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What is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

How much is my personal injury claim worth? For most people, it isn’t about greed, just compensation for losses they have suffered.

Compensatory Damages


 

Most damages in a personal injury case are compensatory. This means they are meant to reimburse the plaintiff for costs related to the injury. This type of award is intended to make the plaintiff “whole,” or restore them financially. The more common types of compensatory damages in a personal injury claim include:

Loss of income:

You may be entitled to collect not just the income you lost, but also the income you would have been able to earn in the future if it hadn’t been for the accident.

Medical bills:

A personal injury award regularly includes the costs associated with your medical treatment (repayment for out of pocket expenses you have already paid and the anticipated costs of care you will need in the future).

Property damage:

Property damages costs can include the costs associated with either fixing or replacing your car or any other property which was damaged. Clothing and other personal items can also be replaced. Money awarded is generally at the market value of the property at the time of loss.

Pain and suffering:

You could be awarded monetary compensation for physical pain and discomfort you suffered during and after the accident.

Emotional anguish:

If the accident was particularly serious and you suffer from psychological distress such as trepidation, anxiety and/or sleep loss, you could collect for this condition.

Loss of enjoyment:

When an injury you suffered in the accident prevents you from enjoying things such as hobbies, exercise, recreation or even the inability to maintain a sexual relationship with your spouse, you could be entitled to receive damages.

Punitive Damages after a Personal Injury


 

Punitive damages are different than compensatory damages. If the defendant’s actions were especially negligent the plaintiff could be awarded additional damages on top of any other compensatory damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant and hopefully deter others from similarly depraved actions.

It is common for punitive damage awards to run into the millions, so some states have placed a cap on how much a jury can award in punitive damages.

Can my actions affect the personal injury award?


 

States use four different systems for allocating damages after a personal injury: pure contributory negligence, pure comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence – 50% bar rule, and modified comparative negligence – 51% bar rule.

Personal injury awards will be allocated according to the laws of your state. There are even a few states that do not allow you to recover any compensation if you are found to be even partially to blame for the accident (Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C.).

Additionally, most states require those who are injured through the negligence of someone else to mitigate or minimize their financial damages. For example, if a person does not see a doctor until weeks after an accident and therefore makes their injuries worse and increases their medical bills, he will see the award greatly reduced.

If you have been seriously injured in an accident, it would benefit you to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney and see what value he can bring to your case.