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5 Factors to Consider When Evaluating Damages in Personal Injury Accident Lawsuits

You can claim compensation if another person’s negligence causes injuries, lost wages, emotional suffering, and missed work time. Typically, payment for personal injury accident cases ranges from $3000 to $75,000, averaging $52,000.

However, determining the value of your personal injury case isn’t easy, especially because a dollar amount is assigned to unquantifiable factors like emotional pain. Moreover, insurers are notorious for underpaying personal injury victims who don’t know what their claims are worth. This is why it’s essential to consult experienced personal injury attorneys who ensure you receive maximum compensation for your damages. Below are five factors that personal injury lawyers consider when evaluating personal injury damages.

  1. Type and Severity of Injuries

Auto accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice cases, and other catastrophic events leave victims with injuries ranging from bruising and sprains to brain trauma and spinal cord injuries. Usually, severe injuries fetch larger settlements because the medical bills are steep and much pain and suffering are involved. Additionally, severe injuries mean time off work, resulting in loss of wages and a reduced ability to enjoy the things you love.

Large settlements are also more commonly awarded for permanent injuries like loss of limbs, brain trauma, and facial disfigurement. Such injuries require ongoing medical care and cause a reduced earning capacity because you can’t resume your previous job roles.

  1. Medical Bills & Records

Experienced attorneys advise personal injury victims to keep meticulous medical records, including surgery costs, emergency room charges, rehabilitation services, and prescriptions. You are entitled to reimbursement for these medical costs, so you should track all medical expenses after your accidents.

Generally, larger settlements are involved where the post-accident treatment requires surgeries, consultations with many medical providers, and complex procedures like reconstructions. Longer recoveries also attract significant payments since they involve many consultations and procedures.

However, insurance adjusters place different values on the medical practitioner you seek. For instance, if you have been primarily seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist for sprains and muscle tension, you will receive a lower settlement.

  1. Emotional and Mental Suffering

Personal injury accidents don’t only cause physical harm–but mental health issues as well. For instance, you may experience anxiety, depression, shock, fright, and grief. These emotions can be debilitating and reduce your quality of life. 

It’s hard to calculate the worth of your emotional suffering, but an experienced personal injury attorney will show how your injuries affect your daily life to recover compensation. Generally, the more severe the injuries, the greater the settlement for pain and suffering.

  1. Share of Fault

It isn’t uncommon for accidents to be caused by multiple parties. For example, a drunk driver may have hit you, but you were overspeeding or not wearing a seatbelt.

States have different guidelines for assigning fault, which informs how much compensation you will be awarded. In some states, you will recover compensation even if you are partly responsible for the accident. Other states bar plaintiffs from recovering damages if their liability for causing the accident is over 50%.

Florida follows a comparative negligence model for compensating personal injury victims. In other words, your compensation will reduce according to your share of liability. Seattle also practices comparative fault, which means you will recover damages even if you were 10% or 20% at fault. However, consult a personal injury attorney because the other party may assign all the liability to you.

  1. Insurance Policy Limits

If a negligent party harms you, their insurers, such as a car accident or business liability insurer, are liable for your compensation. The insurer has policy limits for the economic and non-economic damages you can receive.

However, insurers sometimes hesitate to pay your claim’s full policy limits–or even deny your claim altogether. In this case, you need a seasoned personal injury lawyer to negotiate for your case’s true value. If the insurer acts in bad faith and refuses to pay a settlement below the policy limit, your lawyer will take the case to trial. In this event, a jury can award compensation beyond the policy limits.

Contact Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Today

Every personal injury case is different, and many factors affect how much you receive after an accident. Most importantly, the kind of legal representation you have determines the value of your claim. Insurers will try and pay you less than you deserve, and you need personal injury attorneys to counter their tactics. A seasoned legal team will negotiate maximum compensation and go to trial if necessary.