When you have been injured in a personal injury accident, you may not know what to expect. How will you be compensated for those injuries and what damages may you receive when all is said and done? How your personal injury compensation will be determined is according to your past, present, and future medical bills. However, you may find that calculating the total amount of your losses or “damages” can be entirely difficult, and this is why you should always have an attorney working on your side to help you through the complex process. (1)
Special Considerations in Injury Cases
When you are involved in a personal injury case, damages may be the one thing on your mind that you will hear over and over again when determining how much your case is worth. This may consist of special damages or monetary losses, or general damages, which cover more emotional damages. Here are a few of these, explained:
- Medical Costs: These will typically include reimbursement for the costs of all medical treatment like the ambulance ride, hospital or clinic stay, time spent with chiropractors, and more.
- Lost Income: If you lost wages and other earnings relating to work due to your accident, you may receive lost income.
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses: These will include everything relating to special costs of your accident like over-the-counter medications, crutches and slings, and parking fees for your appointments due to the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: If you have suffered real pain and severe discomfort due to your accident, you may receive pain and suffering. However, this can be difficult to place because no two individuals will experience pain on the same level.
- Emotional Distress: If you have suffered anxiety, depression, fear, or shock relating to the accident, you may be compensated for emotional distress.
- Loss of Consortium: If your spouse has lost intimacy or sexual companionship due to your accident, they may help convince the courts or insurance companies or loss of consortium.
Some factors that may come into play are the liability of the insured, future prognosis, and history of jury verdicts. However, one of the important determinations is the seriousness of the injury and how it affects you now and in the future. This is where special and general damages play the most important role in regards to your claim and how much you think you will receive.
This is where something known as a multiplier comes in. The multiplier becomes lower or higher depending on the circumstances of your case such as how bad the injuries are, how much medical treatment you have received, and what treatment you may need in the future. Of course, you must also consider the fact that California is a pure comparitive negligence state. This means that, if you were at fault for a percentage of your accident, the dollar amount of your award could be reduced. (2)
Now you understand why it is especially important to determine fault in your case and ask yourself if your own negligence has played any part in the accident. If so, you may want to speak to an attorney today about your options to receive as much compensation as possible. Call us now for more information.