How to Predict the Value of a Personal Injury Settlement
As much as we’d like to think it isn’t true, accidents happen quite frequently. If you’ve been in an accident or injured yourself as a result of another person’s negligence, it’s important that you take the time to get the compensation you deserve.
However, determining exactly how much it is you really deserve can be a challenge in its own right. There is a lot of work and experience that goes into the determination of a personal injury settlement.
It’s not likely something you’ll be able to figure out completely on our own, especially if you’ve had no experience with this kind of work before.
How does one predict how much a personal injury settlement might be worth? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Determining Compensatory Damages
Most payments obtained during a personal injury settlement would fall under the category of ‘compensatory damages.’ All that this means is that the injured individual is seeking to make themselves whole again. They want to receive compensation for the money they have lost due to the incident.
Many of these types of damages easily quantifiable and it’s not too difficult to put a dollar sign on these particular consequences.
The Cost of Medical Treatment
The most common type of damage awarded in a personal injury case is intended to make the victim whole again in terms of their medical treatment.
We likely don’t have to remind you that medical treatment is quite expensive in America. An injured individual is likely to have spent a lot of time and money on care in the weeks following an injury.
Reimbursement for this often-expensive medical treatment is almost always included in a personal damage award. This number is easy to quantify because it should match the exact number spent by the individual on care.
Lost Wages and Income
If the injury in question has had an impact on a person’s salary and wages? This might be another area in which they can claim damages in their settlement request. Often times an injury will prevent a person from making the money they normally could have made in the future.
This potential future income can be calculated using pre-existing income information. It can be used to help come to an overall settlement determination.
If any property was damaged alongside the injury, a person can also include these damages into their settlement determination. If you were in a car accident, for example, the cost of repairs to your vehicle could be grouped into your total settlement amount.
Clothing, belongings, and even assets as large as a house might be included under the umbrella of property damage in a personal injury case.
Less Quantifiable Damages
Of course, not everything that goes into a settlement amount can have a simple dollar value attached to it. There are many things that result from injuries that may be more difficult to discern in terms of their monetary value. In these cases, contacting help from one of the many personal injury offices out there can be essential in determining a true valuation.
The last thing you want to do is land on a number that’s really less than you deserve.
Pain and Suffering
Your medical bills may have an easy and clear number attached to them, but the actual pain that courses through your body certainly doesn’t. In almost all personal injury lawsuits, this pain and suffering are taken into serious consideration when landing on a number for the settlement.
Emotional distress or the loss of enjoyment from day-to-day activities are also taken into consideration when putting together a case.
Determining A Valuation
There are no charts or textbooks out there that one can look into in terms of how much to award for these types of damages. In most states, judges just advise juries in court cases to determine what they would consider being a fair and reasonable amount of the pain and suffering that is detailed.
In some cases, attorneys use what is known as a multiplier when approaching these types of damages. They may say that the total number allotted for pain and suffering should be X times the amount they paid for medical bills. Usually, this number is somewhere between 1.5 and 4 depending on the severity of the injuries.
However, not all attorneys agree that this is the best way to approach settlement determinations.
Often, the plaintiff’s own presence will play a big role in how much an attorney thinks they get obtain for these non-quantifiable damages. How sympathetic are they, how likable, and how well are they to describe and articulate the pain they suffered?
Their testimony, background, and overall demeanor play more into the reality of a settlement determination than most of us would likely prefer to think about. For example, a person with a criminal record literally might get less than a person without a settlement claim.
This is simply a result of the perception of the individual and the type of person they are.
Determining an Injury Settlement Amount
How much can you get in a personal injury settlement? If you’ve been injured in an accident you’re likely very interested in knowing. The settlement payouts people receive can vary wildly from case to case, but the information above can help walk you through the process of putting a valuation together.
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