factors related to your case, such as the seriousness of your injuries, prospects for a quick and complete recovery, the impact of your injuries on your day-to-day life, and whether or not the other party was clearly at fault.
Per diet means exactly What you think, per day. The idea is to demand a certain dollar amount for every day you had to live with the pain caused by your accident. The most challenging part of this method is justifying the daily rate you use. A good way to make sure you use a reasonable daily rate is to use your actual, daily earnings. This signifies dealing that the pain caused by your injuries every day is at least comparable to the effort of going to work each day. The problem with this method is it does not hold up well when it comes to long term and permanent disabilities.