Exploring the Different Methods of Compensation in Personal Injury Cases
When someone causes an accident, you are owed compensation to make up for your actual financial losses. Personal injury attorneys work hard to document and calculate the value of these damages for their clients.
Non-economic compensatory damages, however, are difficult to quantify. Your attorneys use the per diem or multiplier method to determine how much money you are entitled to receive for past and future days that involve pain.
In personal injury cases, compensatory damages seek to return victims to where they were before the accident happened. They can cover any actual financial losses that the accident caused. In addition to monetary damages, compensation may be provided for non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
Special compensatory damages are the most common compensation in personal injury cases. This covers monetary losses such as medical bills, past and future lost income, ongoing care costs, household expenses, and other tangible financial losses.
It is harder to put a monetary value on general damages, which include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, inability to enjoy hobbies, and the loss of companionship. A Lampert & Walsh lawyer will help their client to gather and substantiate their claim by providing bills, invoices, receipts, pay stubs, and other physical evidence.
They may also use computer programs and formulas that begin with an estimated amount of special damages and then apply a multiplier to account for varying factors specific to the case.
Punitive damages, sometimes called exemplary damages, are a type of legal compensation that a jury can order a defendant to pay in addition to compensatory damages. They are meant to punish the defendant for grossly malicious or negligent actions that caused the plaintiff harm.
Most personal injury claims focus on compensatory damages. These damages are easily calculable and intended to make the victim whole again after a loss. They may include medical bills, lost wages from time missed at work due to an injury, and the cost of household services while you are recovering.
A personal injury claim may also include general damages, which are harder to quantify. These include pain and suffering and the inability to enjoy hobbies and spend time with loved ones due to an injury. Punitive damages are less common in personal injury cases but are available for defendants who engage in especially egregious conduct or malice.
Damages for Economic Loss
Most personal injury cases aim to receive payment for financial losses. These losses typically include tangible costs such as medical bills, lost income, repair or replacement expenses for damaged property, and other related expenses. In addition, these damages are often backed up by receipts or other documentation, making them relatively easy to prove in court.
When calculating your past lost income, consider the number of weeks you were out of work due to your injury and how much money you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured. Also, calculate the projected future loss of earnings, determining how your injuries will impact your career path, age, and earning potential.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are harder to quantify. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and disability. These can be based on things like the emotional trauma you experienced and reduced quality of life, such as being unable to engage in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed.
Damages for Non-Economic Loss
The first category of damages is usually called “economic” and covers tangible losses like medical bills, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity. These are easier to quantify, and receipts and pay stubs can be used as evidence to prove these expenses.
However, an injury can also cause intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, that are harder to put a dollar value on. This includes the physical pain you have endured since the accident, but it also includes emotional distress and anxiety caused by the trauma of the injury.
You can prove these losses through personal journals documenting daily pain, statements from friends and family, and expert testimony on your injuries’ impact on your life. A jury will also consider evidence of scarring and permanent disfigurement as part of your non-economic loss claim.
A jury will determine how much your pain and suffering are worth using these factors. The jury will then multiply that number by one to five, depending on the severity and permanence of your injuries.
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