How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth?
If you have been injured due to someone else’s neglect or carelessness, you may be considering filing a claim against the other person in order to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
You may be in pain, wondering how you can provide for your family if you cannot work and are facing extensive treatments. You may be asking “how much is a personal injury case worth?” The answer to that question can be complicated as many factors go into determining the compensation for personal injury.
There are some damages that are designed to compensate you for what you lost after the accident. These are known as compensatory damages under the law. These types of damages are designed to make you as “whole” as possible from a monetary standpoint. Some of these damages are easy to determine. Property damage, medical bills and lost wages can be documented. It is harder to determine how much the inability to enjoy a hobby or limitations you now deal with on a daily basis are worth.
Types of Compensatory Damages
There are different types of compensatory damage that you may receive under the law. They include:
- Medical treatment – including past and future costs
- Lost income – including actual income lost as well as money you could have earned if you are no longer able to work
- Property loss – vehicles, clothing or other items damaged as a result of the accident
- Pain and suffering – pain or serious discomfort you suffered
- Emotional distress – fear, anxiety, sleep loss, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of enjoyment – to compensate for the loss of day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise or other activities
- Loss of consortium – damages to the relationship you have with your spouse
If the person who injured you acted outrageously or with total indifference to human life, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages. These are awarded to you, but are actually meant to punish the person who hurt you.
Some states have caps on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded. If you are injured by a drunk driver, for example, a judge or jury may award you more than your compensatory damages in an effort to punish the person who got behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Your Role in the Accident
Another factor that can affect how much is a personal injury case worth is your own role in the accident. In some states, if you can be found at fault in any way, your recovery of damages may be limited.
- Five states have pure contributory negligence rules which say that if you have any blame at all for your injuries, even if it is minor, you cannot collect damages.
- Eight states have pure comparative fault statutes that reduce the amount you are awarded by the percent you are at fault.
- Eleven states have statutes that do not allow you to receive damages if you are deemed 50 percent or more at fault while 22 others, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, say you must be 51 percent at fault to be ineligible for compensation.
- Only one state follows a slight/gross negligence comparative fault rule that only compares fault if your negligence is slight and the defendant’s is gross.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact Lundy Law today to answer the question “how much is a personal injury case worth?” You can arrange for a no-obligation consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the simple form online.